This Singaporean Student Invented Probiotic Beer

| © Taylor Grote/Unsplash

Given that most of us imbibe more often than we probably should, it’s a shame alcohol is notorious for being a source of “empty calories”—energy with few, if any, nutritional benefits. But that fact could be about to change thanks to one smart student from the National University of Singapore.

Over the course of nine months, a 22 year old science student called Alcine Chan created a beer with billions of probiotics—the live bacteria strains that play an essential role in digestive health by helping to break down food, counteract disease-causing microbes and synthesize vitamins.

Fermented foods are a great natural source of probiotics, but aside from yogurt, most are fairly niche, like kombucha, sauerkraut and kimchi—a fermented vegetable dish from Korea. Chan wanted to give these essential microorganisms mainstream appeal, and what better way to achieve her mission than by adding them to beer—a drink many people consume on a very regular basis.

Probiotic beer could help digestion

The task wasn’t as easy as it sounds. Hop acids in the beer kill off bacteria, so developing her product was a case of tweaking the brewing process and experimenting with different strains until she hit on one that was robust enough to survive: Lactobacillus paracasei.

The probiotic beer was a university project for Chan, but apparently a Japanese company has expressed interest in bringing her idea to market. Nutritionists warn that we don’t need another reason to consume excess booze, but on the flip side, at least this innovative beverage gives health benefits to an otherwise nutritionally-irrelevant dietary staple.
Where do you want to go next?

Check out London’s anti-aging gin, or Singapore’s most picturesque rooftop bars.

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.?>

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,656 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article