New Beer Brewed with Recycled Sewage Water

If you can get over the ick factor, you can find this beer in limited supply starting this summer.

Today’s story sounds like it could make up a game of “Would you rather…?” for beer-loving environmentalists. And since I’d place myself in both categories, I’ll gladly host this game show:

Would you rather see beer brewed using conventional water sources, despite concerns of long-term, global clean water shortages OR drink the latest beer from a brewery collective in Sweden that’s brewed using recycled waste water.

A collaboration between Sweden’s New Carnegie Brewery, Carlsberg and the Swedish Environmental Research Authority intends to raise awareness of water shortages with its new beer, called PU:REST. Carlsberg is using the endeavor as part of its 'Together Towards Zero' environmental program, which intends to cut the brewer’s net water consumption in half by 2030.

The group behind the initiative also hopes to help change perceptions of using recycled waste water, because it’s as clean as any other method for purifying water for drinking, saying the problem is not a technological one, rather, it’s psychological.

So if you can get over the ick factor, you can find this beer in Sweden in limited supply starting this summer. PU:REST is described as a crystal clear pilsner. At 4.8% alcohol content, the brew is made with organic malt and hops and, of course, that other organic material – sewage.

All joking aside, however, Sweden’s Environmental Research Authority has been working for many years on the technology that transforms the waste water into pure, clean drinking water, and the organization says the result is both cost effective and energy efficient.

And as for brewmaster Christ Thurgeson, he just hopes customers can “dare to think different” if they want to be able to successfully take care of Earth’s resources.

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