Stone Brewery uses purified wastewater to brew new beer

Brewery partnered with city to make an environmental point

Stone Brewery premiered a very green beer at its Liberty Station location Thursday afternoon. But even though St. Patrick’s Day is Friday, we’re not talking about that kind of green beer. The “green” here has to do with the environment and water.

It was a high-profile party on Stone Brewery’s patio at its Point Loma location. City leaders gathered to hoist a glass, and to make a point.

“Just a great example of what this is gonna be like in terms of the future and Stone who’s a huge driver of not just the craft beer industry but sustainability, that’s what our pure water program is all about,” said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

The city’s “pure water program”, some call it somewhat derisively “toilet to tap”, but what it actually is is a system that will, when it’s complete, take wastewater which is now treated at the Point Loma plan and put into the ocean. It will take that water and instead treat it and put it back into the city’s fresh water system. For Stone Brewery, the ultra-pure water and beer is a match made in hops heaven.

“We like trial and we like testing and if we can help others jump on the same bandwagon, we would love to do that because it’s a great thing for the City of San Diego,” said Stone Chief Operating Officer Pat Tiernan.

Along with the obligatory barley and hops, water is, obviously indispensable in making beer. Tiernan said the city’s purified water is even better than what the brewery uses now, and he said when the new water comes on line, Stone’s water needs will go down.

“This particular water will just help us not require so much natural water to come in and give us a more reliable source, so for us to be able to re-use that’s part of our mantra, that’s part of what we do,” Tiernan said.

The beer being served here Thursday afternoon was brewed using a special delivery of the purified water to the brewery and from the Mayor, to everybody else, it was quite the hit.

“It’s great, terrific,” said Faulconer after taking a swig.

“I think it tastes great. It’s a well-known brewery with a great reputation so I don’t think you can really go wrong and it’s an important cause and I’m impressed. I really like it,” said beer aficionado Noelle Dorman.

The pure water system has been used for years now in Orange County and by all accounts its worked well. Here in San Diego, plans are to have the system built out by 2035 and at that point, it will provide one-third of the city’s water; a sustainable and efficient system that will move us a giant step closer to water independence.

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