Photo: Facebook | Archipelago Brewery
It's been nearly two years since we first drank our way through every microbrewery in Singapore to find the finest beers this land has to offer. While some breweries are no longer with us (cue sentimental music and a photo montage of Jungle Beer, Prague Microbrewery & Restaurant and Archipelago's old Circular Road bar), there have been new arrivals in the form of Hospoda Microbrewery and 1925 Microbrewery & Restaurant. We're happy to say that the scene is still in great shape as we present our favourite drops from each of Singapore's microbreweries.
|See this story in pictures: 9 best Singapore-brewed beers gallery|
Best cider – Adstrapple Cider
As much as we love our cider in Singapore, there have hardly been any inroads made in terms of anything locally-produced recently. Trust the most peculiar microbrewery in town to take care of that. First based in Chijmes and now a Katong mainstay with a short-lived appearance on Boat Quay along the way, AdstraGold has just kept chugging along, and they aren't finished yet. Their Katong premises recently underwent a partial rebrand to become LavaStone Steakhouse... all that while also offering tips on how to keep your yacht's hull free of algae and barnacles (seriously, their Facebook page is pretty far-out). Adstrapple Cider (300ml for $10.90, 500ml for $13.90) is a fresh and sweet sort of cider which puts some English labels to shame.
TIP: They've announced plans to open a new outlet, possibly a seafood restaurant, so stay tuned.
AdstraGold Microbrewery | Address: 417/419 East Coast Road | Tel: 63453378 | Opening hours: Mon–Sat 2pm–1am; Sun 2–11pm
Best limited edition beer – Yuzucha
From our all-time favourite Archipresso to their caramel apple ale and cherry wheat beer, Asia Pacific Breweries offshoot Archipelago has constantly delivered with its wild and wonderful limited edition brews. The beer currently pouring is Yuzucha (300ml for $10, 500ml for $12), a Kölsch-style ale brewed in collaboration with the Gryphon Tea Company. While they no longer occupy their well-known spot on Circular Road, Archipelago beer is available at an ever-growing number showcase bars across the island.
TIP: Follow their Facebook page to find out about regular special events like the recent Sunday at the Training Shed presented by Sideshow.
Archipelago Brewery | Address: Various including 94 Club Street | Tel: 65362607 | Opening hours: Mon-Sat 4pm-late
|The RedDot Monster Lager and Sauvignon Blanc. Guess which is which|
Most comfortable beer – Golden Beer
While things are relatively quiet on the new beer front at Brewerkz for now, we couldn't have been happier to see their expansion with the opening of Taphouse Dempsey Hill in August 2013. As always at this old man of brewpub culture, it's still about long sessions that start at midday. And there really is only one beer for that: the timeless Golden Ale (375ml for $6, 500ml for $7) is that old flame you always go back to; its easy drinkability provides comfort with the familiar.
TIP: Ask your server about the current beer of the week; you'll get $2 off it before 6pm and $3 off after.
Brewerkz | Address: #01-05/06 Riverside Point, 30 Merchant Road | Tel: 64382311 | Opening hours: Mon–Thu noon–midnight; Fri & Sat noon-1am; Sun 11am–midnight
Best beer you probably don't know about – Mixed Beer
Despite the demise of Prague Microbrewery & Restaurant, drinkers of pure and simple Czech beer don't have to worry about getting their fill. Hospoda – which means "inn" or "pub" in Czech – opened in October 2013 and serves two types of beer, light and dark (from 330ml for $10). They can also pour you a mixed eer 'float' with the two brews (from 330ml for $12). The menu here features some quality drinking food – sausages, grilled duck and prime baby pork ribs.
TIP: If you love beer enough to want to have it on your skin all day long, Hospoda stocks a range of beer cosmetics imported from the Czech Republic.
Hospoda Microbrewery | Address: #01-09 Albert Court, 180 Albert Street | Tel: 96665791 | Opening hours: Daily 4pm-midnight
Best beer with a view — 33.3 Stout
The world's highest urban craft brewery (still), LeVeL33 specializes in authentic European beers with one tap left over for a seasonal special (currently the 33.14 Dark Wheat Beer). While good food has always been a part of the LeVeL33 concept, it is now a bona fide fine dining venue featuring the cuisine of Chef James "Jimi" Tegerdine. It can get a little chilly up on the windy balcony, so it's fortuitous that they have a top-notch stout on the menu. The 33.3 (300ml for $9.33) is a dark beer with Irish roots and Singaporean sensibilities. The stout is light-bodied with just enough roasted malt to warm you when the wind picks up.
TIP: Check out their weekend events – Saturday Brunch of Sorts and Sunday Roast.
LeVeL 33 | Address: #33-01 Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 1, 8 Marina Boulevard | Tel: 68343133 | Opening hours: Sun–Thu noon–midnight; Fri, Sat & eve of public holidays noon–2am
Best beer for your health — Monster Green Lager
Going strong with their outlets at Boat Quay and Dempsey, RedDot now has its beers available for takeaway in 5-litre kegs ($55). They also host a speed drinking competition at their Boat Quay outlet on Friday nights with the current record holder taking just 2.31 seconds to down a pint. Our favourite here remains the Monster Green lager ($5 for a half-pint). RedDot's crisp, lightly bitter and slight coconut candy-sweet Monster might even be good for you: it's brewed with the dietary supplement spirulina. To quote the menu: ‘Preliminary studies have shown that spirulina is able to inhibit viral speciation in vitro, strengthen the immune system and may cause regression & elimination of AIDS virus.’ Drink what you will with that.
TIP: If you’re tough enough without the spirulina, the citrus-y Sauvignon Ale and zesty Lime Wheat are also excellent.
RedDot Brewhouse | Address: 33/34 Boat Quay | Tel: 65354500 | Opening hours: Mon–Thu noon–midnight, Fri–at noon–1am
|LeVel 33 is the spot for a dark, maybe broody, view over the city|
Best traditional beer — Paulaner Munich Lager
German beers have taken a back seat to modern day craft beer in recent years, but there's no denying the centuries of tradition in German beer-making. Paulaner's Munich Lager ($13 for 300ml) is a great example of what beer used to be like in the old days, before the dominance of drab pale lagers. Using only water, hops, malt and yeast as set down by the German Beer Purity Law, the Munich is not very different from the average German lager—smooth, simple and lightly hopped. Since it's brewed onsite—not poured out of a bottle after a journey halfway round the world—it is also lively and fresh.
TIP: They host one of the longest-running Oktoberfest celebrations in Singapore and mark the occasion authentically with Oktoberfestbier.
Paulaner Brauhaus | Address: #01-01 Millenia Walk, 9 Raffles Boulevard | Tel: 68830701 | Opening hours: Sun–Thu 11.30am–1am; Fri, Sat & eve of public holidays 11.30am–2am
The Pump Room
Best beer for dancers —India Pale Ale
Forget the overpriced, tasteless beers with wedges of lime in the way—dance and jive with an Asian Beer Award medal winner. The Pump Room India Pale Ale ($6) is as hoppy as the best IPAs, and is suitably inebriating at 6.2% abv. You won’t find a better beer to take to a Clarke Quay dance floor at 3am.
TIP: Need your live music fix? The Pump Room has two resident bands, ALL Axcess and Culture Shock.
The Pump Room | Address: #01-09 Clarke Quay, 3B River Valley Road | Tel: 63342628 | Opening hours: Sun–Thu 11am–3am; Fri & Sat 11am–5am
|Tawandang Microbrewery's lager is made for hot drinkin'|
Best beer to beat the heat — Tawandang Lager Beer
This German brewery that serves Thai cuisine is a peculiar blend of East and West. Known more as a place for seafood and live entertainment than as a straight up microbrewery, it also carries some decent beers: the lager ($12 for 300ml) proper, with subtle floral hop notes and enough body for it to function as a palate cleanser. It refreshes and helps fight off the heat, whether from a walk around Dempsey Hill or a spicy prawn tom yum soup.
TIP: Tawandang's weizen is worth a try if you like your beers cloudy and clove-y.
Tawandang Microbrewery | Address: 26 Dempsey Road | Tel: 64766742 | Opening hours: Daily 11.30am–1am
The 1925 Microbrewery &Restaurant
Best locally brewed beer – The Yellow Van
Offering yet more proof that Jalan Besar is now Singapore's trendiest neighbourhood with The 1925 Microbrewery & Restaurant's arrival. Swing by for a pint ($17.55) of beers brewed in house, from The Yellow Van, a pale ale to Small Monster, an Indian pale ale. Or their range of beers brewed overseas, from UK to Scotland. We like where this is going.
The 1925 Microbrewery & Restaurant | Address: 369 Jalan Besar | Tel: 9364 0256 | Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10am-midnight; Sun 10am-8pm
A beer enthusiast first and a writer second, Kurt Ganapathy has tried over a thousand brews from 80 countries. Some of his most memorable exploits include tackling the one-time world's strongest beer - BrewDog's 41% abv Sink The Bismarck! - and getting his name on the wall of an Irish pub in Melbourne for drinking 100 pints of Guinness (not in one sitting, of course).