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The future of Czech brewing? Meet the sewer beer

The future of Czech brewing? Meet the sewer beer

The 21st annual Water Supplies-Sewage exhibition took place at PVA Expo Praha in Letnany a couple of weeks ago; it would prove to be a rather unusual venue for the rollout of a new way of brewing Czech beer.

One of the exhibitors, Pivovar Čížová, in co-operation with Veolia ČR, a company devoted to water, energy, and waste management, debuted a revolutionary new beer, the first of its kind in the Czech Republic, made from purified, recycled water.

Fifteen hectoliters of the light bottom-fermented, unfiltered, unpasteurized lager, dubbed ERKO 12, was brewed using water from the Prague sewage treatment plant, cleaned by Veolia.

Speaking to Czech news server iDnes.cz, Martin Hrubeš of Čížová brewery said: “We knew that they had done something like this once or twice in the world, and we didn’t find a single reason not to try it out for us. The result exceeded our expectations.”

Water was removed from the treatment plant by a combination of membrane technology and activated carbon treatment.

According to Veolia business director, Ondřej Beneš, a number of large brewing groups use similar technologies for water treatment, but they are not water directly from a wastewater treatment plant.

The exhibitors say that while it is “certainly cheaper to use groundwater directly in the brewery” the aim of the event was to demonstrate that it is possible to treat biologically and chemically purified water to a quality that is cleaner than normal underground water.

Breweries are trying to reduce their water consumption over the long term.