In celebration of the United Nation’s World Water Day on Sunday 22 March, local independent brewery Stone & Wood have brewed a beer using purified wastewater to promote recycling water and water efficiency, in line with this year’s theme.
A one-off limited Pilot Batch beer available at Stone & Wood’s Tasting Room in Byron Bay from Sunday 22 March, the recycled wastewater beer, named Beer-Water Beer, is a 4.7% summer ale brewed using wastewater from Stone & Wood’s main production facility in Murwillumbah.
The wastewater – that is, the excess water used in the brewing process that wasn’t turned into beer – used to brew Beer-Water Beer has been processed through Stone & Wood’s ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis (UFRO) system.
Installed early 2018, the UFRO system turns brewery wastewater into perfectly usable water by stripping out all impurities, turning the hazy beige wastewater into crystal clear H20.
Currently, Stone & Wood only use this reclaimed water for utilities and cleaning at their Murwillumbah brewery, but, according to their Sustainability Manager James Perrin, there’s no reason other than stigma that stops them brewing with it.
“All water is essentially recycled in one way or another, and in many places around the world sewerage is treated and recycled back into, or upstream of, the drinking supply,” James said. “If done properly, it is completely safe and harmless.”
“In Australia, we have a history of rejecting recycled water initiatives, yet we are one of the driest places on Earth. The water that comes out of the reverse osmosis process is as pure as you can get – great for brewing!”
James said the key to normalising the idea of recycled water is changing attitudes.
“My hope is that by using perfectly good recycled water in this beer, it will start to change people’s perspectives on what sustainable water management could look like,” he said.
On behalf of Stone & Wood, James invites the Northern Rivers community to Stone & Wood’s Tasting Room on World Water Day, Sunday 22 March, to surmount the stigma and share a round of Beer-Water Beer with their mates.
“We think people will be very surprised,” James said.