New Ballast Point beer made from airport’s recaptured water

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SAN DIEGO — Something new is brewing at San Diego International Airport.

The airport has partnered with Water Works, Inc., and Ballast Point Brewing Company to take recaptured water and turn it into a craft beer called SAN Test Pilot.

It all began back in 2014 when an airport worker noticed water dripping from air conditioning units connected to passenger boarding bridges. The airport began collecting the water as part of its water conservation effort.

“Initially they used it for cleaning, which is great,” San Diego City Councilman Mark Kersey said. “Then we realized, look, we could actually take this and turn it into something people can actually drink.”

That began the partnership that exists today: The water is collected at the airport, goes to Water Works and eventually finds its way to Ballast Point.

“We’re always playing around with water, malt, hops, different techniques,” Aaron Justice with Ballast Point said. Even so, he noted this particular technique is “rare.”

The airport currently captures about 100,000 gallons of water a year from 18 of the most busy terminal jet bridges. San Diego International Airport was one of the first airports in the country to capture water from air conditioning units and re-purpose it.

“Everything that we take and we’re able to treat and reuse, that’s just part of what’s always going on,” Kersey said. “If we can take it, it’s local, we take it and turn it into something that San Diego is obviously very well known for, which is craft beer. That’s a win for everybody.”

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