Singapore is known all over the world for a number of things—hawker food, Crazy Rich Asians, long queues and ultramodern living.

And now, maybe it’s time to add beer made from recycled toilet water to the list.

Like other things liquid, NEWBrew made a splash this week in stories carried in The Sydney Morning Herald, The New York Post, and Lifestyle Asia, among other publications.

On YouTube, a video titled “What is ‘NEWBrew’? A beer made from urine,” from WION Originals was released on June 29.

NewBrew was made by a local microbrewery and restaurant, Brewerkz in collaboration with the country’s national water agency, PUB.

The beer is called NEWbrew, since it contains NEWater, the country’s brand of water that’s been recycled. Singaporeans were first invited to taste NEWBrew in 2018.

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

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In April, the beer hit supermarket shelves.

“Know what goes into a can of #NEWBrew? It’s everything you’d expect in a great-tasting beer – except that it’s made with NEWater, our very own ultra-clean and high-grade recycled water!

A local craft beer that’s also sustainable? We’ll cheer to that. 

Now on sale at selected NTUC FairPrice, Cold Storage, online stores, and Brewerkz’s restaurants and estore,” Brewerkz wrote in an Instagram post.

Since its launch, NEWBrew has made some new fans.

“I seriously couldn’t tell this was made of toilet water. I don’t mind having it if it was in the fridge. I mean, it tastes just like beer, and I like beer,” Chew Wei Lian, 58, is quoted in The Sydney Morning Herald as saying.

The sentiment was echoed in The New York Post by Grace Chen, 52. “If you don’t tell people it’s made from wastewater, they probably won’t know,” she said.

The launch of this most unusual alcoholic drink has apparently been successful, with Brewerkz saying the supply could be gone by the end of the month.

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And whether Brewerkz will keep on manufacturing NEWBeer depends on its evaluation of consumer reactions.

In 2018, Mr Bernard Tan, the managing director of Singapore International Water Week, said that NEWbrew had been launched to focus on the high quality and cleanliness of Singapore’s recycled water, which meet safe water standards around the world. /TISG

Beer made with NEWater – Singaporeans invited to taste-test