Beer made to suit palates of chemotherapy patients

A beer designed with the altered palates of those undergoing chemotherapy in mind has been produced by a Czech brewery.

Mamma Beer is alcohol free and slightly sweet to help overcome “chemo mouth”, or its medical name dysgeusia – a side effect of chemotherapy which causes food to taste bland, bitter or metallic.

The brew, made in partnership with the Žatec brewery and breast cancer advocacy group Mamma Help, with the help of advertising agency Y&R Prague, is aimed at those battling breast cancer, but could be beneficial to anyone undergoing chemotherapy.

Tereza Sverakova, CCO of Y&R Prague, was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 34, so had a personal association with the affliction when she was asked to organise an awareness campaign for the beer.

“When Mamma HELP asked us to do an awareness campaign for them, it was an opportunity for me to dive into these painful memories and use them to try to turn them into something good,” she told AdWeek. “Chemotherapy is tough, and one of the side effects that many people are not aware of is a loss of taste. Everything tastes horrible, like metal.”

Mamma Beer is brewed to be much less bitter than normal beer, using fewer hops, since overt bitterness is a side effect of dysgeusia, and is cut with apple juice to make it sweeter.

The limited-edition beer has already been distributed to oncology wards and pharmacies in the Czech Republic and has been served at several beer and food shows.

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