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SAN DIEGO — The San Diego International Airport teamed up with the East Village Brewing Company to create a two beers with purified condensate collected through the airport’s water stewardship program.

How does this work?

The water used in the beers is condensate that dripped from the bottom of air conditioning units attached to jet bridges at SAN, the airport explained in a press release. From there, the captured condensate was then purified using reverse osmosis and ozone disinfection.

The water was then transported to the East Village Brewing Company for its use. SAN said the condensate water has a pure water profile with little mineral content, making the reclaimed water an ideal base for brewers.

In addition to making beer, the water is also used to clean equipment and vehicles at the airport and in the cooling towers that control the temperature in the terminals, the press released explained.

“The East Village Brewing Company’s focus on sustainability aligns with our efforts at the airport and we are happy to have the opportunity to showcase this reclaimed water innovatively with their help, said Kimberly Becker, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority President & CEO. Cheers to another successful collaboration!”

The airport first partnered with the brewers of the East Village Brewing Company in 2019 when they brewed a beer called SAN Test Pilot using the condensate while working at another local brewery. Becker said the beer was very successful and sold out quickly.

The beers explained

The two newly announced creations are the Hoppy Travels IPA, a West Coast IPA with flavors of grapefruit and guava, and the Pre-Flight Pils which is a German-style pilsner with bready and lemon zest flavors. Their profiles can be seen below:

Hoppy Travels IPA
Style: West Coast IPA
ABV: 7.0% | IBU: 75 | SRM: 3
Aroma: Guava, orange juice, fresh-cut basil
Flavor: Grapefruit, guava
Mouthfeel/Finish: Dry, sharply bitter, resinous

Brewer’s Beer Description:

“Hoppy Travels was brewed with water from air conditioner condensate collected at terminals in San Diego International Airport. This water is extremely soft and clean to allow for a pleasantly dry finish in this beer. El Dorado, Mosaic, and Citra hops were layered throughout the brewing process to create a textured flavor and aroma. Citrus and tropical fruits are immediately on the nose. Pithy grapefruit and ripe guava are dominant on the palette. This beer has a bitter, dry, and resinous finish that is the hallmark of West Coast IPAs. It’s a delight to drink!”

Pre-Flight Pilsner
Style: German-style Pilsner
ABV: 5.7% | IBU: 40 | SRM: 2
Aroma: Freshly baked bread, lemon, apricot
Flavor: Lemon zest, bready
Mouthfeel/Finish: Effervescent, dry, crisp, medium bitterness

Brewer’s Beer Description:
“Preflight Pils were brewed with water from air conditioner condensate collected at terminals in SanDiego International Airport. This water is superbly clean with low mineral content, which is perfect for lagers. Malt from Admiral Maltings in Alameda, CA provides the traditional soft-bready flavors found in Pilsner. Saaz hops sourced from Elk Mountain Farms in Bonners Ferry, ID is delicate with subtle citrus and floral notes. This beer has a sharp bite up front, but finishes crisp, dry, and clean – it’s sure to delight beer drinkers of all kinds.”

The brewery

The East Village Brewing Company has an emphasis on sustainability, SAN explained. The brewery’s operations, practices and products aim to help limit the impact on the environment.

Some ways in which they do this is by sourcing hops and malt ingredients from certified Global GAP and Salmon Safe farms, providing their spent grain to a local farm for animal feed, and sourcing all raw materials from companies located on the West Coast, the press released noted.

“Wholesome ingredients, sustainability and community are the core tenets of our brewery,” said Aaron Justus, the East County Brewing Company Owner and Brewer. “This collaboration checks all three boxes. It’s great to partner again with airport, a pillar within our community filled with passionate and fun people. The condensate water is superbly pure and ideal for brewing. Plus, it’s no secret that California is in the midst of a long-term drought, so water reclamation is a creative way to reduce our water footprint here in San Diego.”

The beers are currently on tap at the East Village Brewing Company and will be available at San Diego International Airport’s Terminal 2 in the coming weeks.