On Friday, May 25th, it is time for the launch of PU:REST – Sweden’s first beer brewed with recycled water. The project is a collaboration between IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, New Carnegie Brewery and Carlsberg Sweden.

The main purpose of the project is to highlight sustainable water management and raise awareness of the global water issues and the value of clean water. In a world threatened by water shortage, we wanted to show that we already have technologies to recycle wastewater into drinking water that is as clean as normal tap water, says Staffan Filipsson, project manager at IVL.

IVL Swedish Environmental Institute has for several years been working with technologies that will make it possible to reuse wastewater. Studies show that by using the right combinations of technologies, wastewater can be recycled both cost-effectively and to such quality that it can be returned to groundwater or reused in agriculture and industry. However, the strategy of reusing treated wastewater as a natural part of water resource management is relatively new, and is still regarded by many countries, including Sweden, as a solution that is some way off in the future.

The difficulties in getting this relatively cost- and energy-efficient method to be used for the production of drinking water is not technical but primarily emotional. The recycled water is as pure and safe as normal tap water, but most people are still sceptical about actual drinking purified wastewater, says Staffan Filipsson.

In order to challenge producers and consumers preconceived notions about wastewater, and to acknowledge that wastewater can be part of the solution in the future, IVL contacted the New Carnegie Brewery in Hammarby Sjöstad, Stockholm and asked if they were interested in brewing a beer with recycled water.

The water used in the beer comes from IVL’s unique pilot and demonstration facility Hammarby Sjöstadsverk, where the water has passed through a chain of purification stages. After thorough lab testing, the water was delivered to New Carnegie Brewery and the brewing team took over. Four weeks later, PU:REST – Sweden’s first beer brewed on wastewater, saw the light of day.

When IVL shared their idea with us, we couldn’t resist the challenge. We share the view that both producers and consumers must dare to think differently if we are to successfully take care of Earth’s resources. The result is a crystal clear pilsner, brewed on recycled water with organic malt and hops, says Chris Thurgeson, brewmaster at New Carnegie Brewery.

PU:REST premier on May 25th at the New Carnegie Brewery in Hammarby Sjöstad, where among others, researchers from IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, will be attending to present the purification technique and talk about water issues in a global perspective. The beer will be available to order at Systembolaget by the 2nd of July. In addition, PU:REST will be available at selected restaurants and festivals, such as “Taste Stockholm”, 5-10th of June.

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