Beer Me

Enterprising Water Treatment Company Invents Way to Make Beer From Sewage

Fresh brewed, urine sample–colored.
Fresh brewed, urine sample–colored. Photo: Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

It looks like a group of Portland home-brewers who call themselves the Oregon Brew Crew want to try their hand at creating small-batch poop beer with the help of a local treatment plant’s “high-quality” recycled wastewater. They’re an enthusiasts’ club, so thankfully they’d only be able to give the brew away at events, but even the prospect of that isn’t exactly thrilling the state, which will hold a public hearing in February to discuss the very important matter. Oregon, it turns out, wants to ensure “all safety concerns are addressed” before this goes any further.

Clean Water Services says the water that would go into the homebrew “meets or exceeds” all drinking standards. Its process involves three separate treatment methods, if that makes a difference to you: Ultrafiltration through tiny pores, reverse osmosis that eliminates chemicals, and enhanced oxidation to break down contaminants. Still, alarming or not, it’s probably time Americans prepared themselves for potable wastewater. Droughts are increasingly a problem, especially on the West Coast, and besides Bill Gates and his recent thoroughgoing endorsement of the “ingenious” Omniprocessor that makes feces drinkable, there is already at least one other sewage beer, Activated Sludge, created by a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources engineer. That one is even getting positive buzz from local industry pros like the guys at Milwaukee’s Lakefront Brewery.


Enterprising Water Treatment Company Invents Way to Make Beer From Sewage