Orchid Island Brewery pulls the base water for its beer from humid Florida air

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The ground water in Florida doesn’t taste great. And water is the main ingredient in beer. Hops, malt, yeast … fruit and whatever else you add are all depending on the water to let their flavors shine.

At Orchid Island Brewery, rather than use tap or bring in purified water, Alden Bing decided to invest in a little-used technology that is catching the attention of the industry: condensers. Pretty similar to an air conditioner, the condensing unit at Orchid Island Brewery pulls in the humid air of south Florida and extract the water.

Alden then adds back in the minerals and salts to mimic drinking water, adjusting the amounts to mimic the chemical makeup of water in whatever part of the world the beer he’s brewing is from. If he’s brewing a Munich-style lager, he looks up the chemical composition of water in Munich and matches his neutral from-the-air water to that profile.

Catherine Neville