A company is combating water scarcity by making "shower beer" from recycled water.
Water is the planet’s most precious commodity, so using it sparingly is a must. Taking that message to heart is a company called Epic Cleantec. The San Francisco-based startup, which provides sustainable water treatment and recycling systems for buildings, has teamed up with the Devil’s Canyon Brewing Company to reuse shower water to create beer.
According to The Byte, the drink is called Epic OneWater Brew and is described as a Kolsch-style beer. It is made from the grey water obtained from a 40-story apartment complex in San Francisco. That means wastewater from dishes, laundry, and showers was used to craft this unique beer. CEO of Epic Cleantec, Aaron Tartakovsky, says his company wanted to create something “engaging and exciting.”
The company hopes the show water beer will serve as a tool for showcasing the untapped potential of recycled water. A writer from The Guardian who tested the drink described its taste as “pleasant, crisp, and “drinkable,” with no notes of shower or laundry. While that description was obviously in jest, it’s worth noting that the wastewater is carefully treated for quality control.
Tartakovsky says that his shower beer might actually be safer than regular beer due to the rigorous testing process. “A lot of times at a brewery, you turn on the tap, and whatever water you get, that’s what you brew with,” he explained. “In our case, we have so much control over the treatment process that we were actually able to tweak some of the steps to give the brewers a blank canvas.”
Those wanting to try the shower beer for themselves will be disappointed as the product was created for demonstrative purposes only, as current regulations on selling recycled drinking water are strict. Tartakovsky explained that his company tested the waters with Kolsch beer since it’s more universally liked than craft beers.
Tartakovsky expects more companies to follow suit in terms of turning shower water into something drinkable. But he said inventors need to ensure they are not on the same page as regulators. “At the end of the day, their job is to protect public health,” he said via The Guardian. While reusing water to its full capacity is a great idea, it will be a while before shower beer hits store shelves.
Interestingly, there aren’t many ingredients that are off-limits in the brewing world. Like shower beer, some brews are made with Maine lobsters, Mangalitsa pigs, candied ginger, and gingerbread cookies. Some of the more unique cases see beverages made with human urine, Norwegian money, and yeast harvested from beard hairs, according to Vine Pair.
Other strange ingredients used in beer include pizza ingredients like basil, oregano, tomato, garlic, nettles, juniper berries, and bacon. Craft brewers have been experimenting with these non-traditional ingredients a lot in recent years. Despite the German Purity Laws (the world’s oldest food safety law still in existence), which state that beer must contain water, malt, yeast, and hops, many unusual beers are available.
It’s not surprising since a significant amount of water is required to produce beer. As the world faces water scarcity, it’s essential for companies to embrace sustainable practices to conserve this precious resource. Innovative solutions like using shower water to make beer might be a great solution in the long run.