Recycled water becomes craft beer in Singapore

Singapore recycles water for craft beer

It is a beer made with only the finest ingredients. It features premium German barley malts, aromatic Citra and Calypso hops, farmhouse yeast from Norway – and recycled water.

NewBrew, a collaboration between Singapore’s national water agency and the local craft brewery Brewerkz, has already proved popular and has sold out on tap at the brewery’s restaurants, according to reports.

Brewerkz describes the beer as “highly quaffable” and suitable for Singapore’s tropical climate, with a smooth, toasted honey-like aftertaste. It aims to cast a light on the climate emergency and the growing threat that droughts and floods pose to the world’s freshwater supply.

Singapore, a densely populated city-state, is especially vulnerable to water scarcity owing to its lack of natural water resources and space for water collection and storage facilities.

The country has invested in new ways to ensure a sustainable supply and reduce its dependence on water imported from neighbouring Malaysia. This includes methods such as rainwater harvesting, seawater desalination and treating wastewater.

Recycled water into craft beer

Brew uses NEWater, wastewater that Singapore’s Public Utilities Board has treated with microfiltration, reverse osmosis, and ultraviolet light. It removes contaminants, bacteria, and viruses. The result passes drinking water guidelines the US Environmental Protection Agency and the World Health Organization set.

NEWater is mainly used for cooling and industrial processes, as well as to top up reservoirs, and is set to meet 55% of Singapore’s water needs by 2060.

Unpredictable weather and growing populations have prompted many countries to turn to recycled water to cushion supplies. Some breweries have also incorporated reclaimed water into their products, including in Canada, Germany and the US.

​​According to Bloomberg, the first batch of NEWBrew has already sold out on tap at Brewerkz restaurants. The company reportedly expects stocks at supermarkets to run out by the end of the month. They will consider making another batch.

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