Double Helix the world’s first beer to be brewed based on a person’s DNA – Review

Double Helix the world’s first beer to be brewed based on a person’s DNA – Review

When the Meantime Brewing Company contacted me to ask me if I would like to review their newly released beer brewed based on a person’s DNA, I was both horrified and intrigued. Intrigue took over from horror and I was kindly sent a couple of bottles to review.

One of the things I was ‘horrified’ by was the strength, at 10% it’s really potent stuff. This is NOT a beer to take lightly, it will destroy you. It might even alter your DNA, so dust off the tin foil hat just in case. 😉 I stumbled into the house after a night out and thought twice about drinking it, partly due to the strength and partly because I knew I’d have little or no memory of drinking it.

Science time: Meantime’s Brewmaster, Ciaran Giblin, is the first brewer in history to brew a beer dictated by his individual DNA taste preference – using cutting-edge genetic profiling to map his propensity towards specific flavours. Now the public can taste the world’s first beer to be brewed based on genetic code.

DNA tested and analysed by genetic testing company 23 and Me. The process looked particularly at the presence of TAS2R receptors in the Brewmaster’s genetics – which dictate an individual’s inclination toward bitter or sweet flavours.

Double Helix beer

The test identified that Ciaran is genetically programmed to enjoy bitter flavours, like those found in coffee and Brussels sprouts. (Blugh)

Soooooo I hope that made sense.

Regardless of the science, it’s a tasty brew, quite dark, definitely bitter, but not malty and thankfully no Brussels sprout taste.  Would I drink it again? Yes, it’s a great talking point at a bar or a BBQ with like minded people.

I can also see the concept taking off with people with more money than sense. Having a special beer brewed based on your DNA for a party or a wedding, is a crazy cool expensive way to impress or horrify your guests.

Double Helix, is part of their Pilot Series range, which is available in exclusive venues across London and online for a limited time. It is well worth a try, especially if Double IPA is your thing. I also think Meantime deserve some praise for continuing to try new things that might not work, even though they very much a big time brewer and part of an even bigger one.

If you’re interested, you can buy it at the Meantime shop

DNA Beer
  • Taste
  • Weirdness
  • Ciaran Giblin's DNA


If trying something different is your thing. You should try this, yes it is a gimmick, but it's a pretty cool one that has really science to back it up.

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Adam (Editor)

Editor of this fine Blog and not surprisingly I love living in and blogging about London