From unfiltered German wheat beers to New England–style IPAs, many beer styles are known for their cloudy appearance, but Scotland’s Innis & Gunn has gone literally above and beyond with Sky P.A., a new beer made with water from actual clouds.
NBC News reported on Tuesday that U.K.-based Innis & Gunn (located mainly in Edinburgh, though brewed in various locations) has released a new pale ale, Sky P.A., using water harvested from clouds above Moffat, Scotland, which, according to Innis & Gunn, originated above the Atlantic Ocean.
The concept is not entirely new — in July, Amsterdam-based brewery Brouwerij de Prael launched a beer made with rainwater after installing two large tanks at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, using a special bacterial filtration system developed by a start-up research initiative called MediaLAB Amsterdam. (The beer, called Hemelswater—which is also the name of the filtration system — is a 5.7 percent ABV blonde ale that is “bitter, fruity, and soft,” the Guardian reported.)
And as far back as August 2009, Atlanta, Georgia–based 5 Seasons Restaurant and Brewery partnered with RainHarvest Systems to produce beers made entirely with rainwater, using a six-step filtration system installed right at the brewery location, according to a press release.
What makes Innis & Gunn’s water-vapor beer unique is that, rather than collecting rainwater as it falls to the ground, the device used was airborne, sucking moisture directly from the clouds.
Innis & Gunn CEO and master brewer, Dougal Sharp told NBC News, "It tasted like good, clean brewing water. We're very pleased with the [beer] flavor, we're very pleased with the way it turned out."
Currently, 500 pints of Sky P.A. are available. Not surprisingly, Sharp said another release of the beer is unlikely, since the beer-making process for Sky P.A. is pricier than that of Innis & Gunn’s beers made with plain old H2O. However, with devices like VICI-Labs’ WaterSeer, developed in partnership with UC Berkeley and the National Peace Corps Association, literally pulling potable water out of thin air, we have hope for more cloud beers yet.