Hemelswater Makes Beer From Rain On Urban Rooftops

  • Climate change makes it rain more often and more heavily in Western Europe’s low countries. At the same time the streets of our cities are completely paved, leaving no room for water to drain. This causes increasing urban flooding issues. But there is a solution, and it’s called beer.

    The Amsterdam-based brewery Hemelswater has started to collect water from rooftops in the city to make beer from. Their first beer is called Code Blond and is collected from the roof of the Volkshotel building in Amsterdam. The name Code Blond refers to the weather forecasting codes that indicate dangerous weather expectations such as storm, snowfall and heavy rainfall in the Netherlands. As a consequence of the changing weather conditions these weather alarms are being used more often than in the past.

    For brewing beer large amounts of water are needed, so using rain water is a win-win situation according to initiator Joris Hoebe. With his rain water beer he hopes to draw attention to climate change and make people aware about what they can do themselves to make the city rainproof.

    Brewing beer from rain water requires the same proces as brewing it with normal tap water, but the taste is slightly different. “Rain-based beers are a bit more soft and taste a slightly more bitter, making it more intense”, according to Thomas Gesink of De Prael brewery in Amsterdam. Besides brewing beer, Hemelswater also offers a special gin tonic made from rain. In the future the company plans to experiment with different rain water products, such as ice cream and soup.