I have two sets of friends: Beer drinkers and beer aficionados. The latter often roll their eyes at me because I am the former. I drink regular old beer. Nothing too fancy – unless you consider adding an orange wedge fancy. They scoff and tell me my beer is just fizzy water as they raise their pinkies and swirl and sip their step-infused sour beer with a hint of inoculated bacteria.
Thanks to the WateReuse Association, a trade association representing the interests of water utilities, I think there is a way to bridge the gap between my sets of friends: craft beer from recycled water. It’s pedestrian in it’s wastewater based and it’s hoity-toity in the fact that it’s homebrewed craft beer. WateReuse issued a challenge to Florida homebrewers – turn recycled water into beer. More than 100 homebrewers from the Tampa area accepted the challenge. And on September 10 two dozen certified beer tasters determined whose homebrew rose to the challenge – making the best tasting beer from recycled water.
The water used in the contest was wastewater from homes and small businesses in the Tampa area. Multiple advanced technologies were used to purify the water to make it safe for drinking.
Three brewers earned the People’s Choice awards:
1. Stoutly Water – a tropical stout submitted by the Space Coast Association for the Advancement of Zymurgy
2. Strange Desire – a saison submitted by Pinellas Urban Brewers Guild
3. Honey Poo Poo Red IPA – a specialty IPA submitted by Special Hoperations
Maybe I will buy a case of Honey Poo Poo and throw a party in honor of beer drinkers and beer aficionados. We will raise our glasses, flush the toilets and cheer on the notion of wastewater beer. It will be the ultimate recycle, reuse, repurpose campaign.
Traci Purdum is Chemical Processing’s senior digital editor and prolific beer blogger and news gatherer. Here are her other ale accounts: