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Is powdered beer the answer to alcohol’s carbon footprint?

A German brewery has developed powdered beer, a revolutionary new beverage that may change the way we consume alcohol forever.

Instant drinks like coffee and – dare I say it – custard, have been around for years now. And while these powdered alternatives have revolutionised our daily lives, an alcoholic version wasn’t something many saw coming. 

But a German brewery has just developed a powder beer, which creates an instant beverage just by adding water. 

The drink is currently non-alcoholic, but plans for an alcoholic version are already underway. There’s optimism that it will be ready for sale by the end of this year. 

It’s probably not thought about very often, but beer has a huge carbon footprint made increasingly worse by the large number of us who love to consume it. But a powdered version would make bottles, crates, and kegs obsolete – drastically altering the way beer is produced and transported.

By removing the extra materials of glass and water, Stefan Fritsche, the brewery’s general manager, says the invention could reduce transport weight by 90%. 

Fritsche says he hopes both an alcoholic and non-alcoholic version will soon be available for export globally.

‘We want to, in about three months, be ready with everything […] and then we are looking for partners, for investors who want to start up with us’

Once mixed, the powder mimics carbonated beer by creating a foam, with the final product tasting identical to regular beer. Simply add water and shake or whisk, as you would with a protein shake. 

Neuzeller Klosterbräu is the brewery behind the invention, but it’s no stranger to unique spins on everyone’s favourite drink. 

Klosterbräu is famous for creative takes on beer like cherry beer and anti-ageing beer. They’ve also shared plans to create a beer you can bathe in (come again?). 

‘We want the complete beer taste. We have the foam, we already have the beer taste. We want to add the carbon dioxide in powder form.’ Fritsche said. 

‘We want to add the alcohol in powder form. We can do all that with powder. And of course it is absolutely fascinating that we have succeeded. For the first time worldwide.’

It’s hoped that the powder will eventually be distributed to bars and diners, where it can be mixed with water on-site and sold to consumers.