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This butt's for you: Beer made from toilet water debuts in Singapore
Sewage-sourced suds part of bid to gain acceptance for recycled waste water
(A native of England, veteran journalist Matthew Diebel has worked at NBC News, Time, USA Today and News Corp., among other organizations. Having spent much of his childhood next to one of the world's fastest bodies of water, he is particularly interested in tidal energy.)
Mitch Gribov, the head brewer at a Singapore beer company, is flush with pride.
Why? Because his new blond ale made with sewage is getting rave reviews.
“I seriously couldn’t tell this was made of toilet water,” local resident Chew Wei Lian told Bloomberg after buying the brewski, called NEWBrew. “I mean, it tastes just like beer, and I like beer.”
NEWBrew uses NEWater, Singapore’s brand of drinking water recycled from sewage, which first flowed from treatment plants in 2003 to improve the island nation’s water security. The appropriately named national water agency, PUB, says the new beer is part of an effort to educate Singaporeans on the importance of sustainable water use and recycling.
The crowded city-state has very limited fresh water resources and developed a system that disinfected the water with ultraviolet light after it passes through a series of membranes to remove contaminants.
The NEWWater has, however, met with some consumer resistance, which is where Brewerkz entered the picture. “NEWater perfectly suits brewing because it tastes neutral,” said Gribov. “The mineral profile of water plays a key role in chemical reactions during brewing.”
And then there are the other ingredients, boasted a Brewerkz Instagram post, “such as premium German barley malts, aromatic Citra and Calypso hops, as well as kveik, a highly-sought-after strain of farm-house yeast from Norway. Tropical Blonde Ale is a highly quaffable beer suitable for Singapore’s tropical climate, with a smooth, toasted honey-like aftertaste.”
A toasted honey aftertaste? The mind boggles.