German brewery creates beer from wastewater

German brewery creates beer from wastewater

Water is one of our planet’s most valuable resources, so initiatives aimed at reusing water should be celebrated. But would you drink something made from wastewater? Surprisingly, in a country known for its strict beer purity laws, a company from North-Rhine Westphalia has just launched a new type of beer - made from treated wastewater.

Purified water used to make German beer

Named “Reuse Brew”, the German beer was developed by water technology company Xylem, together with two Berlin-based water supply companies and local brewery Herforder, to highlight future possibilities for purified wastewater. Although Germany isn't exactly short of water, the threat of climate change is encouraging innovation to arm ourselves for the future. 

The new Reuse Brew features a rather simple and clean ingredient list -  hops and barley malt and purified wastewater. "Our Reuse Brew is brewed according to all the rules of German brewing art and contains, in addition to recycled water, the best ingredients a craft beer needs," says Jan-Karl Nielebock, the company's brewing expert.

"Reuse Brew" - made from hops, barley and purified sewage water

The Reuse Brew was officially unveiled earlier this month at the International Water Recovery and Recycling conference in Berlin to much acclaim. But don’t expect to find this new beer in your local supermarket any time soon. Only 1.000 bottles of the beer and a few barrels were brewed, for purely promotional purposes.

And while the idea to create beer from wastewater may sound novel, it’s actually not that new - Xylem has already been working on several pilot beer brewing projects in the US, and last summer a Stockholm-based brewery backed by Carlsberg launched a beer made from recycled sewage water, named PU:REST.

So here’s to drinking - and redrinking - your beers this summer!

Vivian Hendriksz


Vivian Hendriksz

Vivian is a dedicated editor and writer with a keen interest in all things lifestyle-related, from travel to culture and fashion.

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