Competition challenged home brewers to create beer with water drawn from the Tualatin River
Winners of the Pure Water Brew Competition — a challenge to home brewers to create the best-tasting beer with water drawn from the Tualatin River—were announced. The winning beer was a Vox Max Belgian created by Ted Assur.
The competition was a public/private collaboration of the Oregon Brew Crew, Clean Water Services and Carollo Engineers to get people talking about water.
In June, 1,000 gal of water were pulled from the Tualatin River immediately downstream from Clean Water Services' Durham wastewater treatment facility in Tigard, Ore., where the flow is 30% effluent. The water was put through Clean Water Services’ high-purity water treatment system to clean it beyond drinking water standards. After purification, the water was offered to Portland-area home brewers who used it to brew beer for the Oregon Brew Crew’s Pure Water Brew competition, held at ABV Public House in Hillsboro. Thirteen brewers crafted 16 styles of beer to be judged.
Winners were announced Saturday following a tasting by judges from the local community, including Andy Duyck, chairman of Clean Water Services and the Washington County Commission, and Art Larrance, founder of Cascade Brewing.
Sponsors of the competition were Carollo Engineers, 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.
The four winners and their respective winning beers, are:
- Best in Show: Ted Assur, Vox Max Belgian;
- Second Place: Jeremie Landers, German pilsner;
- Third Place: Mike Marsh, single grain saison; and
- Fourth Place: Nick Dahl, kolsch.
The Assur 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 New Orleans on Sept. 28 for the national WateReuse Assn.’s One Water Innovations gala at WEFTEC.
Clean water is the most important ingredient in beer and makes up more than 90% of its content. The historic German beer purity law Reinheitsgebot allows only four ingredients, all natural, in the brewing process: water, hops, barley and yeast.
As drought conditions continue to threaten sources of clean water in across the West, many communities are instituting conservation measures as well as reconsidering how they can purify water.