Alcohol formula

Dragon’s Den investors look into Canterbury student Mark Wong’s non-alcoholic beer, Impossibrew

A former Canterbury schoolboy whose heavy drinking at university led him to create a new ‘mood-boosting’ non-alcoholic beer will showcase his beer for investment on BBC One’s Dragon’s Den tonight.

Mark Wong, a former student of St Edmund’s School, was so dependent on alcohol to relax while studying philosophy that his health suffered.

Mark Wong throws his brew in the Dragon’s Den

When he was just 21, doctors diagnosed him with alcohol-induced liver damage and urged him to give it up.

“I was drinking a lot recreationally, as many college students do, but I started feeling unwell and got jaundice,” Mark said.

“Something was clearly wrong and then the doctors told me I had to stop, which I did.

“It was difficult for me because I had a passion for the beverage industry and the social aspect of drinking and I always thought I could work in the industry in some capacity.”

But it inspired Mark to investigate developing his own non-alcoholic beer that would still induce the happy feeling he enjoyed.

Impossibrew is a non-alcoholic mood-enhancing beer
Impossibrew is a non-alcoholic mood-enhancing beer

“The goal was really to create a three-dimensional product, with taste, health and feel, that is currently quite unique in the market,” Mark said.

And it was after traveling to Asia and discovering “functional” plants and herbs, that he found the secret formula to produce a non-alcoholic beer that he says imparts relaxing properties without the downsides.

He worked on the special recipe in his kitchen at Durham University with the help of Dr Paul Chazot, a world renowned bioscience professor, and invented Impossibrew.

He tells the Dragons, “It offers a refreshingly hoppy palate while containing just 66 calories and is packed with active nutrients that promote relaxation, without the drowsiness.”

Mark Wong hopes to taste success with his new non-alcoholic lager
Mark Wong hopes to taste success with his new non-alcoholic lager

He asks the business tycoons for an investment of £50,000 in return for 10% equity.

His business venture is a remarkable story for the young entrepreneur, who came to Canterbury to study aged 13 and barely spoke English, but became Head Boy at school.

Eager to see how he does, St Edmund’s School tweeted: “We can’t wait to see former St Edmund pupil Mark Wong on this week’s episode of Dragons’ Den on BBC One, showcasing his society and its Impossibrew concept.”

Watch Dragons’ Den on BBC One at 8 p.m. tonight.