Life in prison can't be fun. One of the most common ways to escape the four walls surrounding you is "Prison Wine", a rudimentary alcohol that unusually brewed in the cell's toilet.

Man sits in a jail cell
Credit: Canva

While this method is primarily only practiced in prison (I wonder why), one brewery in the Valley is keeping the tradition alive on the outside... sort of.

Desert Monks' Toilet Beer

In 2019, Desert Monks Brewing Co. opened its doors in Gilbert, AZ. The brewery had found relative success in the metropolitan area, but early on, they decided to make a change to their formula.

Bartender pours a pint
Credit: Canva

Instead of using the normal filtered water to brew their refreshments, Desert Monks began using purified waste water. Yes, THAT waste water. For the past 20 years, Scottsdale has purified their sewage water, which allowed Desert Monks to use it for their brewing without fear of contaminants.

While many are still grossed out at the idea (many beers are brewed the normal way, don't worry) many have found the sewage beer to have a strong flavor profile no different from any other craft beer.

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Why Reused Sewage is Helping Arizona

A sewage treatment plant
Credit: Canva

No, Desert Monks didn't create a "toilet beer" just because they felt like it, they wanted to become trendsetters. They heard that Scottsdale was looking for breweries to test out purified waste water, and jumped right in.

A woman drinking a glass of water
Credit: Canva

The goal is to prove that purified sewage water is still water. With Arizona losing more and more water every year, recycling water may be the only way to stay hydrated soon. It's hoped that this experiment has been a success, and if so, the city of Scottsdale plans to put recycled water straight to the taps as soon as 2027.

[Desert Monks Brewing Co.]


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