Good Beer Hunting

no. 392

Purity Waste Water.jpg

There I was, expecting my visit to Purity Brewing Company—way out in the Warwickshire countryside, a few miles south of Birmingham in England's Midlands—to be more or less like any other. And sure, I spent plenty of time gawking at steel tanks and the shiny Braukon brewhouse that sits at the heart of the operation. I enjoyed greeting a few of the Longhorn cattle that give their name to the brewery's IPA—Purity sits on the farm these cows call home—while I enjoyed a pour of Lawless Pilsner straight from the brite tank.

But what I wasn't expecting to discover was the remarkable way in which the brewery recycles the wastewater created during each brew cycle. Just a few paces along a muddy path from the brewery itself and you'll find yourself amongst reed beds comprised of willow trees.

And you'll smell them long before you see them, but at the end of the path is a network of small ponds. The first holds the effluent (hence, the aroma) that runs straight from the brewery. But the second, which has been filtered through the roots of the young willows, is bubbling with a foam created by the microflora within the pool. By the time we reach the fourth and final pool, not only do we see water returning to the surrounding ecosystem, but we're rewarded with a stunning view of the surrounding countryside that stretches well beyond. You learn something new every day.