Food, Travel and Tech

I tried beer made from recycled dirty shower water—here's my honest review

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When it comes to picking a beer, I'm not exactly a snob.

Got a 25-ounce can of Bud Light? Hand it over. A chilled glass of Stella? Yes please. Is that a borderline room temperature Genesee Cream? Don't mind if I do.

So when I read my colleague Ashton's report about the Bill Gates-backed startup brewing beer made with wastewater from showers, sinks and laundry machines in a luxury apartment building, I was intrigued.

Epic OneWater Brew boasts that its beer is brewed using "highly purified recycled water."

The wastewater from San Francisco's Fifteen Fifty apartment building is collected and passed through a series of "ultrafiltration membranes." After that, it's treated with chlorine and ultraviolet light. The end result, they say, is clean, drinkable water.

I'd never guess that it was made using wastewater from a building where a studio will run you $3,250 a month.

It's a filtration process that earned Epic Cleantec funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's "Reinvent the Toilet Challenge," with an end result meant to highlight "the untapped potential of water reuse," according to CEO Aaron Tartakovsky.

That all sounds well and good. But the real question is: how does beer made from recycled shower water taste?

As fun as it would be to say that there's an unmistakable hint of sweat and body odor in the Kölsch-style ale, I have to admit that the brew just tastes like normal beer.

If you handed me a glass of this, I'd never guess that it was made using the wastewater from a building where a studio will run you $3,250 a month.

It's clean and drinkable. If you're a fan of Kölsch-style brews, you'll probably like this beer.

Not that you can try it for yourself. The company isn't allowed to sell the beer due to pesky regulations surrounding the sale of recycled wastewater.

But if and when the day comes that beer made from filtered wastewater hits store shelves, I'll be happy to grab a six-pack.

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