Online Exclusives

The Beer Sommelier Launches Beer Aid

By Jeremy Kerstetter, Assistant Editor | December 1, 2014

Product designed to relieve symptoms of gastrointestinal distress.

Enjoying beer is one thing; being a three-time certified beer judge is another. Matt Simpson knows beer. Having worked for several years for different magazine and news outlets, in capacities ranging from columnist to editor, Mr. Simpson has been certified through multiple programs, including the Beer Judge Certification Program and Doemens’ Beer Sommelier Certification. He has become a beer consultant and sommelier, as his business is so aptly named. 

Being such an avid beer enthusiast, molding his life around the fine beverage, Mr. Simpson, owner and founder of The Beer Sommelier, has developed a unique product. In fact, he asserted there’s nothing on the market that does what his product, Beer Aid, claims to do: helping to “relieve excess gas, bloating, diarrhea, and ‘next day’ effects from drinking beer.”

Mr. Simpson, spending much of his life lactose-intolerant, learned early on about the digestive system and how the body can struggle to breakdown certain proteins and sugars. He also learned that by taking an enzyme supplement, the problems can be kept at bay. He later realized his body was developing an intolerance to maltose, the sugar present in beer, which led to his future creation: Beer Aid.

The proprietary enzyme formula, working in a similar fashion to Lactaid, works simply by breaking down the complex sugars in beer, which can be found in higher levels in craft beers. Beer Aid allows beer drinkers the ability to enjoy their favorite malt beverages by delivering “aid” to the small intestine, where the breakdown of the complex sugars takes place. Mr. Simpson noted that Beer Aid has no effect on drinking hard ciders or gluten-free products, as they do not contain the maltose sugar that his proprietary enzyme works to break down.

“[The enzyme] acts as a little eating engine, breaking the atomic bonds between the chains of sugars, turning them into shorter, more digestible sugars—glucose and sucrose,” Mr. Simpson explained. “One cannot talk competently about beer without understanding it on a molecular level.”

Mr. Simpson understands the biology. He knows his beer inside and out and has made a living by utilizing his knowledge and expertise in hospitality consultation, giving speeches about beer, helping hospitality outlets (restaurants, breweries, etc.) craft their beer programs, acting as a legal expert witness in court cases for the industry and teaching others about beer at seminars and for staff education.

“I’m hired for my expertise in the beer industry with my thumb on the pulse of the craft beer lover and the Joe Budweiser,” Mr. Simpson said.

Indeed, with this level of involvement in the industry, he would know the needs of the individuals in the market.

“There is a niche to be filled. The only question yet to be answered, is whether people are willing to pay the price for the product. Initial indicators show they are,” he said, noting that about 60-70% of his sales have, to this point, been women.

Having zero side effects, the same as any digestive enzyme formula, Beer Aid can be taken daily as a supplement if desired, but is recommended before drinking any malt-based beverage. Typically 1-2 capsules per beer should be sufficient, but in some cases, like with craft beers, 2-3 capsules per beer may be needed. This is because of the high-gravity properties of many crafts, referring to the increased density of sugars in the suspension. 

The concept behind Beer Aid is not new, but the ingredients are, at least in this application. Though Mr. Simpson’s initial research has been anecdotal, given the size of the U.S. beer market—hovering around $120 billion—his opportunities for outreach are nearly endless.

Mr. Simpson believes his product has wide appeal for beer drinkers, but the advertising must reach individuals who would benefit from the product. Word of mouth may be Mr. Simpson’s best ally here, with research showing this is very strong in the craft beer industry, as craft drinkers derive a sense of community from their shared appreciation of the beer.

Beer Aid was first released this November and is in the first phase of production and marketing. Beer Aid is available at for $17.50 per bottle. Each bottle contains 60 potato-starch-enclosed capsules.

Currently, Mr. Simpson fulfills all orders himself, but noted Amazon will be able to begin fulfilling orders for The Beer Sommelier in the very near future. He is hopeful to see Beer Aid “in the queue” before the holidays. “It would make a great stocking stuffer,” he concluded.

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