Stone Brewery's Pat Tiernan (left) with Mayor Kevin Faulconer. Photo by Chris Jennewein
Stone Brewery’s Pat Tiernan (left) and Mayor Kevin Faulconer toast with beer made from 100 percent recycled water. Photo by Chris Jennewein

San Diego’s largest brewery demoed craft beer Thursday made with 100 percent recycled water and the city’s leading beer fan proclaimed it “fantastic.”

“It is fantastic,” said Mayor Kevin Faulconer after sipping the beer at the Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station. “There’s no better way to highlight the purity of this water.”

Stone, the nation’s ninth largest brewer, produced five barrels of the beer using water trucked in from the city’s Pure Water demonstration plant in Miramar.

“Stone has a long history of sustainability,” said Chief Operating Officer Pat Tiernan, adding that he welcomed having a stable supply of recycled water for his beer production.

He said changing sources of water during the long California drought posed challenges for his breweries because each required different processing. Water from the Colorado River, the state water project and the Carlsbad desalination plant has different properties, he noted.

The demo was part of the city’s ambitious, $3 billion project to get a third of its water from advanced recycling, with a goal of 30 million gallons a day by 2021.

City Councilman Chris Cate, whose district is home to most of San Diego’s craft breweries, said those businesses would welcome the recycled water and he hoped it could be made available sooner.

“There’s an opportunity for the city to actually get to the 30 million gallons a day sooner,” he said.

Steve Gonzalez, Stone’s senior manager of brewing and innovation, said the recycled water needed only the addition of some salts to be perfect for brewing.

For the test, he brewed a “straightforward beer” with three malts and three different hops, including two exotic ones from New Zealand to add a “tropical final note.”

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.