San Diego Airport collaborates with local businesses to release purified beers

By SDCN Editor

San Diego, CA–The San Diego International Airport, Water Works, Incorporated, and The East Village Brewing Company celebrated the production of beers made with purified condensate collected through the airport’s water stewardship program. 

Initially released in December 2022, Hoppy Travels IPA is a West Coast IPA with flavors of grapefruit and guava. A new seasonal release, Cruising Ale-titude is a honey ale with flavors of floral, honey, and cracker. The beers are currently on tap at The East Village Brewing Company and are also 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 The East Village Brewing Company. 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.

“We first partnered with the brewers of The East Village Brewing Company 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,” said Kimberly Becker, president and CEO of San Diego County Regional Airport Authority. “Both batches from 2019 and 2022 were very successful, selling out almost immediately, and since then we’ve been interested in collaborating again.” 

The East Village Brewing Company has an emphasis on sustainability, ensuring its operations, brewing practices, and final products limit the impact 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 of the U.S. In addition, all water that runs through the heat exchanger is reclaimed and used for cleaning and brewing, lights are low energy LED and have either timers or motion sensors, cleaners and hand soap for tasting rooms and bathrooms are earth friendly. The brewery is paperless and does not use shrink wrap or other single-use plastics. 

“Wholesome ingredients, sustainability, and community are the core tenets of our brewery,” said Aaron Justus, The East Village Brewing Company Owner and Brewer. “This collaboration checks all three boxes. 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. Plus, water reclamation is a creative way to reduce our water footprint here in San Diego.”

Water Works has over 20 years of experience in designing, building, and installing industrial water systems for Life Science companies in California. The Water Works team applies its extensive experience in membrane purification to design drought and conservation-focused solutions, from 100% RO recovery systems to dynamically operated cooling and softening systems that save millions of gallons of water per year. Their reputation for conservation has made Water Works a clear choice for 2 LEED Platinum laboratories in California. They use technologies such as computer-controlled infra-red fusion to deliver the highest purity weld, ensuring the longevity and microbial control of the ultra-pure water systems.  

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