News & Opinion | July 1, 2022 2:08 pm

Singapore Drinkers Getting Pissed on Beer Made From Recycled Sewage Water

A collab between Brewerkz brewery and Singapore’s national water agency, NewBrew contains ultra-high grade recycled water

Water flushing down a toilet bowl
In Singapore, this water could end up in your beer.
Getty Images

In an admirable effort to go green, a craft brewery in Singapore is pouring pints made with reclaimed water that may have previously been tinted yellow — or even darker.

A collaboration between Singapore’s PUB national water agency and Brewerk brewery, NewBrew is crafted from German barley malts, aromatic Citra and Calypso hops, farmhouse yeast from Norway and recycled sewage. An updated version of a beer that was first produced in 2018, the limited-edition beer Tropical Blonde Ale is “highly quaffable” and has a “smooth, toasted honey-like aftertaste,” according to Brewerkz.

“I seriously couldn’t tell this was made of toilet water,” Chew Wei Lian told Bloomberg. “I don’t mind having it if it was in the fridge. I mean, it tastes just like beer and I like beer.”

Typically used for industrial and air-con cooling purposes at wafer fabrication plants, industrial estates and commercial buildings, the NEWater that is used to make NewBrew is “ultra-clean, high-grade reclaimed water” which has been proven to be “a safe and sustainable water source” after undergoing a battery of tests and audits.

“NEWater perfectly suits brewing because it tastes neutral,” said Brewerkz’s head brewer Mitch Gribov. “The mineral profile of water plays a key role in chemical reactions during brewing.”

A hot item, Brewerkz execs expect the supply of NEWBrew being sold at local supermarkets will run out by the end of July. 

“Since NEWBrew’s debut, creating sustainable beer from recycled used water has grown in popularity, with water utilities in countries including Germany, Canada and the U.S. perfecting their own versions,” according to Brewerkz. “It is also an opportunity to cast the spotlight on climate change impacts such as droughts and floods, which threaten the world’s freshwater supply.”