Photo: Singapore Lager/ Instagram
Whether it’s a social lubricant or a tipple to accompany your meal, a pint of beer is a beverage of choice for many. With a fizzy make-up that quenches thirst and a nuanced flavour profile thanks to the addition of hops, grains and other flavourings, beers are an enjoyable beverage to unwind with (we recommend pairing your brew with some salty pretzels). It’s no wonder then, that the boozy liquid is enjoyed worldwide and has prompted many in Singapore to create their own versions.
Sure, we have Tiger Beer. But if you’re looking to upgrade the drinking experience with something more indie and under-the-radar, we suggest giving craft beer a go. Usually created in smaller batches than large, commercial labels, craft beer brewers create truly fun, unique flavours that won’t pale in comparison to the Heinekens and Hoegaardens of the world.
Good news is, we’ve rounded up nine local craft beer labels you should try when you’re aching for a cold one.
Oh and we hate to nag, but remember to drink wisely and responsibly, and never drink and drive. Cheers!
1. Singapore Lager
If you’re looking for a light beer that drinks easy and matches with your local favourites such as chicken rice, char kway teow and laksa, Singapore Lager is the tipple to go for. Brewed in Tuas by the folks behind local bespoke craft beer makers Trouble Brewing, Singapore Lager has light peppery notes with hints of white bread, soft grape and grassy aromas. The soft golden liquid is light bodied, smooth and dry, making it a suitable pairing with many types of food or as a nightcap to round off a tiring day. It is easily a crowd pleaser that you can serve while entertaining your guests. The beer is available via RedMart at $84 for a pack of 24. Else, head to Singapore Lager’s website to locate their stockists.
2. Little Island Brewing Co.
It is difficult to unwind and enjoy a good, cold pint of beer unless you’ve got your friends with you in a cosy bar with live music. That’s what Little Island Brewing Co. — which is founded by self-described “hippy gastronomist” Francis Khoo — aims to achieve with its 400-seater restaurant in Changi Village. But besides bar grub that varies from finger foods to grilled meats, fried seafood and sharing platters, Little Island Brewing Co., as its name suggests, also serves up its own beer. Adjacent to the restaurant lies the microbrewery, where brewmaster Steve Spinney would create any of the 18 variations the eatery-bar has on rotation, ranging from extra pale lagers to dark, rich stouts. The beers are also as fresh as they get — they’re served unfiltered, unpasteurised and straight from the serving tanks. Head to Little Island Brewing Co.’s website for more information.
3. Rye & Pint Brewery
Rye & Pint Brewery was founded by three brothers Luther, Rufus and Ross Goh back in 2015. Luther and Rufus were former engineers while Ross was an auditor, and their collaboration melded together their passions and strengths. Located in Tuas, Rye & Pint Brewery produces small batches each time and the beer is bottled and kegged fresh from the fermenter to ensure the utmost quality in taste and body. It currently has a repertoire of 12 beers that include Sunday’s Brew (a pilsner), Trippin’ Wheat (wheat ale) and Daily Fix (coffee pale ale). Three new flavours will be released soon — Mandarina, a golden ale with notes of tangerine, Moonlightin’, a porter with chocolate malt notes and Moonlightin’ Too, a black IPA with fruity, toffee flavour. Head to Rye & Pint Brewery’s website for its stockists and more information.
Perched on the 33rd floor of the Marina Bay Financial Centre, you’ll not only be able to enjoy a local brew at LeVeL33, you’ll also be served with a fantastic panoramic view of Singapore’s skyline. LeVel33 serves beer made onsite at its microbrewing facilities. It currently has five flavours that are unfiltered and unpasteurised: 33.1 Blond Lager, 33.15 India Pale Ale, 33.3 Stout, 33.4 House Porter and 33.9 Wheat Beer. Else you can get the tasting paddle and try all five at once. In addition, LeVeL33 also incorporates beer brewing elements, such as yeast, spent grains and hops that impart dimension and flavour into its dishes. Head to LeVeL33’s website for more information.
5. That Singapore Beer Project
If you’re looking for unique flavours that differ from the usual offerings, That Singapore Beer Project won’t disappoint. Touting itself as the “social brewing project that makes beers inspired by local stories and preferences,” the company, which is set up by Casey Choo, retails many playful flavours that are made after crowd-sourcing opinions from the ground. These include the limited edition Kiam Sng Di, which is Hokkien for salty, sour and sweet, inspired by fresh guavas dipped with plum powder, and Drinks Like Teen Spirit?!, a malty Helles beer that is crisp, refreshing and has floral notes. That Singapore Beer Project also collaborates with other breweries, both local and international, to create fun twists such as Mangojack, a mango and jackfruit-brewed tipple. Head to That Singapore Beer Project’s website for more information and stockists.
6. Brewlander & Co.
Founded by local celebs Allan Wu and Daniel Ong, Brewlander & Co. prides itself on creating the best flavours while not skimping on costs and quality. Heading the brewing operation is John Wei, an award-winning home brewer and beer competition judge. Brewlander & Co. has a collection that ranges from a refreshing summer ale (named Hope), a fruity Wild IPA (Love) and a punchy Double IPA (Courage). The website also introduces food pairings with its brews so that beer newbies can see how best to enjoy their tipple with a meal. Head to its website for more information and stockists.
7. The 1925 Brewing Co.
At the heart of The 1925 Brewing Co. is a family business that prides itself on its enduring family heritage and the preservation of the Singaporean Teochew culture. Opened by brothers Ivan and Eng Kuang, and their uncle, Yeo King Joey, the 1925 Brewing Co. used to be The 1925 Microbrewery & Restaurant when it opened in 2013, but was rebranded to The 1925 Brewing Co. in 2016. Its restaurant serves both Asian and Western cuisine, but the star is of course, its brews, which are made in a facility in Mandai. It currently serves up nine flavours of beers, ranging from Yellow Van, a versatile pale ale, to Blk 622, a dark ale named after the block where the brothers’ grandparents used to live in, to limited or small batch brew flavours such as Manuka Stout, a stout made with manuka honey, and DaBai, a beer suited for someone who favours a stronger hop flavour. Head to the The 1925 Brewing Co.’s website for more information and stockists.
8. Pump Room Asia
Clarke Quay is often a go-to place in Singapore for many to unwind with a tipple in hand and friends in tow. Pump Room Asia is one such place you can go to to enjoy Western cuisine such as pizzas, pastas and burgers before washing it all down with a pint of the in-house brewed beers. Headed by the resident brewmaster Randy Liew, Pump Room Asia currently serves six different flavours. Choose between refreshing Singapore Golden Ale, Scotch Ale (a strong pale ale) to a dark, robust Porter. Head to the Pump Room Asia’s website to get more information.
9. Pink Blossoms Brewing
Inspired by the infinite creativity of craft beer brewers in New York City, former accountant Teo Hong Han decided to move back to Singapore from the American metropolis with his wife to open Pink Blossoms Brewing back in 2018. Currently available at its tasting room in Ubi, Pink Blossoms Brewing serves up over 10 flavours, dependant on the availability. Here, the brand prides itself on brewing beer in small batches so that it is able to tweak to customers’ preferences while allowing space for innovation and creativity. Brews range from Hundred Years, a milk stout with coffee and chocolate notes, Lean on Me, a zesty pale ale, and Don’t Stop Believing, a fruity IPA. Head to Pink Blossoms Brewing’s website for more information.
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