Dutch brewers embrace ‘lousy climate’ and turn rainwater into beer

The Dutch climate has always been an inspiration for jokes. But since rainwater can be turned into beer, maybe the weather conditions aren't that bad after all.

The Dutch climate has always been an inspiration for jokes. But since rainwater can be turned into beer, maybe the weather conditions aren’t that bad after all.

The Netherlands has one of the most rainy climates in Europe, and possibly the world. For many a reason to get depressed, but not for some brewers from Amsterdam. They saw the wet climate in a country, that has more than half of its territory below sea level, as a business opportunity. In brewery De Prael these opportunists turn liters of rainwater into beer. This bitter blond beer goes by the name Hemelswater, which means ‘Heaven’s Water’ in Dutch.

The new beer, made from real Dutch rainwater.

The new beer, made from real Dutch rainwater.

The Dutch rainwater is filtered extremely well, and brought to flavour with organic malted barley and wheat, hops and yeast. Hemelswater has a decent 5.7 alcohol percentage. Co-founder Joris Hoebe showed himself proud in an interview with The Guardian: “We get lousy summers and a lot of rain,” says 37-year-old Hoebe. “As a hobby, I was also brewing beer and noticed you need a lot of water. I was thinking, why don’t we put these two together: the abundance of rainwater and the need for water to brew beer?”

So far the brewers installed two tanks in the Dutch capital, but if it’s up to Hoebe it doesn’t end there. “In the next year, we want to scale up with hundreds of these tanks across the city, on (the roof space of) companies, restaurants and cafes. We want them to catch the water, we’ll put in sensors and when their tanks are full, we’ll collect the water with electric cars and filter it. We are thinking about making beer, sorbet, soup and lemonade.”

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