NTU students told to stop brewing beer in hostel

NTU student Rahul Immandira yesterday said he and his two friends, all fourth-year students, began brewing beer at their residence hall in September last year, adding: "We got notice from NTU to stop in February."
NTU student Rahul Immandira yesterday said he and his two friends, all fourth-year students, began brewing beer at their residence hall in September last year, adding: "We got notice from NTU to stop in February."PHOTO: RAHUL IMMANDIRA

Three students who were brewing beer at their residence hall in Nanyang Technological University (NTU) were asked to stop after the school found out.

Campus newspaper The Nanyang Chronicle on Monday said Mr Rahul Immandira, Mr Heetesh Alwani and Mr Abilash Subbaraman had 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."

Mr Immandira, 24, told The Straits Times yesterday he and his friends, all fourth-year students, began brewing in September last year.

"It was slow-going, so things took a while," he said. "We got notice from NTU to stop in February."

Mr Immandira, who is in chemical engineering, said they "shared about 400 bottles over a few months". "We didn't sell the beer," he stressed. "Some of our friends appreciated it and realised it cost us money, so they gave us some."

He said they did not keep track of how much they got, but said it was not much. A batch cost them between $80 and $120. They bought equipment, materials and ingredients in Singapore.

He said he agreed with the school's decision. "We weren't sure about the part of the law that says we can't do it in school," he said. "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 licence to brew beer if they fulfil certain conditions, which include brewing it at home for one's own consumption. The three were not brewing at home, and allegedly accepted money for the exchange of beer, which was considered a sale, the Nanyang Chronicle said.

In response to queries, a spokesman for NTU said the school acknowledged the students' "enterprising spirit" but said it was misplaced.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 11, 2018, with the headline 'NTU students told to stop brewing beer in hostel'. Print Edition | Subscribe