Behold, the beer that doesn’t give you a beer gut — but a healthy gut.
Probiotics, also known as the crucial components behind kombucha, sauerkraut, and yogurt, are live bacteria cultures that live and multiply in your stomach. These good bacteria, while they may sound unpleasant, are absolutely vital for digestion. Many foods that upset your stomach are actually just harming the bacteria in your gut. Now that experts are starting to understand which bacteria we need and which we don’t, the number of products on the shelves with claims to “heal your gut” and “hack your digestion” has exploded.[related]
Now, beer could be one of those products.
Student Chan Mei Zhi Alcine and Associate Professor Liu Shao Quan at the National University of Singapore’s Food Science and Technology Programme banded together for nine months to embark on an unbelievably useful research venture: They perfected a brew of beer containing the optimal count of live gut healing bacteria.
Sure, some brands of kombucha require you to show ID to purchase, but those don’t really contain significant alcohol content. The beer these researchers brewed contains 3.5 percent alcohol — nothing crazy, but enough to give you a slight buzz.
These beers aren’t anything you’d want to guzzle, however. While it’s impossible to overdose on probiotic bacteria, many have reported discomfort from ingesting too much of the bacteria. So the beer might not be ideal for a night out — but so ideal for sipping slowly on a hot summer day.
The International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics sets the standard at one million probiotics per serving to provide maximum health benefits; miraculously, this beer makes the cut. The secret behind their success? For now, it’s being kept a secret — Chan Mei and her professor are filing for a patent after realizing their product is in such high demand.
While the brew has yet to hit the shelves (or the tap), this invention gives us all hope that one day we’ll be able to get the gut-healing benefits of kombucha from our happy hour beer.