We have a longstanding legacy of homegrown breweries and cool taprooms where beer lovers can geek out on limited batches of pale ales and triple-strength IPAs. Ahead, we round up notable watering holes and underrated breweries that you should check out on your next beer crawl.
Situated on the top floor of an office building in the Marina Bay Financial District, LeVeL 33 is a fantastic craft beer bistro bar to go on a date, thanks to the stunning views, or just to chill out after work. The industrial setting typically features four beers crafted with olden European flavours in mind, with the occasional seasonal brews making an appearance.
Located at 8 Marina Boulevard #33-01, MBFC Tower 1, Singapore 018981
Little Island Brewery Co.
The 10,000 sq ft microbrewery serves up an array of craft beers catered to local palates, including the SPA (Singapore Pale Ale) — a bitter, oak-natured IPA with flowery notes. All the beers are brewed in vats in-house, and you can also spot a large wood smoking even were meats are slow-cooked everyday. It might be on a far-flung corner of the island for non-East Siders, so this is one to check out on a lazy weekend evening.
Located at Block 6 Changi Village Road #01-01/02 Singapore 509907.
Druggists’ display of 23 taps lining the wall beneath a massive chalkboard is probably the second most Instagrammed bar decor other than the famed “风和日丽” lights at Loof. Druggist shares a building with the Singapore Chinese Druggists Association, and it boasts one of the most extensive selections of sour beers, imperial stouts and IPAs. The snacks are distinctly local, like coffee pork ribs, szechuan pickles and sambal ikan bilis.
Located at 119 Tyrwhitt Road Singapore 207547.
What used to be an actual military armoury is now a trendy watering hole for the hip after-office crowd at South Beach Towers. If you like your bars with a pinch of swank and a hint of stature, check out the Armoury. It has a standard fare of beers from USA, Japan and Europe on tap, making it a good stop for a quick introduction on the craft tipple. Hunker down with an ice-cold pint, and raise your glass to order some fries double-fried in duck fat. It’s a calorie assault well worth it.
Located at 36 Beach Road, Singapore 189677.
TAP situates the obscure love for craft beers in the centre of the city. 20 craft brews are available on tap, aside from over 80 craft ciders, beers and sodas — it’s a veritable arts n’ craft store for beer worshippers, except with alcohol instead of paint bottles. Familiar names like Left Coast, Green Flash and co. make their appearance at TAP with tons more unorthodox expressions, alongside a menu of burgers, cold cuts and tapas to keep your beer-guzzling soul satiated.
Located four locations including #01-02/#01-02B, One Raffles Link, Singapore 039393.
Orh Gao Taproom
In a country where having a beer in the kopitiam counts as a part of national culture, it’s no wonder we have waves of craft beer bars parked in prominent coffee shops around the island. Orh Gao Taproom is one such beer post parked in the heart of Botanic Gardens. Known as Killiney Kopitiam by day, the whole space becomes a taproom come 4pm. No kopi kettles will be in sight. Instead, you have a bar serving up ten different beers on tap, which rotates seasonally, alongside a lengthy selection of bottled brews from craft producers around the globe. To add to the appeal, Orh Gao Taproom also serves Asian-style bar bites like har cheong kai chicken wings to line your stomach as you plough through some pints.
Located at 10 Jalan Serene, Serene Centre #01-03, Singapore 258748.
Rarely do you have neighbourhood joints as cool as Nickeldime Drafthouse, so if you live in Novena, consider yourself lucky. The bar serves up 19 different beers on tap, sourced from Asia to America, and a dizzying array of bottles. To supplement your session, they’ve got satisfyingly greasy grub like burgers, garlic fries and their signature sourdough pizzas, as well as live soccer matches televised for ardent fans out there.
Located at #01-01 Novena Regency, 275 Thomson Road, Singapore 307645, +65 6265 5118.
Keong Saik’s thriving restaurant-bar, The Guild, is a collaboration between Hong Kong’s Young Master Brewery and Hong Kong-based household name, chef Vinny Lauria. Inside the spacious shophouse is a round bar spotted with 19 taps of Young Master Brewery’s signature and seasonal brews to complement the food menu, packed with Asian-American fusion dishes that utilise local produce where possible. Read our full review here.
Located at#01-01, 55 Keong Saik Rd, Singapore 089155, +65 9042 3900.
Having 30-odd beers on tap is no mean feat, which makes American Taproom an impressive craft beer haunt, in our books. There’s a ton of IPAs on the menu, along with stouts, meads, ales, and everything else. One may expect all their brews to come from the U.S., but there’s a pretty international selection to scour. The American element in the bar’s namesake comes from the food menu, which is lined with all-American snacks ranging from burgers to buffalo wings.
Located at #01-23 Waterloo Centre, 261 Waterloo St, Singapore 180261, +65 9632 1570.
Having a pint at Almost Famous is quite an experience. The minimal, industrial-looking space looks more like a showroom than a beer bar, but it is deliberately designed to let your senses focus entirely on the beer. The selection warrants your undivided attention, given that it hones in primarily on beers produced by small, regional brewers. There are 16 taps that rotate on occasion, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to sample Asia’s finest pours throughout the year.
Located at Chjimes, 30 Victoria St, #01-06, Singapore 187996, +65 9772 1787.
Trouble Brewing Singapore
Trouble Brewing Singapore operates on a different frequency from other local craft producers. While they do make beers direct for consumers, they also specialise in bespoke brews for brands. Most establishments with a namesake beer, be it Oxwell & Co., Panamericana, Sofitel Singapore and more, can credit their flagship expressions to the folks behind Trouble Brewing Co. Their stocks are available at over 70 bars and restaurants islandwide (and online), and if you fancy a gander at making your own beer, you can always reach out via their website to suss out their workshops.
Lion Brewery Co.
Lion Brewery Co. was conceived in London some 70 years ago, and it purportedly supplied beers across the world during the Victorian times. A tragic fire saw its premises burn down, but the brewery has risen once more in Singapore, where it now calls home. It recently launched with two beers, the Straits Pale Ale and the Island Lager, both aromatic and fresh enough to be chug-worthy in our sweltering city. Order online via their website.
The 1925 Brewing Co.
The 1925 Brewing Co. is steeped in family legacy. Run by two brothers and an uncle, the Mandai-based brewery creates beers that pay homage to the family’s Teochew heritage, and are also made to be paired with food. One of their most popular craft expressions is the chrysanthemum-tasting Liang Teh, which is inspired by the Chinese medicinal remedy and is a dream to cut through spicy food. The brewery also has a namesake bar located at 261 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427515 that offers delivery.
This story first appeared in Lifestyle Asia Singapore.
(Main and featured image: Lion Brewery Co.)