NTU students told to stop brewing beer

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 said on Monday that Mr Rahul Immandira, Mr Heetesh Alwani and Mr Abilash Subbaraman had been brewing the alcoholic beverage in Binjai Hall.

"Binjai Brew, their self-titled brand, was unexpectedly well received," the Chronicle said.

"But after their 10th batch in February and spending almost $2,500, they were asked to stop their brewing activities. They received notice that they were violating Singapore laws by brewing on NTU grounds and selling the beer."

Mr Immandira, 24, told The Straits Times yesterday that 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 the notice from NTU to stop in February."

Mr Immandira, who is in chemical engineering, said he and his friends "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 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."

The Singapore Customs' website says that 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 it was misplaced.