HVAC Breaking News: Beer brewed from AC condensate

Aaron Justus owner and co-founder of The East Village Brewing Company./Courtesy

This just in from the something you always wanted to have but didn’t know you wanted to have it department. Beer made with purified water from units attached to jet bridges at San Diego Airport.

It was announced Monday that San Diego International Airport (SAN) and The East Village Brewing Co. have released two beers made with purified condensate collected through the airport’s water stewardship program.

Hoppy Travels IPA is a West Coast IPA with flavors of grapefruit and guava and Pre-Flight Pils is a German-style pilsner with bready and lemon zest flavors. The beers are currently on tap at The East Village Brewing Co. and will be available at San Diego International Airport’s Terminal 2 in coming weeks.

The water used in the beers is condensate that dripped from the bottom of air conditioning units attached to jet bridges at SAN. The captured condensate was then purified using reverse osmosis and ozone disinfection and transported to The East Village Brewing Co. for its use. 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 used to clean equipment and vehicles at SAN, as well as in the cooling towers that control the temperature in the terminals.

“We 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,” said Kimberly Becker, president and CEO of San Diego County Regional Airport Authority.

“The beer was very successful, selling out almost immediately, and since then we’ve been interested in collaborating again,” Becker said. “The East Village Brewing Co.’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.”

Aaron Justus, brewer and owner of The East Village Brewing Co. said: “Wholesome ingredients, sustainability, and community are the core tenets of our brewery. 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.”

An East Village Brewing Co. spokesperson said it has an emphasis on sustainability, ensuring its operations, brewing practices, and final products limit the impact on the environment.

Some examples include sourcing hops and malt ingredients from certified Global GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) and Salmon Safe farms, providing their spent grain to a local farm for cow and pig feed, and sourcing all raw materials from companies located on the West Coast of the U.S. In addition, all water that runs through the heat exchanger is reclaimed and used for cleaning and brewing. Lights are low-energy LED and have either timers or motion sensors, and the brewery is paperless and does not use shrink wrap or other single-use plastics.

To learn more about The East Village Brewing Company, please visit eastvillagebrew.com.

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 San Diego 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.


Owned and operated by San Diego County Regional Airport Authority (Airport Authority), San Diego International Airport (SAN) is one of the busiest single-runway commercial service airports in the world and the third-busiest airport in California. SAN contributes nearly $12 billion in economic activity for the region by connecting the world to San Diego and San Diego to the world. In November 2021, the Airport Authority began construction on the New T1 which includes the replacement of the current Terminal 1, improvements to the airfield, improved transportation connectivity to the airport, and a new administration building. The New T1 program’s total project budget is $3.4 billion and is estimated to create between 15,000 to 20,000 construction-related jobs. For more information about the New T1 please visit newt1.com. For more information about SAN please visit san.org.

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