We Lost Our Twins at 24 Weeks 5 Days To Extreme Prematurity

So here I am, in my study, with some kinda relaxing classical music play-list on Spotify trying to gather my thoughts. I’m not sure why I’m writing this, or how I’m gonna even pen down how I feel, or if this will ever be published.

But I am here, and I think I am writing this mostly for selfish reasons. I need to get this out of my head and onto a page, I need to collect and structure my thoughts, try to distil them, feel them to the maximum of my capacity, then process them and move on. In some parts this whole thing feels surreal.

Some part of me feels like keeping this password protected, some part thinks I should do it as a Facebook note so only my friends on Facebook can see it, some part of me wants to not doing anything at all and just curl into a ball.

Also selfishly I want to avoid hundreds of separate, awkward conversations about this which will trigger a new wave of devastation each time I have to talk about it.

Our Twins

I also need to put a trigger warning here up-front, if you have lost a child, had a 2nd or 3rd trimester delivery (late miscarriage or pre-term birth) where you lost the babies or anything similar, this may be extremely hard reading for you.

Some people may think I’m over-sharing, or this is very private and should stay that way. You are probably right, but this is my way of dealing with it, I don’t really have any very close friends or support system and I have no other way to get through this. I can’t put it all on Kim, she has to deal with herself too and I truly believe it’s much worse for her than it is for me, and what I feel I already find unbearable.

For context, and for those that didn’t know. Kim was pregnant with twins, at first we were terrified because twins come with a lot of complications and our first child was already premature at 32 weeks although he made it through just fine with no apparent long term disabilities. They were due on December 22nd and we expected them to come out around mid November (around 36 weeks is normal for twins).

But we reconciled our feelings about it, we got excited about it, the magic of twins, we had plans, had accepted van life was becoming a reality, dreams, fantasies about our lives together. And we found out the twins were a boy and a girl – it could get no better.

The pregnancy was wholly uneventful, no spotting, no pains, nothing – no signs anything was wrong. Everything was going just fine, the twins were growing well, Kim’s cervix was fine and long – better than expected actually as they were both the size of regular babies at the last check-up. There were minor issues like the placenta was quite near the cervix, but not totally covering it (placenta previa) and Kim had low iron.

Honestly the pregnancy with Liam was far more stressful and showed many more signs of prematurity being a real risk. We were totally shocked when Kim went into labour at 32 weeks and we had to learn a whole lot about NICU and premature babies really fast, I wrote a little about it here: What It’s Like To Be The Father Of A Premature Baby (Premie).

He’s absolutely fine though, just past 2 years old and is developing into a smart, bright, loving, sweet little man.

We expected some level of prematurity with the twins, definitely not before 30 weeks (the danger zone) and hopefully after 34 weeks – for no NICU stay.

So what happened?

This is the most common question we get asked from the very few people we’ve told (currently single digits), and is fairly straight forward to answer – it’s also very unpleasant to answer over and over because it makes me or Kim relive the entire experience each time we have to tell someone about it. Which is really, really, genuinely horrible.

I’m gonna tell it as it happened from my perspective, it’s going to be detailed, gruesome in parts and emotional.

At around 6.10pm Thursday 1st September Kim sent me a picture of some discharge she had, she said spotting..but when I saw the picture, I very obviously saw a mucus plug (the thing which closes the cervix to the outside world). Which made me absolutely terrified, I was actually in the tail-end of a company off-site meeting and was already exhausted. I tried to stay mentally strong, and imagine it was thrush or just some mucus, or discharge.

Spotting & Mucus Plug

But deep inside, I already knew this was bad, really fucking bad. It was the same thing that happened last time, and last time 7 days later Kim’s water broke in our bedroom and she went into labour and gave birth the next morning.

I quickly read up on it again to refresh my memory, but I was right, it was a bloody show, it looks exactly like everything on Google image search for “bloody show” or “mucus plug“. If there’s blood, it’s bad.

At this point, I’m unsure if it’s better to know more or less, I already knew a lot about this subject, what it meant and what was imminent. I’m not sure if that’s more terrifying, or not knowing anything would have been worse.

Either way, it looked really bad.

I rushed home as fast as I could, after crying hard in the car for a while to try and get my shit together. I wanted to reach home and present a strong, positive front to try and make the best of the situation.

I picked up some dinner on the way back, and shortly after I reached, Kim lost some more mucus plug. I think at that point we both knew what was about to happen, the last thing that we wanted and something that had honestly never crossed our mind as an option.

We were very likely about to lose the twins.

By this time it was about 9pm, we’d managed to eat a little and feed Liam.

And then Kim thought she started feeling contractions, I tried to believe they were Braxton Hicks contractions, but we started timing them…and they were coming 5 minutes apart.

And having gone through labour before, she knew they were real because they hurt like period cramps, which real contractions do – Braxton Hicks do not.

We quickly gathered some things and proceeded to the hospital, we reached there at I’d say approximately 11pm and they took Kim straight into the maternity ward. I waited outside with Liam and tried to stay calm, hope they could stop the contractions and prevent the onset of labour.

I couldn’t go in as Liam was with me, so I had no idea what was going on.

About an hour later they let me into the ward waiting area, where I sat with Liam for about 20 minutes. Of course I was still hoping for the best, but by that time I had very little hope left and was absolutely physically and mentally exhausted.

The doctor came, and sat opposite me, he said Kim had already given birth to both babies naturally (not c-section) and was fine, they were just cleaning her and the room up and I could go and see her. By the time we had reached the hospital, her contractions were less than 2 minutes apart and she was fully dilated at 10cm, the doctor said for babies this small she only needed 6cm dilation to give birth.

When the nurse checked her dilation she could already feel the babies fingers.

There was absolutely nothing they could have done to stop or slow down the delivery.

He said the babies were very small, there were some signs of life, but they were extremely premature and it really didn’t look good.

Even though I was fully expecting it, it was still a shock.

Strangely I didn’t really feel anything, I felt numb and emotionless. He kept telling me over and over it was not Kim’s fault, and I shouldn’t blame her. I knew that, but I also knew why he was saying it as most humans have a tendency to blame as a first instinct when anything bad happens.

By this time it was about 1am, and they let us into the delivery room, Kim looked fine and healthy and we sat and talked about what had happened a little. I think we both didn’t feel much at this point. Things were happening faster than our emotions could process it.

Kim in Delivery Room

I think we slightly freaked people out with our stoicism, although in hindsight it was most likely shock more than anything else. We really couldn’t feel anything.

The paediatric doctor came in a little time after 1am to let us know neither of the twins had made it. They were born at 630 and 670 grams and were extremely premature, their eyes were still fused and they had no real lung capacity.

As we expected, we had lost them. They were born at around 11:47pm and 11:58pm and died before 1am, they lived around 45 minutes.

They kept asking if we wanted to see them, I refused, I honestly didn’t want to see any dead babies – even if they were mine and part of me. Kim didn’t want to see them either, she had seen them during birth and they were very purple.

The Doctor also warned us they were very bruised and in quite a bad way, especially the boy as he came out head first so the bruising was on his face.

We still didn’t feel much, we talked more about logistics than anything, the hospital staff were very empathetic but not very useful when it came to what we were supposed to do about the bodies, the registration of their deaths, was it considered a miscarriage etc?

They kept talking about Forensiks which I now realise is the mortuary and associated functions not actual forensic examination.

I went home a little after 2am as Liam was getting very tired and cranky. I think I passed out for a while putting him to sleep around 2.30am-3.30am with the front door and grill wide open, keys still in the padlock.

I got up and did some laundry (Kim’s bloody clothes), read up a bit more about related subjects, had a shower and went to be around 4.30am.

I slept fitfully.

The Day After

I woke up the next day with Liam around 1.30pm after sleeping on and off. Kim had sent me a list of stuff she needed on Whatsapp to bring to the hospital.

I collected all the stuff (well most of it, I forgot some because my mind was a mess) and went to the hospital.

I arrived around 2.30pm and went to the ward, I couldn’t go in though because of Liam – no under 12s allowed as it’s an infectious disease centre.

Fortunately the guard helped me take Kim’s stuff inside.

And then something good happened, Liam’s Paedatric Doctor showed up, and asked me what I was doing there and who was warded, I said Kim and he said why? So I explained the situation to him, he looked genuinely sad, asked a bunch of doctor-ish questions, confused me with his big words (He asked if Kim is ambulating) and said it sounds like Incompetent Cervix.

He went inside and tried to sort things out, which he did. He’s the head of NICU in the hospital, so he said Liam could wait in the NICU counselling room with the counsellor while I went and got Kim sorted out, got a wheelchair, paid and so on.

I was and still am very grateful for his help, he made a terrible situation a lot less stressful.

We had decided we would let the hospital deal with the babies bodies, so we had to make a police report for that, which the hospital staff very kindly helped with.

By this time, the feelings were starting to sink in, and break through the numbness.

I got a wheelchair, made the payments and collected Kim, we got Liam on the way back down and I took Kim to the car.

And then we went to eat Texas Chicken, for some reason that felt comforting, and it was good, hot fried chicken, sweet tea and butter biscuits. We both felt a lot better after that.

We got home around 5pm.

Kim was in quite a lot of pain from her uterus contracting and we were both exhausted and the emotions were starting to come.

Seeing our Children

Kim’s dad just got back from Thailand and came straight over, we were grateful for that as it meant we could go back to the hospital to settle the death certs without Liam (we DO NOT want to take a 2 year old to a mortuary).

We also decided together to see the babies for one last time and say goodbye, I also rationalised that it’s possible I would regret not seeing them in the future but it’s very unlikely I’d regret seeing them – so logically it makes sense to see them even though every fibre of my body screamed no.

I think it was just fear of seeing them dead, perfectly formed would just make it too real, and be too traumatic. Although rationally I knew it would help me have closure, help me heal faster and I had to pay them respect, they were my children, however short their lives.

We went after the traffic had died down, I fell asleep for a while with Liam while he was napping, the stress of preparing myself to see them…was really hard on me.

I couldn’t speak.

We drove to the hospital and located the mortuary around 9pm, I just totally broke down, I couldn’t cope with what was about to happen.

It made it real, final. My babies were never going to grow up, they were never going to feel my love for them, I would never find out who they could have been. It destroyed me.

By the time they prepared the babies and brought them out, I had gone numb again, whilst in the viewing room Kim went into the state I was just in.

We spent some time with them, told them we loved them, touched them (they were cold and slightly clammy) and very bruised. I took some pictures, Kim was racked with guilt that they hadn’t survived, and I think she somehow blames herself even though it’s not her fault at all.

She kept saying sorry over and over.

The girl was so beautiful, tall and elegant with more hair than Liam had when he was born – with perfectly formed eyebrows.

The boy was absolutely battered, he looked like he had finished a boxing match. His whole head was terribly bruised.

But they were both perfectly formed, with high noses and they looked a lot like Liam when we was born.

Kim signed all the paperwork for the death certificates and the release to allow the hospital to dipose of their bodies.

We decided not to have any ceremony.

Emotions

I’m gonna run through the emotions, internal and external dialogue below in no particular order, because they just come in waves, sometimes one at a time, sometimes many at once, either way it’s very overwhelming.

They are all very intertwined and lead to each other.

Sadness

This is obviously the predominant emotion, and in comes in waves, not even waves, tsunamis – it’s like being hit with a sadness freight train travelling at 200mp/h.

When it comes it’s completely debilitating.

It’s deep, it’s almost like it physically hurts in your heart, your soul, your spirit or whatever you want to call the deepest part of your own self. You’ve become attached to these little people, you have aspirations, dreams with them, fantasies of them playing with Liam, imagining what their faces look like, imagining the love you will have for them.

Then all of that is ripped away, it leaves a big hole.

It’s constant at a low ebb, apart from when I guess it gets too overwhelming and you get numb again, which happens. And sometimes, usually after being numb for a while it comes back really hard, fast and abruptly.

The sadness also leads into a lot of other things, when you are in that deep darkness, you start questioning, your questions lead to confusion, guilt, frustration, anger and more.

Honestly I feel this one is only in check and under control because of Liam, he’s such a bright little spark, so full of laughs and giggles and physical affection, it just makes it impossible to become too self pitying.

I still need to feed him, bathe him, care for him and his life goes on – he has no idea what just happened and honestly I think that’s really good for us. Because coping with this whilst also copying with a grieving child who has less developed emotions would be really, really tough (selfish thoughts again).

My first reaction was so deeply sad, I just didn’t even want to be alive any more.

But with Liam, that’s not an option.

I do suffer from depression sometimes, so I have to be very careful not to slip into a depressive state (another reason why I’m writing this), keeping active, the house is spotless..and I’ve been avoiding drinking as it’s a depressant.

I believe this sadness will get less and less as each day goes by, but never completely leave us. It will probably re-emerge at their birthdays or due dates.

Anger

I don’t think Kim feels this one much, but I do, I think deep inside me there’s still a lot of rage somewhere, and this brings it out. I don’t even know what I’m angry at, I just feel intense anger bordering on hate sometimes. I’ll be more specific about that below.

Angry at the world, angry at myself, at Kim, at the doctors, at random people on the road.

I just want to do violent things, hurt people, destroy things.

It’s totally irrational, and I don’t feel it much after day 1.

Even sometimes I’d feel pure anger at Liam, for being alive – which is ridiculous.

Numbness/Apathy

This was my default state at the hospital the night it happened. It felt weird, surreal, like a bad dream, I guess that’s what shock feels like.

I’ve never experienced it before.

It brings with it guilt as you wonder why you aren’t feeling sad, or angry or anything really.

After reading about it a bit, it seems normal and it’s when your emotions overwhelm your concious ability to keep up with them, which is basically some form of shock.

You shut down your ability to feel until you can catch up, when things happen too fast, and are too emotionally intense, you just can’t deal with it.

It’s probably the most bearable of all the feelings/emotions, but also the least useful when it comes to moving on/processing/grieving.

I think writing this post has put me in this state, as I don’t really feel anything right now – probably because my brain is using all it’s horsepower in recollection, ordering, typing and so on.

Guilt/Confusion

This is possibly the most horrible one and this also encompasses a whole bunch of “What ifs?”, self-doubt and some hate.

  • Could we have done more?
  • Should I have been stricter with Kim?
  • Why didn’t we put a Cervical cerclage and force the issue with the Doctors?
  • Should we have had more regular appointments at the hospital for a high risk pregnancy?
  • What did we do to deserve this?
  • How did we fail our son and daughter?
  • Did they die because of us?

And on an on. All these questions lead to more sadness, more hate, more anger..

I also feel horrible, that in some way, as soon as I knew Kim was really going into labour I hoped for them to die painlessly and quickly. Which sounds really inhuman said out loud, typed or even thought about consciously.

But it’s the truth. And it’s the thing that makes me feel most guilty. It’s also based on facts, stats and in a way is an extremely selfish and overly-pragmatic view. But it’s also my character.

The facts are, only 63% of 24 week old babies will survive and out of those 63% almost all will have some form of disability (84%). And with twins, the figures are even worse.

Birth at 24 Weeks of Gestation Source – PENUT Trial

No parents want their kids to just survive, you want them to live and thrive. And with children born this premature, they won’t have a good quality of life (they can be blind, or almost blind, have really bad breathing problems and have spastic muscles, low IQ etc) and most likely will die within the first few years.

You can judge me for this one, but trust me, I already feel way worse about it than you do.

Hate

This is probably the second most horrible, and totally irrational much like the anger which in a way manifests as hate.

I hate myself, I hate the doctors, in some part I hate Kim and her stupid cervix (please note I do not blame her at all in any way – this is just how I feel).

I hate that we didn’t do more, I hate that the doctors didn’t make us take more preventions (cerclage, progesterone shots etc).

Sometimes I just hate everyone, I hate people for having healthy kids, I hate Liam for surviving, I hate myself for being weak.

Thankfully this one passes pretty fast, and I know it’s totally irrational, so I just let it go as fast as possible. It’s now day 2 and I don’t really feel much anger or hate any more.

Just acceptance and sadness and sometimes numbness.

Don’t Be Insensitive

If you do choose to speak to us about this (which is not necessary, more below), please don’t be insensitive or inappropriate. People need to learn to speak with compassion to the broken hearted.

If you are a parent, you probably have some idea how this feels, but unless you’ve been through the same or a very similar experience, you have no idea how it actually feels. And even if you have been through it, don’t tell us you know how we feel, because you don’t. We all deal with things differently.

  • Don’t tell us we are lucky, we already have a child.
  • Don’t try and minimise our loss by offering platitudes like telling Kim she’s still young she can try again.
  • Don’t assume there will be another pregnancy.
  • Don’t think because they were so pre-mature it makes it somehow easier to deal with, it doesn’t.
  • Don’t try and ‘cheer us up’, grief is powerful and needs to be expressed.
  • Don’t fear making us cry, it’s part of the process.
  • Don’t be cheery and bright about it
  • Don’t be nervous and keep talking, silence is better

If you want to understand more read these:

Helping Someone After a Miscarriage
6 Things to Never Say to a Bereaved Parent
WHAT YOU SHOULD (AND SHOULDN’T) SAY TO SOMEONE WHO HAS LOST A BABY

Don’t Feel Obligated to Care

Honestly, if you don’t really care I’m 100% fine with that. I’m not hugely empathetic so I understand. I’m writing this part as a form of emotional protection for us based on our characters, and it may sound harsh but I’m writing it in the most straight forward, honest, open manner I can without beating around the bush, being subtle or avoiding the subject.

You’re not obliged to console us, or even talk about this with us, I’d prefer silence over shallow or insincere condolences.

If you aren’t genuinely feeling something about this, that’s perfectly fine, don’t feel weird, and don’t make it awkward by feeling some social obligation to say something to me or Kim

Just don’t say anything, please.

The last thing I want is a stream of “Condolences” on Facebook that are completely meaningless. If you do that, I’ll know you probably didn’t even bother reading this far and that will make me sad.
Even if you do feel sad or upset by this, but don’t know what to say, that’s fine too and as above silence is best. The whole reason I’m writing this post is to avoid having to talk about this over and over, endlessly.

So yah, if you do need to say something to us, that’s fine too, but please read up first how to be compassionate, do’s and dont’s and be careful. Because we are really tender right now.

Conclusion

I feel like I feel much better after writing this, even though I may just be feeling numb from reliving it all.

Certain parts did bring a tear to my eye.

Kim has read this and is ok to publish and let the world know. And I do have to write/publish/do something so people won’t wonder why we disappeared and won’t wonder why we look so sad and why we will be out of contact with the world for a while. Also I do know a lot of people do care about us, have been following our pregnancy and are excited for us.

Honestly Thursday and Friday were the worst days of my life so far, I hope to never relive them and for anyone that’s been through a similar experience, I am so so so sorry.

No one should ever have to feel this.

I imagine at some point Kim might write things from her perspective, as it would be very different from mine as she did with Liam: I have popped and this is how it went down.

As for cause, it really does look like Incompetent Cervix as the labour was much shorter than last time and the babies are more premature, which are both strong indicators.

We will have to seriously consider our future options, right now I’m torn between never wanting to go through this again and being fine with 1 child, to wanting to have another go. I think I have 1 more fight left in me.

It’s too soon now though, so we’ll have to see.

If you read this far, thank you, it’s half a dissertation (over 4400 words) – and is hard reading. If you want to talk to me about it, with the above caveats, please go ahead.

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Singapore Trip – Village Hotel Changi & Village Hotel Katong

So in January 2016 I headed down to Singapore for Applehops Beer Bash, celebrating their 2nd anniversary.

Obviously being in Singapore for a few days, I needed somewhere to stay! For the first couple of days I stayed at Village Hotel Changi which is a beautiful peaceful retreat on the North East coast of Singapore (near the airport).

It’s a beautifully breezy area, great for cycling and you can even take a daytrip to Pulau Ubin. It’s a really good choice for Singaporeans looking for a staycation as well as they have activity packages a great buffet lunch and it’s well away from the hustle/bustle of the city.

There’s also a pretty nice food court (famous for nasi lemak) right across the road (Changi Village Hawker Centre).

Someone was excited to get to the hotel of course..

Village Hotel Changi

It was quite a drive to Singapore, as I followed Google maps and for some reason it took some weird arse way to a ferry terminal that I didn’t even know existed..that didn’t have a ferry until 8am the next morning (Tanjung Belungkor).

So yah, we were really glad to be there!

Village Hotel Changi

It’s a nice, bright spacious room with a big comfy bed, a writing desk, a small sofa/seating area, a tv a minifridge and a bathroom with both shower and bathtub (great for a baby).

Village Hotel Changi

The sitting area is especially useful for us, dealing with a rambuntious toddler who we need to sit down sometimes to drink his milk, eat some snacks etc. Overall a pretty child friendly hotel.

Service was really good too.

We had the buffet lunch at the hotel which is quite good value for money and is available every day with a broad variety of local and international delights. All the way from stuff like porridge with all the trimmings.

Village Hotel Changi

Which includes yau char gwai of course – one of Liam’s favourites!

Village Hotel Changi

To Sushi – one of our favourites!

They all have a good mix of other stuff, roast and grilled meats and seafood, pasta, salad and much more.

Village Hotel Changi

The absolute highlight for us at Changi Village was the pool, the main reason we went there, located on the 8th floor with a stunning view of the straits.

Village Hotel Changi

It was super breezy, fresh and totally relaxing – we spent hours up there. Even though it rained, we stayed in the pool anyway! Of course Liam absolutely loved it too, and there was a nice jacuzzi area too with a ledge for him to play on.

Village Hotel Changi

I was literally late for my event because I had too much fun hanging out in the pool haha, was sooo relaxing. Totally recommend it.

Village Hotel Changi

So overall I think Village Hotel Changi is a good spot for a getaway, especially to get out of the city, or as a quick stop-over near the airport. It may be a little far (around 30 mins drive) if you want to do a bunch of stuff in the city – but even then, the pool is kinda worth it!

It also has a nice, convenient spacious car-park which is included in the room price. Important to me as I was driving. Plenty of good food around within walking distance, shops, convenience stores and yes, there are Uber cars around there.

After that we moved to Village Hotel Katong, which is still on the East coast but much further in and nearer to the city.

This is an exceptionally beautiful hotel with a Peranakan influence, it feels rather swanky and is super cool as it’s basically on top of a small shopping Mall (which gives you access to a big grocery store, a few restaurants and hipster coffee).

Village Hotel Katong

The style is a really nice mix of modern slick aesthetics combined with Peranakan zest and details, it’s really, really nice.

You can see the details in the tiles which were placed around the room, like on the luggage stand and in the bathroom.

Village Hotel Katong

Really nice room to hang out in, watch TV, drink some craft beers, wonder downstairs for some Katong Laksa, grab some stuff from the grocery store under the hotel and just chill.

Village Hotel Katong

And yah, Liam found his favourite thing..the telephone haha. He loved the room too.

Village Hotel Katong

Definitely looking forwards to visiting there again!

Village Hotel Katong

Honsetly didn’t stay there long enough to really take it in, I’d love to stay there longer as it’s a nice area and a really beautiful hotel. It does have a small pool at the back, but we didn’t really have time to check it out.

Now I’m feeling like it’s time for another trip to Singapore! I need to pick-up some stuff anyway, check out the newly opened Mikkeller Singapore and well, have a holiday! Probably when we get back from Europe we’ll head back over in June/July.

See yah soon Singapore!

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Singapore Craft Beer: Druggists @ Kallang

Druggists is another legend of the Singapore Craft Beer scene, and one which focuses entirely on draught (no bottles at all). Which is not surprising as it’s from the same owner of The Great Beer Experiment in PasarBella, so they’ve separated out into bottles and draught.

Serving kickass craft beers all year round, with food that pairs beautifully with the brews. There’s nothing more perfect than walking into a restaurant with 23 taps serving kick-ass beers from cult breweries across the world. That’s what we thought and so Druggists will be tapping Mikkeller, TO-OL, Amager, DeStruise, DeMolen, Rooie Dop, Magic Rock, Thornbridge, Prairie Artisan, Birra Del Borgo all year round. Wait, there’s food too- hearty, delicious and curated to pair with these kick-ass beers. Momma would approve.

It’s situated in the Kallang area, or some people might say Jalan Besar, it’s about 4 blocks from the Lavender MRT station – so it’s probably a good idea to Uber there ;).

So, let’s talk about Druggists – they have a very impressive 23 taps which are pretty much always all in use. This gives you a pretty staggering range of beer and almost guarantees something for every palate, all the way from lager/pils up to barrel aged imperial stouts and some pretty nice sours.

For the beer geeks: If you want to order a big stout, order it a few glasses earlier and let it warm up as it’s served way too cold. Also note from my experience, big beers are usually best from the bottle (for some reason?).

Druggists - Singapore Craft Beer

It’s a pretty cool location, very trendy hipster-ish – repurposing a historic building and keeping the original facade and floor tiles intact give it a distinct feel. Less cookie cutter than the average modern, overly sculpted bar. Inspired by Chye Seng Huat maybe?

Druggists is situations in you guessed it, the old Chinese Druggists Association building – which was basically the pharmacists’ association back in the day.

Druggists - Singapore Craft Beer

It has a pretty interesting feel to it, not really like a bar, rather like you’re drinking excellent beer somewhere you aren’t supposed to – which is nice haha. It has the original facade, floor and keeps a very minimal almost kopitiam style inside with marble tables and classic chairs.

Druggists - Singapore Craft Beer

It has the original signboard (of something?) over the door on the inside too, reminiscent of those sifus and their medicine halls in the old kung-fu movies about Wong Fei Hung.

It’s not a huge place, nor is it cramped – there’s a lounge space and quite a bit of outdoor seating too for smokers – but beware it is a popular place and does get busy (especially at weekends).

Druggists - Singapore Craft Beer

Also note, popular kegs can finish really fast – so get there early if there’s something you really want to try.

It has a great range of beers, well served, but slightly on the pricey side. But then the location is very special and you always pay something for that. It’s definitely worth checking out.

When we were there we had:

– Shiga Kogen Sono 10 (Anniversary IPA)
– Thornbridge/Sierra Nevada Twin Peaks
– To Øl Black Ball
– Prairie Bomb! (Very disappointing on draught)
– Buxton Battle Horse

Yah I wonder where the glasses are from?

Druggists - Singapore Craft Beer

And why does The Great Beer Experiment have it’s own nice glasses, but we go there we have to drink from plastic cups? Haha, must be a Singapore thing – Thirsty is down with the plastic cups too.

Facebook: Druggists
Instagram: @druggists_sg
Address: 119 Tyrwhitt Rd, Singapore 207547
Phone: +65 6341 5967
Opening Hours: Tues-Sun: 16:00-00:00
Ratebeer location: Druggists | Singapore – RateBeer

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eForex – Mobile Currency Exchange in Malaysia

So recently I’ve tried out this new app from Merchantrade (the largest money exchange network in Malaysia) called eForex enables mobile currency exchange in Malaysia. The app allows you check live rates and book at that rate from the app itself, you can then pick up the money at one of their branches around KL.

eForex App - Currency Exchange Malaysia

Introduction

The app is designed to make it easier for people who travel frequently for business or leisure to buy currency on the go and pick it up at their convenience, I think it would be especially useful if you needed more than 1 currency type for a trip and wanted to pick it up.

eForex App - Currency Exchange Malaysia

Also if you needed something that’s often out of stock at the regular money changer (like JPY) you can book it using the app.

The main features are:

  • Over 20 preferred currencies to choose from
  • Live currency exchange rates
  • Set favourite currencies
  • Rate alerts notifications
  • Pick up point selector
  • Currency calculator
  • Secure online payments (FPX and MEPS)
  • Browse transaction history
  • Travel reminder

The alert features, booking money etc are only available after signing up for the app.

eForex App Review

The Good

Overall the app can make getting foreign currency arranged convenient and take the stress out of it (Midvalley parking?). Also you don’t have to worry about driving somewhere and them not having the currency you want.

eForex App - Currency Exchange Malaysia

Main positive points for me would be:

  • It’s very convenient to check the current exchange rates even if you aren’t buying currency right now.
  • The app makes getting foreign currency really convenient, especially if the pick-up location is near you or your office and you get get there easily.
  • Rate alert feature is great if you are waiting for a certain currency to drop, or you want to buy it before it gets too expensive.
  • You can set a travel reminder in the app so you can get your currency in time.

The Ok

The rates provided are ok, better than the bank, but the ‘famous’ money-changers in malls are slightly better. I got a marginally better rate at my nearest Tesco as I was shopping there anyway and I didn’t realise the app needed a 3-day window between booking and collection (I wanted to collect the same day or the next day).

eForex App - Currency Exchange Malaysia

Some kind of faster collection as a premium service would be better I think, and delivery would be great too.

The app is quite quick to load and responsive to use, and intuitive in most part.

Other

eForex App - Currency Exchange Malaysia

There are a few minor aspects outside of the core functionality that I’d like to see improved in the app, mainly:

  • Increase the duration in between each session expiry to minimize constant re-login. A sign-up function via Facebook or Google Account would be a cool add-on.
  • Branch search could show adjacent areas ordered by distance from my current location – so when I searched for where I live, it will show the nearest results.
  • A buy/order feature from the favourites screen would be an added advantage.
  • When you go to book currencies, your favourite currencies should be at the top of the list.

It’d also be great if the sign-up was a lot easier, like you only need to enter passport number etc if you want to book currency – then it saves it. Sign-up with Facebook/Google for a faster on-ramp just to use the rate alert features.

I think this would get more people using the app as registered users.

Conclusion

Overall it’s a decent app, with some minor functionality and UX improvements it could be very useful. If you want to check exchange rates often it’s worth a look and they offer decent rates if one of the branches is convenient for you check it out.

The app is available here:

eForex Android
eForex Apple

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Singapore Craft Beer: Smith Street Taps @ Chinatown Complex

What is more fitting in Asia than having draught craft beer in a food court! It doesn’t get much more rustic than that, and that’s what Smith Street Taps delivers – you can have a pint of freshly kegged IPA with your satay and claypot chicken rice.

An all-taps popup beer hawker stall featuring around 10 premium and craft beers on tap in Singapore’s Chinatown.

Smith Street Taps - Singapore

Downside, as with any foodcourt in a tropical country – it’s bloody warm! But then again, it makes the cold beer even better.

Smith Street Taps is a little tricky to find, so allocate a few extra minutes to make your way there. If you Uber or take a Taxi get them to drop you at the Chinatown Complex, then make your way up to the 2nd floor (or 1st for if you’re British) you’ll find the stall at #62.

Smith Street Taps - Singapore

It won’t be too hard to find once you get in the vicinity, just follow the throngs of people drinking high-quality beer in proper glassware and you’ll find it eventually. If you go fairly late, the rest of the food court will be deserted anyway.

They have around 10 taps, which rotate fairly fast – especially if there’s only one keg of something. You might reach there, decide to try something and it’s finished by the time you reach the front of the queue! It’s self service (not table service) obviously, so depending on what just kegged and if it’s near last call – there can be quite a queue.

Smith Street Taps - Singapore

The range of beer is pretty impressive with beers from Japan, Sweden, USA, England, Scotland, Germany and Denmark on tap when I was there. Plus a good variety of styles from fairly light ales and wheats up to eye watering triple IPAs and imperial stouts.

The setup is pretty bare bones, with what is basically a bunch of kegerators with towers on top (2 taps on each fridge), but from what I saw it’s run properly with all connectors, taps and tubes being sanitized during keg changes to prevent contamination (the kind of things that are important to any beer geek worth his salt).

Smith Street Taps - Singapore

As for opening hours, due to the food court regulations it’s not open too late – last call is at 10:15pm and closing is at 10:30pm. So it’s a good spot to head for dinner and a nice beer before heading off somewhere else open a bit later (like Nickledime or Druggists)

Smith Street Taps - Singapore

Overall I had a good experience at Smith Street Taps and would recommend it, good beer served well in a proper Asian environment. It’s a must visit for tourists and a nice option for people from Singapore and Malaysia to have some cheaper food with great beer on draught.

Prices are reasonable, starting all the down at $6 for macro beer (Sapporo) and the rest around around $14-17 for a US Pint – which represents good value for high quality beer.

Smith Street Taps - Singapore

We had a good time there and I look forwards to visiting again. I mainly went because they were closed on my last trip due to Beerfest Asia 2015 preparation and also they kegged their own beer, a session IPA collaboration brew with Hitachino made in Japan and brewed with koji.

Smith Street Taps - Singapore

Thank you Smith Street Taps, I will see you again.

Beers I drank here were:

– Hitachino X Smith Street Sumisu Sutoreeto
– Dugges Two Packed
– Stone Double Bastard Ale
– Tempest Red Eye Flight

Facebook: Smith Street Taps
Twitter: @smithsttaps
Address: 335 Smith Street, #02-062, Chinatown Complex, Singapore 050335
Phone: +65 9430 2750
Opening Hours: 6.30pm-10.30pm Tueday-Saturday
Ratebeer location: Smith Street Taps | Singapore – RateBeer

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Malaysia Cybergames 2015 – Dota 2 and Team Secret!

So Malaysia Cybergames 2015 is a pretty big event, with the main attraction being a personal love of mine – Dota 2. Best game ever! The 3-day event which started on 11th December 2015, attracted 5255 gamers to compete across 4 tournaments for Dota 2, FIFA16, Counter Strike and Street Fighter IV ULTRA, with a total cash prize value of RM300,000 up for grabs.

Malaysia Cybergames 2015 - Dota 2

I dropped by on the last day to check the finals of the Dota 2 tournament between Team SatuDuaTiga (probably the favourites with star player YamateH) against Who2bet who isn’t so high profile, but does have an ex Fnatic player JoHnNy.

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How To Successfully Moderate a Tech Panel

So on pretty short notice, Arzumy managed to whip together a very successful, interesting CTO Summit – http://kl.cto.my/.

I helped him a little with the direction (Herding cats..) and the schedule and invited a few people, he asked me to speak but I didn’t feel I had enough to share yet – but I would be fine to moderate/host the panel discussion. A bunch of stuff techies don’t really talk about haha – and honestly it’s the hard stuff. The technical issues, there are plenty of meetups for those, StackOverflow answers, documentation, wikis and so on.

For the human issues? Not so much.

In this summit, we will focus on hiring, firing, retention, and culture. We’ll get to share with our peers about scaling up the team. How to remove obstacles? What’s the best way to manage conflicts? Generally on how to run a world-class engineering team.

Of course I seized my first opportunity to moderate a tech panel! I’ve been on a few panels before and watched plenty of streams/videos, so I had a reasonable idea what to do, but I did a bit more research on how to make it good – which is what I’ll share (and my experience) here.

So yah, here’s me hosting my first panel.

KL CTO Summit - Panel Discussion

Panel Format/Setup

An ideal panel format is around 45 minutes to one hour and contains 5-6 members, plus a moderator/host. You can do 45 minutes with 15 minutes for questions, but it’s better if you for audience engagement from the start and do a full 60 minutes with input from the audience in every segment rather than separating it out.

I prefer a more open format (not behind a desk/table please), and moderator in the middle, with panelists at either side slightly facing each other. Remember this is supposed to be a discussion, so make the physical space contribute to that – manage the lighting, temperature, seating etc.

Provide water for the panelists if you can (or beer haha). Have a mic for everyone if you can.

Forget the slides, put a backdrop slide with the title of the topic, but IMHO don’t make slides and don’t allow participants to use slides either. You want it to be as ad hoc (but guided) as possible, slides tend to make things a bit staged/rehearsed and can take away the magic from a good discussion.

Choosing The Panelists

Choose people with opinions, and preferably those who can articulate them well. Be careful not to choose an accidentally biased panel, there’s not much more boring than a panel where everyone agrees on everything that is being discussed.

It’s supposed to be a discussion, including contrarian points, differing opinions and so on. That’s why my first choice is someone like Aaron Chipper, who’s both an arse and immensely experienced.

One way I’ve seen it put, is invite ‘DEEP’ panelists:

  • Diverse. Make sure the panel represents the demographic of the audience while ensuring a diversity of opinion and thoughts. A group that is in complete agreement can make a discussion boring.
  • Expertise. Invite a recognized authority or thought leader in the industry who possesses strong credentials. That person must establish credibility with the audience quickly via a biography or a 30-second introduction.
  • Eloquent. Panelists should be good conversationalists. Do they speak well on the phone? Did your interview with them produce a monologue or a discussion? Review video footage of your potential panelists to make sure they can keep the audience engaged and interested.
  • Prepared. Panelists must be willing to make a few key points and tell stories that illustrate those points. Preparation makes the difference between a mediocre panel and an amazing one.

If you have good panelists, you’ll have a good panel.

Preparing

As for preparation – as the host you should probably be doing the most, prime your panelists on the topic at a general level, but not with specifics like the questions you are going to ask.

Don’t spend any time with them as a group before the panel either, or you risk having the discussion you’re supposed to have before the panel begins and ruining the dynamics of the conversation and end up with everyone agreeing on stage (I’ve seen this happen).

Have some tough questions on hand if you can, something that create a bit of controversy, have some interesting stats or facts to set context for the audience and prepare your opening statement and introductions for each panelist.

Keep introductions short, 2 sentences per person and DO NOT let panelists introduce themselves. Also keep your opening spiel short, a couple of sentences is again enough just to set the context of the conversation.

Know as much as you can about the panelists and the topic at hand though, it will help you lead the discussion and prompt the right people to follow on points they know more about.

Hosting

So after all that, hosting is probably the easiest part haha – well apart from the closing..that’s definitely the easiest.

Bring the panelists on one by one, introduce them, seat them and thank them for taking part. Into yourself briefly, and do your opening statement/set the topic for the discussion then move straight into it.

Some people like to break it into 3 roughly equal (15-20) minute segments which are basically:

  1. 30,000ft Overview (Macro view or strategic level)
  2. Specifics (Detailed tactical)
  3. Audience Participation/Q&A

And whilst I find this interesting in theory, I think it’s kind of hard in practise as the discussion pretty much takes a life of it’s own once it starts and you just become an enabler. Which is a good point to, don’t stick to the script – remember this is a discussion so let it grow, keep it in control and enjoy it!

One of the main jobs (hence the moderation moniker) is to keep people on track and prevent them from going too far down the rabbit hole, if someone is going off on a tangent (or too deep on a point), politely but firmly pull them back and lead the discussion back on track by perhaps getting someone else to add a point.

Also don’t go too far down the same line of questioning, not every panelist has to answer every question – mix it up a bit and keep the pace lively/varied.

Get the audience involved as soon as possible, if you are asking the panelists pointed questions open the same questions to the floor and let people chip in (obviously depending on your audience). I went for this approach as everyone who attended was a CTO level person so everyone should have something to contribute.

Obviously when the audience is not on the same experience/expertise level as the panel, you might want to keep the questions to the end as they probably won’t be as valuable as the panel discussion itself.

Be positive, compliment your panelists and the audience – don’t be critical/negative to get a laugh. Remember you’re there to support/enable to the panelists – never contradict a panelist even if you’re 100% sure they are wrong.

A hard one for me was, don’t be a panelist! Haha, because I have plenty to add to the topic too – but that wasn’t my place as I was there to moderate and enable, not to take over the discussion.

Make sure you have someone helping you keep time, I didn’t really bother about the segments so I just had someone give me 10 minutes remaining, 5 minutes and 1 minute so I knew to start winding up, to lock it down then with 1 minute left to close it.

Closing

I think asking panelists for closing thoughts are trite, so I didn’t bother with that. Just wrap it up, if you can give a brief summary of what was discussed and any super salient points that came out of the discussion.

Ideally the discussion won’t end here, audience members will want to chat with panelists and hopefully whatever you have setup should allow for that.

Thank the panelists by name for their contributions, thank the audience for listening and/or taking part and anyone else you wanna thank (organiser, venue host etc).

And that’s it, you’re done – congrats!

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Singapore Craft Beer: Thirsty Craft Beer Shop @ Holland Village

So we’d already visited Thirsty at Liang Court and heard there was another branch in Holland Village with more interesting stuff.

I also wanted to buy a rice cooker and it happened PaRiSiLk was around there – always get good prices and find what I want there, so it was a fortunate coincidence.

Thirsty is the leading craft beer shop in Singapore, offering the largest selection of the most sought after craft beers from around the world.

Create your own six-pack or pick up a mixed case from any of our stores or order craft beers online and get your beers delivered right to your doorstep.

Thirsty Craft Beer Shop - Holland Village

Holland Village Shopping Center is not an upmarket mall, it’s a regular old school every day mall in a residential area, it’s a very short walk from the nearest MRT station, no prizes for guessing correctly – Holland Village MRT Station.

There’s also a nice little Whisky shop inside the mall, quite near Thirsty called The Standish, where I grabbed a bottle of Glendronach.

The Thirsty here is small, but well stocked shop and IMHO has a greater range of World Beers than the Liang Court branch. It’s definitely less US and IPA centric, with many more tasty brews from Europe.

Thirsty Craft Beer Shop - Holland Village

Stuff from Nøgne Ø, Siren, Wild Beer, Buxton, BrewDog and many more.

Thirsty Craft Beer Shop - Holland Village

Of course they have the great US stuff and IPAs too from Ninkasi, Green Flash, Stone, Lagunitas, Bear Republic, Deschutes and so on.

Thirsty Craft Beer Shop - Holland Village

There is a small well stocked fridge too for drinking on premise.

Thirsty Craft Beer Shop - Holland Village

They just had a bunch of Omnipollo stuff land when we were there too, which was fortunate as we were waiting for those! Excellent timing haha, the beer gods smiling on us.

Thirsty Craft Beer Shop - Holland Village

Bottles I picked up here:

– Buxton Stronge Extra Stout
– BrewDog / Victory Brewing U-Boat
– Omnipollo Hypnopompa
– Omnipollo Nebuchadnezzar

It’s a great little shop, and I would have liked to have spent a little time having some tasty beverages there, will definitely be back again.

Very much recommended!

Facebook: Thirsty Craft Beer Shop
Instagram: @thirstybeershop
Address: #02-16 Holland Village Shopping Centre, 211 Holland Ave, Singapore 278967
Phone: +65 9354 1952
Opening Hours: 10.30am-8m 7 days a week
Ratebeer location: Thirsty – The Beer Shop | Singapore – RateBeer

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Beerfest Asia 2015 In Singapore – My Review

It just so happened when our group was heading down to Singapore for the Yellow Belly tasting and to do a little craft beer tour around Singapore, it was the same weekend as Beerfest Asia 2015 – it wasn’t the purpose of our visit, but we thought why not drop by for a while seen as though we’re there.

Beerfest Asia 2015 - Singapore

I’ve actually never been before, the event itself has been running since for a number of years and has garnered quite a following (18,000 people in 2013, 30,000 last year and 32,000 this year) – so it’s quite a large scale event. It wasn’t that busy though, perhaps because we were quite late.

Beerfest Asia 2015 - Singapore

It’s not really a high end beer event, and in many aspects, it’s not even a craft beer event. The amount of craft beer there as compared to the beer available in general, is in a small minority with the festival being dominated by subsidiaries of SABMiller and ABInBev.

Don’t expect to see stuff from 3 Floyds, Bruery, Alesmith, Mikkeller, Jester King, Hill Farmstead, Russian River, Toppling Goliath or anything similar. The beer list is dominated by stuff like Singha, Strongbow, Koppaberg, Heineken, Grolsch and so on.

There’s the odd few good beers from the guys at Smith Street Taps and TSA Wines, and even the guys with the good beers combined themselves into just 2 stands rather than splitting themselves out – as the appreciation for the high quality beers you find at places like The Great Beer Experiment and Thirsty just isn’t really there at a large scale festival like this.

Beerfest Asia 2015 - Singapore

But do you know who the main festival sponsors are? Yah, not even macro beer brands..Jagermeister and Monster Energy – really? At a beer event?

This is no CBC or GABF – that’s for sure.

And even small scale beer events in the UK like Indy Man Beer Con or Birmingham Beer Bash put them to shame in terms of variety, quality and focus.

Mostly it felt like a music festival, the music was too loud, it was hot, there’s wasn’t any really exciting beer to try, there was lots of companies with corporate accounts having free flow or sponsored VIP seats.

Beerfest Asia 2015 - Singapore

The crowd was fairly young, mostly drinking the more normal beers, there wasn’t a huge gathering at the more specialist beer stands.

The outdoor area, UOB area and VIP areas (with Jagermeister girls, free flow beer etc) were far busier than the mostly craft beer side of the festival.

Beerfest Asia 2015 - Singapore

We had fun though as the importers opened some special bottles for us, so we got to try some really interesting UK beers. Mostly stuff from Siren and Weird Beard like Sadako, Whiskey Sour etc.

Beerfest Asia 2015 - Singapore

The ‘welcome’ beers which you get with the rather expensive ticket were very disappointing. And the ticket price, at $40SGD, wasn’t cheap for one macro beer and that’s all (food had to be paid for, all other beers had to be bought using tokens so the organisers could take a cut from the vendors).

Would I go back again? Honestly I don’t know, if I got free tickets and happened to be in Singapore – maybe, to support the craft beer guys in Singapore.

But likely? Not really, huge noisy, sweaty, unfocused events are not really my cup of tea now I’m old anyway – I’d prefer to go support the Singapore craft beer scene at their bars and bottle shops.

Beerfest Asia 2015 - Singapore

We had a good day anyway, having been at Thirsty and having some wicked ramen at Tampopo haha.

Plus met up with some friends, and there were a few good beers for sale, we managed to pick up some Belgian sours, Moa Imperial Stout and a couple of other nice drinkers. Nothing spectacular though.

I’d love to see a proper beer festival in Asia, for the love of beer, all about craft beer (or great beer from big brewers like Fuller’s Imperial Stout). Where you pay your ticket price, you get a glass and you can basically drink whatever you want.

Some things only have 1 keg, some beers are only made by the brewer specifically for that festival and the focus is trying new amazing beers! People would definitely travel regionally for something like that, and possibly even internationally if it was really World class.

There are some rumblings regionally, like Beertopia in Hong Kong which had some superb beers and has very relevant sponsors, including Spiegelau glasses! Here’s the beer list of 551 beers, tell me how many macro breweries you spot in there?

And they have incredible beers from Founders, Jolly Pumpkin, Stillwater, Omnipollo, De Molen, 8 Wired and MANY more. Maybe I’ll head over there next year instead 😉

For me, I hope to see more events in Asia promoting the spirit of craft beer, experimentation, pushing the small guys up, supporting the local craft beer scene in the region and much more about education and consumer awareness rather than just volume.

More cultured, less commercial events with guided tastings, food pairing events, local beer judging contents, home-brew contests – those kind of things that really help the craft beer scene take hold as a part of the FnB scene overall.

Beerfest Asia 2015 - Singapore

Another small detail that annoyed me was the fact that the website and organisers stated it was a non-smoking event and venue, and that it would be enforced with fines. But I saw people smoking in the venue, and no one really gave a second glance (including security who walked right past) – as long as they keep paying right?

Oh yah, one more..last one I promise. Where was the event companion app? The app based guide which helped me search for beers, locate which stall they were at, and where I could find that stall? You could roll out a simple webview app for this with almost no budget, forget geolocation and fancy tricks, just a basic listing app with a search function and a static map which can show you where to go (like the directories in shopping malls).

Beerfast Asia is a booze and music event, not a craft beer event – so don’t be mistaken. As for supporting the local scene, they had Archipelago probably because it’s a subsidiary of Asia Pacific Breweries, but where was RedDot, Brewerkz, 1925, The Pump Room, LeVeL 33, and Hospoda? I think Jungle Beer has gone MIA – but still – I was kinda disappointed at the showing of local Singapore brews.

I guess it’s worth going once, and if you’re around next year in Singapore you can keep up with what they’re doing below.

Website: http://www.beerfestasia.com/
Twitter: @beerfestasia
Facebook: Beerfest Asia

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Singapore Craft Beer: Thirsty Craft Beer Shop @ Liang Court

After lunch at Nickeldime Drafthouse, we headed to Thirsty Craft Beer Shop at Liang Court, this joint is another bottle shop in Singapore, this time in a shopping centre around the popular Clark Quay area. It’s a small square with a rather huge range of American centric craft beers, if you love IPA – this is the place in Singapore you need to visit.

Thirsty is the leading craft beer shop in Singapore, offering the largest selection of the most sought after craft beers from around the world.

Create your own six-pack or pick up a mixed case from any of our stores or order craft beers online and get your beers delivered right to your doorstep.

You can drink on premise, with plastic cups as usual. They do have some ‘big’ beers occasionally, but it really depends on your luck and it’s most likely to be from the hop forward breweries (Stone, Dogfish Head, Ballast Point) rather than wild ale, sours or the other more ‘out there’ styles.

It’s pretty easy to find, on the 2nd floor on Liang Court, you can get there via the MRT (City Hall) and a short bus journey or walk.

Thirsty Craft Beer Shop - Liang Court Singapore

They open at midday every day at close at 10pm when the mall closes (last orders 9.30pm). It’s a pretty cool place to hang-out with 2-3 small tables in side and plenty of good food around (especially Japanese) like Tampopo Ramen on the ground floor.

Thirsty Craft Beer Shop - Liang Court Singapore

They have a pretty broad range of bottles with a small selection of English beers, Japanese beers and a few others from Belgium, Australia etc. But I can safely say it’s at least 85% US Craft brews with some that I hadn’t seen before like Ironfire Brewing.

Plus some real classics like Lagunitas Maximus, Ballast Point Sculpin, Dogfish Head 90 minutes and so on. And other well known brewers like New Belgium, Sierra Nevada, Flying Dog and so on.

Thirsty Craft Beer Shop - Liang Court Singapore

They try and keep pretty much at least one of everything in the fridge ready to drink, if what you want isn’t there you can get them to put it in the fridge and start with something else.

Thirsty Craft Beer Shop - Liang Court Singapore

The group shot, without us of course (as usual) haha, these are the beers we had at Thirsty:

– Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter
– Lagunitas Maximus IPA
– Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
– Ballast Point Sculpin
– Ballast Point Big Eye
– Ironfire Brewing Comnpany Collateral Damage
– Anchor Porter
– Lindemans Kriek
– New Belgium Fat Tire
– Sierra Nevada Torpedo
– Mike Hess Solis
– Mike Hess Jucundus
– Hangar 24 Orange Wheat

13 beers in total, and you can see, very IPA heavy, those non IPA beers we tried, were not so great.

The surprise stand-out of the session for me was Mike Hess, who I’ve never heard of – but makes wonderfully balanced beers, the Solis Occasus was fantastic. Of course 90 Minute IPA and Sculpin are up there amongst the best there is out there (both top 50 for Imperial IPA and IPA respectively).

Thirsty Craft Beer Shop - Liang Court Singapore

All in all, worth a visit if you want to have bit of a light beer session. Don’t go here looking for any super heavy, big dark or interesting Belgium (De Struise) or American (Alesmith, Bruery etc) brews. For that kind of stuff, you’re way better off at The Great Beer Experiment.

But for IPA and lighter beers, including really legendary stuff, they have probably the best selection in Singapore by a fare distance. They do have a few really top notch brews in other categories like the legendary Scotch Ale called Old Chub by Oskar Blues (I just wish they had Ten Fidy as well!).

As the name gives you a clue, it is a great place to have an ice cold IPA when you’re thirsty.

Facebook: Thirsty Craft Beer Shop
Instagram: @thirstybeershop
Address: 177 River Valley Road, #02-34, Liang Court Shopping Centre, Singapore 179030
Phone: +65 6256 0261
Opening Hours: 12pm-10pm 7 days a week
Ratebeer location: Thirsty – The Beer Shop | Singapore – RateBeer

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