Once again, my friend Ed has alerted me to a news story, this one about a microbrewery in Atlanta that collects rainwater to make beer out of. Yes, there’s CNN drivel that you have to wade through and the story isn’t all that deep but it’s still interesting to me. In addition, given the presence of Hopworks and Roots I question the claim that the Atlanta brewery is the only ‘green’ one. But that aside it’s still an interesting practice that I wonder how many other breweries use.
Considering how precious water is and how much of it I use to make my own beer, water usage is something that’s on my mind quite often. I need it not just to make beer but to clean all my equipment and cool the wort to a temperature I can pitch yeast to. The quality of water matters; it is the main ingredient in beer, after all, and having clean water makes a difference. That’s not even discussing how water from different areas can affect the style of beer one makes. Being in Portland I’m lucky; our water quality is excellent but I use a fair share of it. It adds up; this is potable water I’m using and while I understand it’s a recyclable resource, it isn’t infinite.
I’ve been doing things like trying to re-use my cooling water for washing clothes but collecting rainwater is taking it to the next level, to be certain. In Portland that might even be a reasonable source of water for more than a few batches of beer as it rains here often enough during the winter and spring. Maybe when I have my own house I’ll be able to set something like that up. I like the idea quite a bit.