Beer Made From River Water? It’ll Be Available in Boston

A Boston brewery is sourcing water from the Charles River for this exclusive pale ale
Harpoon Brewery

Photo Harpoon Brewery Modified: Flickr/Henry Zbyszynski/CC 4.0

The Harpoon Brewery is located in Boston.

Would you drink beer made with water from a river? A brewery in Boston is making beer out of H20 from the Charles River.

Harpoon Brewery in the Seaport District of Boston is making a Charles River Pale Ale for a limited time this week. And if river water sounds disgusting, don’t worry — the water is being desalinated by Desalitech, a water desalination company in Newton, Massachusetts.

The brewery is using 300 gallons of water from the river to make 18 kegs of beer for the Harpoon beer hall.

The water was purified by Desalitech using a high-recovery, reverse osmosis process. The beer itself will have two-row pale malt, caramel malt, wheat, and a hop called “challenger” from England.

“The Charles River wasn’t that much of a challenge,” Desalitech chief executive Nadav Efraty told The Boston Globe. “It was very easy for us to treat it to a level of water product standards.”


The beer was inspired by HUBweek, a week-long series of events in October during which creative minds discuss innovative ideas in science and technology. HUBweek attendees will get a chance to sample the Charles River Pale Ale at one of the events.