Hailing from the always cutting-edge city of Singapore, NEWBrew is a new blonde ale beer that’s brewed using recycled sewage.
The unusual concoction came from a collaboration between Brewerkz, a local craft brewery, and Singapore’s national water agency, PUB. While originally announced at a water conference in 2018, it only recently became available to the public in April.
To brew sewage into something sippable, NEWBrew uses NEWater, the country’s brand of drinking water that’s also recycled from sewage. NEWater is made using ultraviolet light to disinfect sewage followed by passing the liquid through advanced membranes and removing contaminant particles. What remains after the process, the brand asserts, is simply clean water.
Early birds lucky to taste test the beverage say it’s a refreshing, light ale that suits Singapore’s tropical climate perfectly.
With freshwater decreasing around the world, converting recycled sewage into drinking water has attracted support. The country ultimately believes NEWBrew can help to educate Singaporeans on sustainable water use and recycling.
According to Hindustan Times, the sewage-to-brew libation is slowly becoming a popular trend at breweries in other cities. Stockholm-based Nya Carnegie Brewery teamed with brewing giant Carlsberg and IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute on a purified sewage pilsner while Village Brewery in Canada partnered with researchers from the University of Calgary and US water technology company Xylem for their take.
Time will tell if recycled sewage water beer catches on. In the meantime, Singaporeans can search at their local supermarket for NEWBrew while supplies last.