Craft beer is having a real moment. Whether it’s infused with savoury favourites like toast or lollies (there is a Redskin beer FYI), or brewed from a more unusual form of yeast (don’t ask), there’s no denying the humble hops are keeping people hopping. However, there is one variety that’s worthy of a mention, and that’s Sweden’s sewage beer.
Sewage beer is made from recycled sewer water and despite it’s charming nickname of “crap beer”, it’s perfectly safe to drink. PERFECTLY. The Swedish call it bajsöl and the project isn’t just for a laugh, it’s a collaboration between Sweden’s Nya Carnegiebryggeriet (New Carnegie Brewery), parent company Carlsberg, and the Swedish Environmental Research Institute (IVL).
Naturally sewage beer is an attention grabbing idea, and that was exactly what the brewers wanted. You see, the IVL had been trying to solve the world’s clean drinking water problem for years and had found a way to treat and recycle sewer water until it was safe to drink, but no one wanted to drink “poo water”. So they turned it into an eco-friendly beer!
PU:REST beer is the brain child of the sustainability champions and beer loves and it’s a tasty (no lingering ~tastes~ we swear), 4.8% pilsner brewed made from organic hops, organic malt, and recycled wastewater.
“It was a no-brainer to brew PU:REST as an ecological and crystal clear pilsner since it’s a pure and ‘naked’ style of beer.” - Head brewer Chris Thurgeson
The project is not only hoping to draw attention to the clean drinking water plight too many people around the world face, but also try to innovate the brewing scene and show other beer companies how they can reduce their impact on the environment. Head brewer Chris Thurgeson told Lonely Planet that it’s a two pronged approach: “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.”
Right sewage beer is only available in Sweden, but Carlsberg have started rolling out a company-wide initiative called “Together Toward Zero” which aims to slash the company’s water use in half by 2030. So far, sewage beer is helping make that happen!