Three Nanyang Technological University (NTU) students, who were brewing beer at their residence hall, were told by the university to stop the activity after it found out about the matter. The university said that while it acknowledged the students’ enterprising spirit but said it was misplaced.
According to Campus newspaper The Nanyang Chronicle on Monday (9 April), Mr Rahul Immandira, Mr Heetesh Alwani and Mr Abilash Subbaraman were said to have been brewing beer in Binjai Hall.
“Binjai Brew, their self-titled brand, was unexpectedly well-received,” the paper said. “But after their 10th batch in February and spending almost $2,500, they were asked to stop their brewing activities. They received notice they were violating Singapore laws by brewing on NTU grounds and selling the beer,” it noted.
Mr Immandira, a 24-year-old chemical engineering, told The Straits Times on Tuesday that he and his friends, all fourth-year students, began brewing in September last year, saying, “It was slow-going, so things took a while. We got notice from NTU to stop in February.”
Mr Immandira stated that they shared about 400 bottles over a few months, stressing that the trio did not sell the beer.
Though money was eventually accepted but Mr Immandira explained that payment was made on a donation basis, with no enforcement. He noted that some of their friends appreciated their product and understood that it costs them money to produce the beer.
He stated that they did not keep track of how much they got. However, he stressed that it was not much.
A batch of beer is said to cost the trio, between $80 and $120. Equipment, materials, and ingredients used for the brewing were purchased in Singapore.
While Mr Immandira agreed with the school’s decision, he said, “We weren’t sure about the part of the law that says we can’t do it in school. As for the part about not selling, we were convinced that we weren’t selling the beer.”
According to the Singapore Customs’ website, individuals do not require a license to brew beer if they fulfill certain conditions, which include brewing it at home for one’s own consumption.