For example

28 October 2016

sales volume in the US, overall, was down 0.2 per cent in 2015. However, the sales volume for craft beer was up 12.8 per cent in the same period. It shouldn’t be much of a surprise to anyone—prolific growth across the US for microbreweries, brew pubs, tap rooms and even home brewing has been a hallmark of the last decade.

This summer the WateReuse Association, a national trade group representing the interests of utilities, launched a contest for more than 100 homebrewers to turn recycled water into their best-tasting beer, with cash prizes for the winners.

The New Water Brew Contest is PR gold for the association, which wants to show people that wastewater has value and can be purified to safely use for any purpose (industrial, manufacturing, power generation, agricultural irrigation), even drinking. The 1,250 gallons of water used in the contest was wastewater from homes and small businesses in the Tampa area. A series of advanced technologies were used to purify the water to make it safe for drinking and the recycled water was tested to ensure it met stringent water quality standards for drinking. In fact, the organizer boasts, the water is cleaner than most bottled water.

Each homebrewer received 10 gallons of purified water and was required to produce at least 12 bottles of beer (it takes 2 to 3 gallons of water to make one gallon of beer). Beers will be judged on September 10 in four categories based on the basic elements that make up beer – water, hops, malt and yeast. More than 100 homebrewers from the Tampa area are competing and two dozen certified beer tasters will determine the best-tasting beer from recycled water. The winning beers will also be eligible for the People’s Choice Award as attendees at the opening reception of the Annual WateReuse Symposium will have the opportunity to taste the beer and vote.

The experience brings to mind Tunnels & Tunnelling North America’s April issue in which David Eggers and Chris Mueller of Black & Veatch commented there is a lot the tunnelling industry can learn from the water industry about communicating the value of water. They encouraged tunnellers to widen their perspective, and taking a page from water, communicate outside the confines of the industry. This is excellent inspiration for communicating outside the industry. Who isn't going to skim the FAQs or a news story about the purification process and benefits of reuse in reference to beer? Let alone all those people brewing and sampling more than 100 different beers.