Coors has been bottling piss and calling it beer since 1989, when the corporate megabrewer first brought Keystone Light into the world. Now, a wastewater treatment company and a group of home brewers in the Portland area are teaming up to make actual beer from recycled flushings. They promise that it will taste good enough you won’t have to shotgun it or consume it only because you lost at beer pong.
In an effort to flaunt its “high-purity” system for making drinkable water from sewage, Clean Water Services wants the Oregon Brew Crew to turn its decontaminated drain juice into craft beer. But the state government won’t allow the home brewing club to serve wastewater-brewed beer at events just yet.
Oregon Public Broadcasting describes the details of the regulatory hurdles the project faces. In short, drinking recycled water isn’t legal in Oregon, even if it’s super-sterilized. And you probably think that’s a reasonable rule, since pouring purified pee — and shower drainage and dishwater — down your throat seems, well, disgusting.
Surprise! We all do it every day. Before you start fretting about Icky Piss Ale becoming the new IPA, remember there’s this thing called the water cycle — we’re all drinking a little bit of dinosaur pee in every glass! Or Jesus piddle, if you prefer.
The takeaway: Don’t get grossed out about how recently your water was used last by humans — or filtered through them. In fact, soggy Oregon lags behind other areas where climate change is bringing more and longer droughts: “Toilet to tap” is already going strong in many bone-dry communities, like Wichita Falls, Texas. Basically, sewage gets purified at the wastewater treatment plant and then piped to the drinking water treatment plant, where it’s filtered yet again before heading back out into the municipal water system.
The beer-piss cycle is now a closed loop. That’s beautiful.