Win over family and friends with our curated list of craft beers this Chinese New Year.
What’s a mahjong session or catch-up with your cousins without a case of beers? Our list of craft breweries is sure to win you points (and maybe more ang baos) this Chinese New Year.
Young Master Ales
Heating up the craft beer scene in Singapore is Young Master. The brewery, hailing from Hong Kong, may have started in late 2013, but has already won a slew of awards and accolades for their range of classics and unique beers. Most noteworthy is the Island 1842 Imperial IPA (8% ABV). Notes of tropical fruits like orange or pineapple blends seamlessly into the bold, hoppy aftertaste of the IPA, making it the perfect pour for craft beer aficionados during Chinese New Year.
The adventurous ones can check out the Cha Chaan Teng Goose (4% ABV), a salted limed Gose brewed with, well, salted lime. A common ingredient for lemon sodas in the bustling eateries ubiquitous in Hong Kong, it strikes a balance between sweet and sour, making it an invigorating pint during Singapore’s never-ending summers. Or, skip the bevy of love letters or kueh bangkit and have the Hak Mo Sheung (10.1% ABV) for dessert. This imperial stout aged in a bourbon whiskey barrel is reminiscent of a black forest cake. Think fresh burst of raspberries combined with rich, dark chocolate.
Premium Beers from Spain
Take a trip to the Mediterranean with Er Boquerón (4.8% ABV), the only beer in the world made with purified Mediterranean sea water. This award-winning blond ale uses minerals found naturally in the sea to give us a light-tasting yet flavourful beer. Fruity notes of peaches and pear joins the enlivening combination of cookies, saffron, fruits and a hint of salt. Munchies seem to think that its a (almost) hang-over free beer, giving us more than enough reason to indulge.
Those tucking into a feast of grilled meats will enjoy an accompanying pint of the rosemary- and honey-infused triple malt winter ale, La Soccarrada (6% ABV). It is bottled without filtration, pasteurisation or additives, allowing residual yeast within the beer to continue fermenting in the bottle. Best served cold, it carries a pleasant flavour of caramel, cherry, pears and a hint of spice, along with a distinct rosemary aroma. The Toro (5.5% ABV), however, is aged in Pedro Ximenez Jerez barrels, giving this red ale a creamy, caramel flavour. Perfect while catching up with relatives after dinner.
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Heroes Beer Co
Winning crowds with their eye-catching labels in Hong Kong, Heroes Beer Co is slowly creeping its way into our hearts. Instead of simply brewing an IPA or a stout, they base the beers off personalities – from chefs to pub managers. The star of the line-up is an American Wheat christened the Hangry Donut (5.1% ABV). Inspired by an acclaimed local chef, it is brewed with hibiscus and lactose which gave this easy-going pint an addictive sweet-sour undertone. Another favourite is the zesty Berline Weisse a.k.a. Alchem-ms (4% ABV). Brewed as traditional German sour, it was then infused with blood oranges, grapefruits, honey and gin. This results in a mindbogglingly refreshing drink we won’t mind stocking in our fridges even after Chinese New Year.
Devil’s Peak Brewing Company
South Africa may not come to mind immediately when it comes to craft beers in Singapore, but we have our eye on Devil’s Peak vibrant collaboration series. Working with heavyweights like Mikkeller and Alpha Craft, you just know its going to be a treat. But, we love their names and art-deco labels most of all. There is the It Takes Two To Mango, a mango sour with Fourpure, and a Kolsch called Gipsy King with, well, Gipsy Hill. Most notable is Dark is the Night (with Fierce Beer) (6% ABV), a black IPA with the unlikely combination of smooth coffee flavours and a fruity hop aroma.
Craft Beverage Supply, 10 Anson Road #26-04 International Plaza.
More than just another South African brewery, Darling Brew shines light on the many endangered species and environment impacts of brewing through their beers. The Blood Serpent (5% ABV) not only features a stylised label inspired by the Secretary Bird (vulnerable species), but is also the first Carbon Neutral beer in the region. Taste-wise, this unfiltered amber lager is a crowd-pleasing honey flavour, accentuated with a light spice and undertone of grass. Likewise, the Warlord (9% ABV) is a full-bodied imperial IPA inspired by the now-extinct black rhinos, while the decimated African buffalos takes over the label on the Godfather (7.7%), a hoppy yet fruity rye IPA.
Copenhagen is just a pint away with To Øl Fuck Art Winter is Coming (8% ABV). This Belgian tripel is uniquely spiced with cardamon, coriander and orange peel to give us a whimsical profile of lemon, ginger, honey and earthiness. Surprisingly juicy, it makes for a lovely tipple any time of the day.
Temple Cellars #01-12, UE Square, 81 Clemenceau Avenue. Tel: 6262 2191