Stone Brewing, the country’s ninth largest brewery based in Southern California, has recently introduced a beer made with treated sewage water. The company unveiled five barrels of their latest brew, called Full Circle pale ale, at an event Thursday last week to the approval of curious customers. The craft beer was made with 100% recycled water from San Diego’s Pure Water demonstration plant in Miramar.
“This particular water will just help us not require so much natural water to come in and give us a more reliable source. So for us to be able to reuse, that’s part of our mantra, that’s part of what we do,” said Stone Brewing’s chief operating officer Pat Tiernan.
The recycled water used in the beer only required some salts prior to the brewing process. The craft beer was made with three malts and three hops. Full Circle features a clean beer taste with a hint of caramel and tropical fruit notes. Full Circle is currently not available to the public.
The launch of their new craft beer was part of the city’s $3 billion initiative called Pure Water San Diego. The program aims to get a third of its water supply from recycled sources by 2021. That equates to about 30 million gallons of treated water consumed per day. San Diego City officials hope to process enough recycled water by 2035 to meet at least a third of the city’s drinking water supply.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said the creation of Full Circle is an example of what the water treatment project may hold in the future.
San Diego City’s water treatment initiative, which began in 2011, aims to counter the effects of drought on water supply, and to prevent the city from relying too much on outside sources for water. Roughly 85% of the city’s water supply comes from outside sources that are located hundreds of miles away. The project has the potential to help San Diego secure its own water supply by transforming up to 83 million gallons of waste water into safe, potable water for daily consumption by 2035. According to Brent Eidson, Deputy Director of External Affairs at San Diego’s Public Utilities Department, the project’s water filtration process goes through five stages of purification and nearly clears the water of everything.
The city has moved to expedite the program to secure its water supply from potential calamities concerning two of its primary water sources. The Colorado River, being one, has become notorious for its history of droughts. New research indicates that global warming may further exacerbate its already-depleting flow by as much as 35% by 2100. “If you’ve been aware of the hydrology over the last few years, it’s been stressful, it’s been strained. We know here in California droughts are cyclical in nature and become a little bit more longstanding and harder to predict when they’re going to break. We want to make sure we’re not at the whim of some atmospheric rivers that may or may not come this year,” Eidson stated.
On the other hand, the Northern California Bay Delta is likely to suffer greatly when a major disaster such as a massive earthquake strikes the area, Eidson said. “The levees [along the San Francisco Bay] are definitely old and in need of infrastructure. If certain ones were to fail we could have significant seawater intrusion into the raw water supply, which means we would be cut off anywhere from six months to a year,” Eidson added.
We can only hope the water recycling system also removes all the pharmaceuticals, pesticides, hormone disruptors and heavy metals found in human biosludge. Watch the video documentary trailer at Biosludged.com to learn more.