Radegast (part of Plzeňský Prazdroj, an Asahi Europe & International subsidiary) was the first brewery in Central Europe to brew beer from water extracted from humidity in the air. The water was collected and treated thanks to a unique device developed by scientists from the Czech Technical University in Prague. The intention of this special project is to draw attention to the loss of water in nature, further the dialog, ambition and action for water conservation. The Radegast brewery has long been among the breweries with the lowest specific water consumption in the world and we are constantly looking for other ways to save this vital resource and return it to nature.
In recent years, it has been raining less often in the Czech Republic, but more intensely. In addition, there is a permanent increase in temperatures and thus an increase in water evaporation from the landscape. "In the Czech Republic, what doesn't rain here, we don't have. We are the 'roof of Europe' and 98 percent of the water that flows away from us in rivers comes from precipitation that fell on the territory of the Czech Republic. We must therefore learn to retain the water that rains here, because we cannot replace it with what flows to us from the surrounding countries. Water in the landscape is essential not only for vegetation and animals, but it is also of irreplaceable importance for cooling the landscape. Without water, our landscape would be just an overheated desert in the summer," explains Libor Ansorge, Deputy Director of the Water Management Research, TG Masaryk Institute
Our Radegast Brewery has been drawing attention to the issue of water retention in nature for a long time. Now he has intensified his activity and comes with a symbolic beer brewed from the air. Radegast Futur is a lager that is characterized by a very high bitterness of over 60 Bitterness Units (IBU). Most Czech lagers have a bitterness of around 30 IBU. "Futur lager is proof that beer could be brewed in this way, but at the same time it is a message that we definitely do not want a future without water in Radegast. That is why we deal with the reduction of its consumption and the protection of water resources in the long term and we support projects that are dedicated to retaining water in the landscape. Since 2015, we have invested over 7 million crowns in them," says Petr Klíma, Radegast Senior Brand Manager.
Radegast Futur has only been brewed in symbolic quantities and will not be sold through retail channels. People will be able to taste it on tap at this year's Radegast day, which takes place on August 26 at the brewery in Nošovice, and they will be able to win several bottles as part of competitions on the brand’s social networks.
The technological device for extracting water from the air was created in cooperation between the Czech Technical University UCEEB and the Karbox company. "EWA is a unique device that is able to obtain water even in a very dry and hot environment. It is primarily intended as an emergency source of drinking water, for example, for components of the rescue system in very dry areas. It can get about 35 liters of water per day in the driest and hottest places in the world. However, for industrial beer production, obtaining water in such conditions would be impossible or at least very expensive", says Tomáš Matuška, head of the SAWER team at the Czech Technical University UCEEB, who participated in the development of the device. EWA is built on the same technology as the unique SAWER device, which CTU UCEEB developed for the production of water for the Czech pavilion at the World Expo 2020 in Dubai. SAWER produced over 1,300 liters per day here, and it is certainly not the maximum of this technology.
The limited batch of Futur lager from atmospheric humidity is intended to draw attention to the long-standing problem of water shortage in the countryside. Radegast itself takes concrete steps to return water to nature. This year, he is donating 1 million crowns for the restoration or construction of forest ponds in cooperation with Lesy ČR. The experts selected 14 places throughout the Czech Republic suitable for the establishment of swimming pools.
Our Radegast Brewery has sucessfully managed to reduce water consumption by more than 40% over the past 15 years, and is therefore one of the best breweries in the world in terms of the economical use of water and the care of water resources. While the world average of water consumption per hl of beer produced is around 4.5 hl, and the Czech Association of Breweries and Malthouses stated that the water consumption in Czech breweries for the year 2022 was 3.4 hl, the Radegast brewery consumes only 2.29 hl of water per 1 hl of beer produced beer.