Hey Look, Someone’s Already Made Beer Out Of Sewage Water

Yesterday we told you about an Oregon water treatment company asking permission from the state to let them demonstrate the potability of their end-product by allowing brewers to use their cleaned-up, recycled water in the making of beer. But it looks like one homebrew enthusiast (and wastewater engineer) in Wisconsin is already doing just that.

Consumerist reader Greg pointed us to this recent story from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel about a wastewater engineer with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources who has been using wastewater plant effluent to make his own beer, enticingly dubbed “Activated Sludge” wheat ale (5.15% ABV, if you’re curious).

The amateur brewer, who cooks up his beers while the kids are sleeping, says he chlorinates, dechlorinates, filters, distills, and tests the water — along with adding nutrients — before using it to make his Sludge.

He recently put his beer up against a more traditional beer before a a taste panel at Milwaukee’s Lakefront Brewery. There was some good-natured ribbing, but one of the tasters said Activated Sludge was “one of the better home brews I’ve ever had.”

The part-time brewer, full-time engineer says he “wanted to raise awareness of the quality of plant effluent” by making the beer, which clearly states on the bottle’s label that it was “brewed with purified MMSD [Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District] wastewater plant effluent.”

And while he has no problem demonstrating his sense of humor with the Activated Sludge name, the beer’s creator chose to not make a darker porter or stout “so people wouldn’t associate the beer with wastewater.”

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