First, there was anti-aging gin. Then, there was brain-boosting champagne (okay fine, it’s just normal champagne. But turns out it’s good for the noggin!) But if there was one type of booze we didn’t think would get a health makeover any time soon, it’s beer. Because although it’s good for your soul when you’re drinking it with friends on a sunny afternoon, it’s not exactly what you’d call a health elixir. Not only does beer tend to be super high in carbs and calories, it’s main ingredient — hops — kills gut bacteria. And by now, we all know that ain’t a good thing!
But thanks to a clever scientist from the National University of Singapore, that may be about to change. After a full year of experimentation for her final university project, food researcher Alcine Chan has created the world’s first probiotic beer. The beverage contains the Lactobacilus paracasei L26 probiotic strain, which has been found to enhance gut and immune responses in mice. According to the researchers, 100ml of the drink delivers 1 billion probiotic organisms. The currently unnamed pale ale has a slightly sweet taste and is 3.5% alcohol — just under the 4-6 % of regular beer.
Unfortunately, It would be a bit of a stretch to call the beer a health beverage. However, in terms of cancelling out the usual gut-ravaging effects of beer, it definitely looks promising. And as the project’s supervisor has said herself, “The beer is simply a new vehicle for delivering probiotics and the associated health benefits.”
It’ll still be a while before the probiotic beer hits shelves, as the researchers are currently waiting for the drink to be patented. Here’s hoping it’ll reach Aussie shores just in time for summer! Until then, you can get your probiotic fix in non-alcoholic form by baking some probiotic brownies or making your own delicious kombucha at home .