A Lighter Stout

Scientists at University College Cork in Ireland have brewed an Atkins-friendly stout that has 60% fewer carbohydrates and a quarter fewer calories than regular stout. The inventors claim the lighter pint, to be presented at a food industry showcase next month, has the same consistency, taste and texture as its full-bodied equivalent.

Students in the food science and technology department in UCC have been working on the beer for the past six months. It is brewed from the same malt, water, yeast and hops, but modifications to the brewing process cut the carbs.

Normal stout has about 2 grams of carbohydrate and contains 32 calories per 100ml (3.3 ounces) while the new version has 0.6 grams of carbs and 24 calories per 100ml.

“We modified the mashing procedure, which is part of the brewing process, by adding an enzyme which can degrade carbohydrate,” said Elke Arendt, who is leading the research. “We also modified our fermentation process to get a lower carbohydrate content by picking a specific yeast strain.”

Arendt said the full-bodied taste that is typically lost by reducing carbohydrate content has been retained in the light stout. The beer has done well with student focus groups. “I definitely think there is a market for it,” said Arendt. “In America, the market potential of light beers has increased enormously and we are usually following close behind.