East Village Brewing Uses Purified Water from Airport in Special Craft Beer Releases

Water Works San Diego Airport
The craft beers produced with the airport condensate. Photo credit: @EastVillageBrewing via Facebook

San Diego International Airport has collaborated with a local brewer and a firm specializing in water purification to release a special craft beer.

The East Village Brewing Company, with help from Water Works, Inc. in Kearny Mesa has produced beer made with purified condensate collected through the airport’s water stewardship program.

A new seasonal beer, Cruising Ale-titude, is a honey ale with floral, honey and cracker flavors. An earlier release, Hoppy Travels IPA, dropped in December 2022. It’s a West Coast IPA with hints of grapefruit and guava. 

The beers are currently on tap at the East Village Brewing Company and also are available at concessions in Terminal 2. 

The water used in the beers is condensate that drips from the bottom of air conditioning units attached to jet bridges at the airport. Water Works, Inc. captures and purifies the condensate using ozone disinfection before transporting it to East Village Brewing.

The condensate water has a pure water profile with little mineral content, making the reclaimed water an ideal base for brewers. In addition to making beer, the water is used to clean equipment and vehicles at the airport as well as in the cooling towers that control the temperature in the terminals.

The airport first partnered with the brewery in 2019 when they brewed a beer called SAN Test Pilot and then again in 2022 when they produced an IPA and a Pilsner using the condensate. Both batches sold out almost immediately, said Kimberly Becker, the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority’s president and CEO, leading to the continued in collaboration.

“The East Village Brewing Company’s and Water Works’ focus on sustainability aligns with our efforts at the airport and we are happy to have the opportunity to showcase this reclaimed water innovatively with their help,” she said.

Aaron Justus, East Village Brewing’s owner and brewer, said, “It’s great to partner again with the airport, a pillar within our community filled with passionate and fun people.”

“The condensate water is naturally superbly pure and ideal for brewing,” he added. “Plus, water reclamation is a creative way to reduce our water footprint here in San Diego.”

The East Village Brewing Company places an emphasis on sustainability, ensuring its operations, brewing practices and final products limit impacts on the environment. Some examples include sourcing hops and malt ingredients from certified Global GAP and Salmon Safe farms, providing their spent grain to a local farm for cow and pig feed, and sourcing all raw materials from companies located on the West Coast.

In addition, all water that runs through the heat exchanger during the brewing process is reclaimed and used for cleaning and brewing,

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