Until meteorologists discover a magical place on Earth where beer falls from the sky, a brewery in Amsterdam is getting about as close as anyone has come. The Netherland’s Brouwerij de Prael has just launched a new brew that is made from rainwater.
Thankfully, the beer – called Hemelswater, which translates to “Heaven’s Water” – doesn’t go direct from the brewery’s gutter into the bottle. The rainwater used for the 5.7 percent ABV blond get “ultra-filtered” first in a process that seems worthy of that adjective. The water is collected at the Amsterdam University of Applied Science by four students and a researcher from a startup development initiative known as MediaLAB Amsterdam. From there, the rain is run through a bacterial filtration system that, fittingly, is also called Hemelswater. Finally, the water is then boiled before being handed over to the brewery. After all that, I doubt the clouds would even recognize it.
Still, the point of making the beer isn’t to make a beer that states like rainwater. In fact, it tastes pretty much like most beers nowadays. “It’s a bitter blond, like an IPA,” Joris Hoebe, co-founder of the Hemelswater system, told The Guardian. “It’s quite bitter, fruity and soft.” Instead, the concept is all about raising awareness about Amsterdam’s increasingly heavy rainfall and the need to improve the city’s “sponge capacity” to hopefully reduce flooding.
For the beer’s first batch, 1,000 liters of rainwater were collected in two giant tanks. “In the next year, we want to scale up with hundreds of these tanks across the city, on [the roof space of] companies, restaurants and cafes,” Hoebe was quoted as saying. “We want them to catch the water, we’ll put in sensors and when their tanks are full, we’ll collect the water with electric cars and filter it. We are thinking about making beer, sorbet, soup and lemonade.”
Whoa, whoa, whoa… Soup and lemonade? Why not just stick with beer? I thought they wanted to put this rainwater to good use!