German monks create world's first powdered beer
A monastic brewery in East Germany says it's created the first powdered beer. Just add water, and it'll froth up, complete with a foamy head and full flavor. The result promises massive savings on transport, because it can be shipped at 10% of the weight.
Klosterbrauerei Neuzelle worked together with "technology partners" and used funding from BMWi to create its first powdered product, a dextrin-rich zero-alcohol beer which has been brewed using conventional methods, then "processed and prepared into a water-soluble beer powder/granulate."
It's testing this powder on the market in small quantities until mid-2023, but the plan is to start making alcoholic beers soon, and scale things up – so long as people go for it. And the team believes there's a chance to ditch traditional brewing techniques as well, compressing the process to minimize the use of raw materials, labor and energy.
"The time is ripe to put classic beer production and logistics to the test in view of the way we treat our environment," says major Neuzelle shareholder Helmut Fritsche. “Billions of liters of water are transported to consumers worldwide, because beer consists of up to 90% water. From an environmental point of view, we are already saving on transport, but not yet on the use of resources and the costs of production.”
"We know that classic pilsner drinkers and all craft beer enthusiasts, especially in Germany, will be skeptical about our product at first,” adds managing director Stefan Fritsche. "It's not just about bringing a new product onto the market, but about disrupting the beer business model. Therefore, we do not see our core target group as primarily the classic German end consumer, but global resellers, who don't necessarily have to have brewing knowledge, but who can make the granules suitable for the end consumer's application."
Indeed, the brewery will start targeting these powders first at far-flung markets like Asia and Africa, where transport costs are the highest, and presumably beer snobbery is less of an issue than at home.
We imagine there are plenty of people putting their hands up to try the powders out. If they do what they say on the tin, and deliver a great drinking experience without needing to shift water and bottles, this could absolutely become a disruptive and revolutionary advance.
Source: Klosterbrauerei Neuzelle
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Even so, this could be an early April 1st joke, but kudos on the illustrations!
No alcohol, they don't know when they can produce an authentic alcohol laden beer powder, and there would have to be strict rules for rehydration (too much water = near beer; too little water = too alcoholic beer).
But you made me read the article!
If this works, watch for people who turn the powder into fortified beer at 20-30% ABV.