Last week, the news about a beer powder by Indian brewer Kingfisher has been making the round in social media. Pictures of a sachet with the Kingfisher logo and slogan were shown with the caption: “Beer powder... Mix with cold water and it becomes beer. Add more powder for strong beer and less for light beer.”
What looks like a revolution in the beer market is in fact a hoax. The picture of the sachet has been taken from a two year old not too serious story about Indian products, whose slogans could sell condoms successfully. Especially the slogan of Indians leading beer brand Kingfisherwhich says The King of Good Times may have inspired the authors to create a photomontage of a condom package with the logo of the famous beer. That picture was now taken to create the fake story about instant beer.
Nevertheless, the idea about instant beer is already more than 10 years old. In 2005 Gerhard Kamil, a German brew master was granted a patent to granulate beer wort in a fluid bed technology in order to create a powdery product, which could be stored for longer times and re-dissolved later for the further processing, in particular, the fermentation. In the same year he was awarded the German Founder-Award for the groundbreaking innovation.
In the meantime there have been additional innovations and patents by the founder and his company GranMalt, but none of the products have achieved so far wide spread distribution, due to the lack of an own granulation facility and the fact that it is still not easy to granulate alcohol. Therefore the re-dissolved wort still needs to be fermented to become a true beer.
The product has gained some popularity in the Arab world, where alcohol is forbidden and soft drink fillers take the granules to produce a non-alcoholic malt drink. A new product by GranMalt, which has not been put on the market yet, is called Maltpresso, and uses Nespresso type capsules to produce a hot or cold non-alcoholic malt drink in a coffee machine.
Anyhow, beer powder is still a hoax.