Singapore: Beer made with recycled toilet water wins over netizens
There are lots of bizarre things on the planet and Singapore has come up with a beer that pretty much falls in the same category. The alcoholic beverage called NEWBrew is a Singapore blonde ale that is made with recycled sewage water. NEWBrew is a collaboration between local craft brewery Brewerkz and Singapore's national water agency named PUB. Read on to know more!
NEWBrew was revealed in 2018 during a water conference and in April 2022, it went on sale at Brewerkz outlets and supermarkets. NEWBrew uses NEWater, a Singapore-based sewage recycled drinking water brand. NEWater first flowed in 2003 from treatment plants to bring improvement to the island's water security. According to PUB, the new beer would make Singaporeans aware of recycling and sustainable water usage.
The NEWater of Singapore is made by using ultraviolet light to disinfect the sewage. The liquid is then passed through advanced membranes to eliminate the contaminant particles. Once the water is processed, what remains is plain water. Mitch Gribov, Brewerkz's head brewer said, "NEWater perfectly suits brewing because it tastes neutral. Water's mineral profile plays an important role in chemical reactions during brewing."
Many people liked the taste of the new beer and appreciated the technology. "I seriously couldn't tell this was made of toilet water. I wouldn't mind having it if it was in the fridge. I mean, it tastes just like beer, and I like beer," a purchaser said. "If you don't tell people it's made from wastewater, they probably won't know," another person said.
Still, there are many people who are not convinced by the idea. A Singapore student named Low Yu Chen said, "There are many kinds of beers around. If I wanted a beer, I'd pick something made of normal water."
There was a time when people were against the idea of processing sewage into drinking water but in the past decade this technology is gaining support as the world's supply of fresh water is under stress. Israel has also used this technology in their supplies. Cities like London and Los Angeles are also planning to follow suit and use this new technology.
There are many breweries around the world that have crafted beer with recycled water. Nya Carnegie Brewery of Stockholm, Sweden in collaboration with Carlsberg and IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute had launched a pilsner made with purified sewage. Canada's Village Brewery also launched its own version of beer by partnering with University of Calgary researchers and Xylem, a US water technology company.