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U of W Brewing Near-Beer Using Manitoba Corn

February 16, 2017 10:56 AM | News


WINNIPEG — A sudsy brew is fermenting at the University of Winnipeg using Manitoba-grown corn to create a near-beer beverage.

Science professors and students at UWinnipeg are fermenting a gluten-free brew in a vat after hearing about a Japanese firm using pea protein from a Manitoba company.

CornThrough a partnership with the Manitoba Corn Growers Association, the university funded a summer student position to further its efforts in the endeavour.

“While most large breweries make a gluten-free beer, we sampled a few (for research purposes) and thought that we could do better,” said Dr. Paul Holloway, associate professor of biology.

Doing it better also includes exposing students to new tools and technical instruments in the lab.

“I had no idea what went into making beer. I have a relative with celiac disease and he wants a good gluten-free beer, so I was curious to see where this could go,” said fourth-year biology student Amanda Moodie.

A trial and error formula was used by roasting corn to replicate barley.

Fellow biology students have been the taste-testers so far, with the ultimate goal to refine taste and colour while achieving a near-beer with about 5 percent alcohol.

“It is possible this near-beer could be commercially available within a year or two,” Holloway added.