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County wastewater turns into prize-winning - beer?

Winners of Pure Water Brew Competition announced in Beaverton

COURTESY PHOTOS - Certified Beer Judges Dave Hayes and Bill Schneller join Clean Water Services board chairman Andy Duyck to select the winners at Saturdays Pure Water Brew competition.  Winners of Saturday’s Pure Water Brew Competition in Beaverton — a one-of-a-kind challenge to homebrewers to create beer using highly purified water that came directly from a wastewater treatment plant — were announced Monday.

The winning Pure Water Brew was a German Pilsner created by Dean Ehnes.

The competition was a unique public/private collaboration of the Oregon Brew Crew, Clean Water Services and Carollo Engineers to get people talking about water, said Mark Jockers, government and public affairs manager for Clean Water Services.

The water used to make the beer came from CWS’ wastewater treatment plant in Forest Grove and was run through a high purity water treatment system to clean it “above and beyond the most stringent drinking water standards,” Jockers said. After purification, the water was offered to Portland-area homebrewers, who used it to brew beer for the Oregon Brew Crew’s groundbreaking Pure Water Brew competition Aug. 29 at Raccoon Lodge & Brew Pub.

Twenty-five brewers crafted more than a dozen styles of beer to be judged.

Winners were announced following a tasting on Saturday by judges from the local community, including Andy Duyck, chairman of Clean Water Services’ board of directors and the Washington County Commission, and Art Larrance, owner of Cascade Brewing and co-founder of the Oregon Brewers Festival.

The four winners announced today, and their respective winning beers, are:

  • Best in show, Dean Ehnes, German Pilsner
  • Second place, Jenn McPoland, Cascadia Dark Ale
  • Third place, Douglas Franz, Belgian Pale Ale
  • Fourth place, Will Minderhout, Munich Helles
  • The “Best in Show” winner received $150, while the other three brewers took home prizes of $100 each. Every brewer in the competition received $20 to offset the cost of their beers’ ingredients. In addition, the four winning beers will travel to Seattle for the WateReuse Symposium and to Chicago for WEFTEC, the world’s largest water quality exhibition.

    “The concept of reusing water is nothing new. All water we use has at one point been consumed and will be consumed again,” noted Jockers. “The water you drink from the faucet today is the same water that fell from the sky when dinosaurs walked the earth.”

    “The not-so-dirty little secret is that all water on the planet is reused,” said Duyck. “No matter where it comes from, we should be judging our water by its quality, not by its history.”

    In recent years, Oregon has gained a global reputation as a beer lover’s paradise. Oregonians consumed almost 3 million barrels of beer in 2014 and 20 percent of that beer was brewed in the state. Portland has the most microbreweries of any city in the world, and brewing in Oregon has grown into a $2.83 billion industry.

    Sponsors of the competition were Carollo Engineering, a national environmental engineering firm that produces water treatment systems and the Oregon Brew Crew, one of the oldest and largest home brewing associations in the country.