Stone Brewing is making beer from water that “comes from the toilet.” The San Diego–based craft-beer pioneer unveiled five barrels of this particular concoction last week — a pale ale called Full Circle that’s made from sewage water recycled at the Pure Water San Diego demonstration plant, the hub of the city’s master plan to make a third of its wastewater drinkable by 2035.
He says the city wasn’t surprised when Stone, “a huge driver of not just the craft-beer industry but sustainability,” signed on to the recycling program. Other beer-makers have used wastewater before, but never anyone of this size. Stone’s chief operating officer, Pat Tiernan, claims the recycled water is actually better than what they’re using right now, needing just the addition of “some salts” to be perfect for brewing. He told the Times of San Diego that California’s terrible drought forced them to cycle through multiple water sources. Each one required tweaking the brewing methods at Stone, which is now the country’s ninth-largest brewery. Tiernan says that hassle reaffirmed their commitment to pursuing a stable recycled-water supply.
Steve Gonzalez, the company’s head of brewing and innovation, adds that of all the pale ales he’s ever made, this is “probably in the top three.” He says people who try it will “get some caramel notes, some tropical fruit notes,” throwing out there as well that it’s just “a very clean-tasting beer.” Full Circle isn’t for sale to the public just yet, but it’s probably fair to say Stone is flush with expectation that it will be soon.