SUTD students brew their own exotic beers

SINGAPORE - From mint chocolate stout to sweet potato beer, several Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) students are brewing their own exotic flavours while learning about technology.

Understood to be Singapore's first beer brewing club in a university campus, it was started by second-year student Chew Guan Xun, 23.

He wanted to share his interest in home-brewing with his schoolmates.

"When many Singaporeans think of beer, they just think of Tiger and Heineken," said Mr Chew, who taught himself brewing by studying websites and documentaries. "But there is a richer world and deeper world of brewing out there."

The 15-member club, which started in May last year, has already brewed about 10 batches of beer including lager and ales using basic kits.

"Some beers didn't turn out pretty," said member Karen Sng, 20. "We tried making lychee beer but that was a failed experiment." But the club has tasted success with its amber ale, which was a hit among members.

Now it has bigger ambitions. When the new school term starts next month, the club will be building its own technical equipment for brewing.

The science and technology students will modify fridges and water heaters.

They will programme microcontrollers and mini-computers to control temperatures in various parts of the brew process.

The club is consulting local brewers who have built their own equipment. "We learn about science and technology through brewing beer, so it's a win-win situation," said student Gregory Sng, 22, who is the club's treasurer.

SUTD has given the club $600 to fund its activities.

But students are allowed to serve beer of only 100ml per person for tasting purposes at approved school events, the school added. The club hopes to invite experts to conduct more beer tasting sessions.

Said Mr Chew: "It's not about guzzling cheap alcohol. Craft beers can be appreciated just like coffees and wines."

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