Toilet to Tap beer: How Oregon is Recycling Wastewater

Toilet to Tap Beer.


In April, an Oregon wastewater treatment operator challenged local home brewers to create a delicious beer from four ingredients: hops, barley, yeast (not so hard, right?)…

toilet to tap beer

…and sewer water.


According to Business Insider, “The point of the contest is not to find Portland’s next trendy craft beer. Rather, it’s an effort to get people talking about how a vital resource can be reused thanks to advanced water-filtration systems.”

Prison wine keep peeing

Oregon Live detailed the purification process the effluent underwent—ultrafiltration, reverse osmosis, and advanced oxidation—while also noting that “this water couldn’t be used for anything other than making beer,” according to Oregon basin coordinator Avis Newell. (Oregon laws allow wastewater to be recycled for irrigation, industrial processes, and groundwater recharging purposes only.)

“Still,” she added, “no one else in the state is attempting to do this.”

Dozens of brewers competed, with the top recognition going to a German Pilsner. This week, a group of Business Insider staff sampled a selection of the contest entries.

stone brewing full circle beer

“One colleague said she liked it and would drink it again … [Others] tasted the Purewater Brew Munich Helles side-by-side with a Yuengling.”

Check this technical note on analyzing hop acids in beer using LC/MS/MS >>

One Business Insider employee said the flavor was “pretty generic” while most said the “cloudiness” and “weird aftertaste” turned them off. 

However, the publication mentioned, “[It’s] hard to say if they were influenced by knowing the beer’s history.”

WATCH: Pure Water Brew Challenge 2015 (from Clean Water Services)

Would YOU drink beer made from sewer water? Leave a comment!

Related resources:

Tetrahydroiso-alpha acids extracted from beer by Strata-X using Kinetex C18 2.6µm 100×4.6 mm
Iso-alpha acids extracted from beer by Strata-X using Kinetex C18 2.6µm 100×4.6 mm
Tetrahydroiso-alpha acids in Miller Genuine Draft beer using Kinetex C18 2.6µm 100×4.6 mm
Iso-alpha acids in Red Stripe beer using Kinetex C18 2.6µm 100×4.6 mm
EZ:faast Amino Acid analysis of beer

6 Replies to “Toilet to Tap beer: How Oregon is Recycling Wastewater”

  1. This water is probably cleaner than what usually comes from the tap.The beer idea sounds like a great way get people to try it.

  2. In essence, aren’t we all drinking sewer water, in sum sense. Unless people are accessing a new, undiscovered source of water, I’m sure our current water cycle does have treated sewer water in it. I hope this recycle program in Oregon is successful.

    1. They’re definitely on to something, aren’t they? It’s fantastic and quirky but, like you said, not as outrageous as one may think. Thanks for reading and enjoy the blog!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.