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Another round, please


Beer is certainly one of Canada's most popular beverages, and breweries constantly strive to bring new and perhaps improved variations of this age-old beverage. First invented by the Sumerians, who lived in what is now Iraq, around 8,000 BCE, beer was a great alternative to available water, which in many cases was not drinkable.

Well, it seems we are returning to our original routes, at least in one case. It is called the Epic OneWater Brew, and it is a kölsch-style beer, made from recycled wastewater. Now, does that sound yummy?

Crafted as a collaboration between a San Francisco water recycling company called Epic Cleantec and the Northern California-based beer maker Devil's Canyon Brewing Company, the Epic OneWater Brew was reportedly made from grey water. For those not familiar with the term' grey water', it is a process by which used water from dishes, laundry, bathroom showers and sink water, is currently recycled to water gardens, plants, etc.

The companies wanted to create something unique, which would be viewed as fun, make money and help the environment.

Matthew Canton, a writer for the Guardian, tested the beer and found it pretty tasty. He described it as "pleasant," "crisp" and "drinkable." He added there were no hints of shower or laundry. To me, this seems an improvement over light, American beer, which has often been compared to 'dishwater'.

The company chose a kölsch-style beer because it was more universally liked, as compared to an IPA, for example. No doubt, there was a great deal of skepticism when the concept was first introduced, but a representative for the company explained how 99 percent of tasters were very positive about the result.

You might ask how safe this stuff is. The owners claim the product might actually be safer for consumers than other beers, due to the rigorous testing process they require. Many breweries install massive filtration systems, but not all, especially in the US, where regulations are limited.

The entire concept is certainly a step in an environmentally concerned direction, especially with the rising water crisis. This stuff is not available in Canada yet, but I look forward to the day my dishwasher doubles as a tasty keg.


Jonathan van Bilsen is a television host, award-winning photographer, published author, columnist and keynote speaker. His show, 'The Jonathan van Bilsen Show,' on RogersTV, the Standard Website or YouTube, features many of the people included in this column.

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