Is beer made from urine the future?
Brewerkz isn’t just taking the p*ss, it’s repurposing it to make beer in order overcome water scarcity in Singapore.
A chilled, golden pint is many people’s dream after a long day of work – but what if it was made of reclaimed sewage water? Newater, made from filtered waste water, has been part of Singapore’s water supply since 2003.
Now (after many tests) it’s being used by craft brewer Brewerkz for its New Brew. Brewerkz was founded in 1997 and is part of the Easy and Light Group which also owns Crystal Wines. The brewery/brew pub debuted the beer in 2018, but it is now available off-trade.
The 5% ABV Tropical Blonde Ale is described as having a “distinct fragrance” and a “honey-like aftertaste”. None of this flavour, thankfully, comes from the water used, but rather the premium German barley malts and calypso and citra hops.
Though the product is easy to joke about, the reasoning behind it is highly admirable. Supported by the aptly-named PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency, the beer is a trailblazer in terms of water sustainability.
The beer was served at Singapore’s International Water Week in April, with SIWW managing director Ryan Yuen hailing it as “possibly Singapore’s greenest beer”.
Though the consequences of wasted water are often overlooked, scarcity is a growing concern. The UN Environment Programme estimated in 2016 that by 2030 demand for water will exceed supply by 40%. As Singapore’s population climbs by approximately 0.8% each year, the demand for water also increases.
The beer went on public sale on 12 April and will be available until July. A recent BBC report quizzing drinkers on whether they were put off by the not-so-secret ingredient in the beer found that the majority were perfectly happy with their pints.
To try it you’ll have to spend quite a bit more than a penny though. A six pack of 330ml cans retails for SG$27.00/GB£15.62.
Brewerkz doesn’t just care about making the best of what comes out of the body. Earlier this year it launched the world’s first probiotic beer.
This is not the first time that beer made from recycled waste water has hit the headlines. In 2015, a Danish festival began its “p*ss to pilsner” initiative, collecting urine from 100,000 attendees to brew beer with.