Stone Brewing made a bit of a splash in beer news last week.
At a private event held on March 16, Stone Brewing served up Full Circle Pale Ale, an exclusive brew created to promote Pure Water San Diego, a program seeking to provide a portion of the city’s water supply with local water using technology that turns recycled water into safe and high-quality drinking water.
The beer was brewed with purified reclaimed water and available exclusively at the Pure Stone event held at the brewing company’s World Bistro & Gardens — Liberty Station location. The intention, according to Stone, was to demonstrate responsible water usage in a region currently stricken with drought, and to reinforce Stone’s commitment to sustainability and the community.
However, after the public got wind of this special beer, rumors spread everywhere, with headlines from the likes of Grub Street, Thrillist, and VOA News claiming Stone’s beer is brewed with “toilet water,” and even the Late Late Show With James Corden speaking out about concerns over the “sewage water beer.”
Subsequently, Stone CEO and co-founder Greg Koch released a statement defending the beer and its purpose, as well as to explain that, no, the beer was not made with water contaminated with feces.
Firstly, Koch clarified, Full Circle Pale Ale is the only Stone beer that has ever been brewed with reclaimed water; no other beer from the company has been made using water recycled from people’s’ homes, offices, or otherwise.
Secondly, the beer was “brewed specifically for, and available exclusively at, the Pure Stone event.” It was never available to the public, and it’s not even available to politicians or VIPs anymore.
And more importantly, the reclaimed water used in the short-lived Full Circle Pale Ale, along with being cleaner than normal tap water, was a tasty example of the ways in which San Diego and other cities can utilize a sustainable water supply, benefitting both environment and community. (Learn more about the Pure Water San Diego Program here.)
“The safe and proven technology is intended to replace up to a third of San Diego’s water with recycled water by 2035,” Koch said in the statement. “Using this technology is nothing new. It’s used by regions all over the U.S., and all over the world.”
Koch also gave a shout out to Orange County, California, which is currently leading the nation in wastewater treatment, using a system similar to Pure Water San Diego for Orange County’s everyday drinking water.
“They’re setting a good standard for responsibility and what can be done when the community pulls their head out of their… well, you know,” Koch said. And finally, the statement concluded, “For the umpteenth time, our name is Stone Brewing, NOT Stone Brewery. Sheesh already.”