Earlier this month, I traveled to Arizona for the culmination the AZ Pure Water Brew Challenge.

If you’re not familiar with this initiative, please check it out! It’s an innovative project that won the AZ Community Foundation’s Water Prize last year, and we’ve been thrilled to be a key project partner during its implementation.  The basic idea was that cities across AZ “donated” reclaimed water which was treated by the Pure Brew team and distributed to brewers statewide to demonstrate the safety and viability of potable reuse technology.

In the end, 26 brewers from across Arizona submitted their pure water brews for judging by the American Home Brewers Association. The winner was announced at a tasting and celebration event held at the National WateReuse Symposium in Phoenix. About 300 Symposium attendees gathered to try the delicious beers made for the Challenge and cheers the big winner Dragoon Brewing Co from Tucson.

Dragoon chose to make a Bohemian-style Pilsner, named Clear Water Pilsner, for the Challenge because it’s a really simple beer with few ingredients that requires extremely high-quality water, like the Pure Water made with its advanced purification system. This beer drove our message home for Arizonans that reclaimed water really can be made safe to drink and delicious to taste.

AZ Wilderness Brewing from Gilbert received the second-place prize for their Double IPA. No surprise here with how much the craft brew community is loving hoppy IPAs lately. Crooked Tooth Brewing from Tucson took home the People’s Choice Award for their Cloud People Tamarind Sour Brown Ale. This was arguably the most unique beer in the challenge and the people loved it!

So, while the competition is complete, the project will continue. The next stop is Bisbee for the Bisbee 1,000 Beer Festival. We’re excited to get down to the southeastern part of the state to engage a whole new group of people in conversations about water reuse.  And after Arizona, let’s find more states to sponsor pure brew challenges of their own!

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Danielle McPherson is WaterNow Alliance's Water Resource Specialist and Project Manager.

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