Would you brew beer using toilet water? Perhaps more importantly, would you drink beer brewed with treated waste water?
Believe it or not, these are serious questions, and some folks in the Portland area want to show how safe the process can be.
The Pure Water Brew Challenge will feature beers brewed exclusively using treated sewage water. The contest intends to demonstrate that treated water is as clean and safe to drink as regular tap water.
"We need to be judging water by its quality, and not by its history," Mark Jockers, a spokesman for Portland's Clean Water Services, told the Associated Press. "The water we're producing is significantly cleaner than what the safe drinking standards are for water that comes out of taps across the United States."
Creating craft beers with waste water may seem counter-intuitive, or downright disgusting, but the contest should go a long way to proving that treated waste water can be a source of water humans can drink.
Nearly every beer maker will tell you that quality water is one of, if not the most, important ingredient necessary to produce a tasty beer. The Portland area is loaded with craft brewers and conservationists. And then there's the severe drought Californians, their neighbors to the south, are currently enduring. The time and place seem to align well.
The water utility intends to distribute about 300 gallons of treated water to 20 or so home brewers from the Oregon Brew Crew. A panel will judge the beers in late July or August. They will not be available to the public, but winners will have kegs of their brew taken to an international water conference held later in the year in Chicago.
Too gross for you? Well, you may not want to consider these little nuggets. Most treated water is released into a river or stream, where much of it eventually becomes part of someone else's water system and as the saying goes, everyone lives downstream from someone.
Also, there are many places throughout the world that reintroduce treated water into their drinking water supply.
We have some beer drinkers at Care To Click, so we are going to be interested to see how this contest progresses. But remember, you don't have to drink one of these beers to help with the fight against water scarcity. Simply visit the Care To Click Water page and donate free click, tweet or Facebook post. Beer drinkers can also compare prices and save money on millions of items from major retailers at the Care To Click Shopping Mall, including beer refrigerators, beer mugs and home brewing kits.
Any purchases via CareToClick.com prompt our donations to organizations working to end water scarcity.