Archive | October, 2015

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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Singapore Craft Beer: Nickeldime Drafthouse @ Novena

Our second entry about the Singapore craft beer scene after The Great Beer Experiment, now we look at Nickledime Drafthouse in Novena (just literally 200m from Novena station).

Our knowledgeable, friendly staff, cozy atmosphere, and great food and beer will make you want to keep coming back.

We celebrate choice and quality with an extraordinary range of strange and wonderful brews. Offering the best variety of beer available, and our dedication to providing excellent service in comfortable surroundings. the emphasis is on draught beer from the best international, national, and local breweries supplemented with a large selection of bottled beers, ciders, and wine.

It’s a fairly accessible location due to the proximity of the station, with a nice space that has an industrial type interior and 15 taps of well served draft craft beer.

Nickledime Drafthouse

It may look slightly different now, as the left side of the picture has now been turned into 501 Sake Bar rather than the previous bottle shop.

Nickledime Drafthouse

It’s quite a fun space with colour draft boards and sport on the televisions, a good social beer drinking environment rather than a hardcore beer geek hangout.

Nickledime Drafthouse

In saying that though, it’s definitely a place suitable for beer geeks as they have a big focus on serving beer the right way, and you can taste it in the glass. They clean every beer line with a 2 week cadence and they have a system to ensure the correct temperature delivery of the beer from keg to glass. So the focus on beer and quality is there for sure.

While we were there they had beer on draft from breweries like Anderson Valley, Heretic, Rogue, BBNO, Well’s, Lost Coast and Stone.

Nickledime Drafthouse

Another aspect that pleased me is the integration of beer with food, which is actually a large part of craft beer. Where as wine in some ways is rather simplistic (it basically has 1 ingredient) it struggles a little with bold flavours, beer is there. Beer can be served with anything from delicate fresh salmon, to fiery hot curry and all the way to rich indulgent chocolate truffles.

EVERY item on the menu is cooked with some kind of beer! I had the fish and chips with ale batter and apparently the burgers are excellent.

Nickledime Drafthouse

They have items like IPA burgers, stout meatballs, beer dough pizza, stout braised beef ragu (delicious) and much more. Definitely some interesting stuff.

We mainly headed there for lunch, so we didn’t do a heavy session and we’ve had a lot of what was on tap, we just had 5 beers at Nickledime which were:

– Lost Coast Brewery Great White
– CREW Republic Drunken Sailor
– BrewFist Space Frontier
– Brew By Numbers 01|08 Saison Wai-Iti & Lemon
– Summer Wine Brewery Sin City

And they were a pretty light selection, as we’d had quite a heavy night before that and we were heading to Thirsty straight after haha. So nothing super memorable.

A tasting paddle of 5 beers, available for SGD25 at 150ML per tasting glass (before 7pm only).

Nickledime Drafthouse

They did have some excellent bottles though, I picked up a few there (including Stone Imperial Russian Stout which a Ratebeer Top 50 entrant at #48) and a couple of others I wanted to from the selection including Japanese (Minoh Imperial Stout) and British breweries (Buxton Stronge).

Nickledime Drafthouse

Overall Nickledime is a great place to chill, have some lunch or dinner and get some great, fresh, correctly served craft beer. They have a small but extremely varied selection of bottled beers to takeaway, which is always a bonus.

Definitely worth a look for craft beer lovers in Singapore.

Facebook: Nickledime Drafthouse
Address: 273 Thomson Rd, #01-06 Novena Gardens, Singapore 307644
Phone: +65 6256 0261
Opening Hours: Mon-Thu & Sun: 11am-11pm Fri & Sat: 11am-1am
Ratebeer location: Nickeldime Drafthouse | Singapore – RateBeer

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Singapore Craft Beer: The Great Beer Experiment @ PasarBella

So where do you drink good craft beer in Singapore? That’s a tough question and one I tried to answer in my recent trip down for the special Singapore Yellow Belly Tasting. So let’s begin with the favourite of the group and also the place I personally enjoyed the most during our trip.

The GREAT BEER EXPERIMENT, a craft beer and cider bottle shop & bar, is a playground which promises to “Tickle, Test and Tempt” all palates and preferences. There’s a gob-smacking range of craft beer labels to please both beer noobs and beer geeks, plus rare and limited edition brews. Awesome beers are released on tap weekly so follow us on Facebook to get the latest update.

A wide range of international craft beers across all different types and styles

Granted a few places were closed, and there’s a few we skipped, but for this trip in June 2015 The Great Beer Experiment won in all aspects including comfort, beer selection, environment and food availability – a 360 degree win.

The Great Beer Experiment - Singapore

It’s located in the Bukit Timah area of Singapore on Turf Club Road as part of The Grandstand in a rather upmarket food court called PasarBella, right at the back left corner.

I think I like it as well because of the food there, it’s a rather up-market ‘Western’ style food-court modelled in some ways after Borough Market in London, the food there is great and there’s a wide variety including local fare like siu yuk and western stuff like paella, charcuterie and cheese. We also had a tasting platter including AOP cave aged cheeses which was amazing.

The vendors there are knowledgeable and passionate about food, and even if you’re not into beer it’s worth going there just to eat.

The shop/bar itself has 3 taps which rotate, when we were there they had Magic Rock on tap – excellent beer.

The Great Beer Experiment - Singapore

And they have an impressive range of bottles, which is was drew us there and kept us there. As a retail environment it’s quite intelligently laid out, with a stand next to the counter with the newst arrivals, which have descriptive tags attached and they also often bundle sampler packs.

The Great Beer Experiment - Singapore

And what was great for us, was they have a large section of their beers ready in the fridge for drinking – which kept us there many hours.

The Great Beer Experiment - Singapore

Overall bottle wise they have a fantastic selection of both American and European breweries from the likes of Mikkeller, Kaapse, Amager, De Molen, Prairie, Rooie Dop, To Øl, Rochefort, Rodenbach, De Struise and many many more.

The Great Beer Experiment - Singapore

A good few Trappist beers too (Rochefort, Westmalle, Orval), but of course no Westvleteren haha.

Enjoyed a Bea by Kaapse brewery too, the first time I’d heard of them and had something – it was good. So good in fact I later visited their brewery and brewpub in Rotterdam, and their beer was EVEN better fresh.

Kaapse - Bea

And yah, I’m sure if you’re eating in PasarBella, you might well find your missing husband here haha.

The Great Beer Experiment - Singapore

A great place to hang out.

The Great Beer Experiment - Singapore

And of course, beer geeks taking pictures of beer – because that’s what they do. Look at the focus of the torch-bearer Peter ensuring optimal lighting for master Tai to take what we affectionately refer to as the ‘group shot’ haha.

Basically all the bottles after we finish a session tasting.

Beer Geeks Taking Photos of Beer

Here’s my version of the bottle shot. A respectable 16 beers between 4 of us. Quite a selection and variety of styles.

The Great Beer Experiment - Singapore

What we had:

– Mikkeller Better Half
– Mikkeller Keeper
– Mikkeller Beer Geek Vanilla Shake
– Mikkeller George! Barrel Aged (Calvados Edition)
– Rochefort Trappistes 10
– De Molen Bloed, Zweet & Tranen (Blood, Sweat & Tears)
– Kaapse Carrie
– Kaapse Bea
– Rodenbach Grand Cru
– Rodenbach
– Amager The Sinner Series: Gluttony
– Amager / Grassroots Black Nitro
– Prairie Eliza5beth
– Prairie Fred’s Blend
– Rooie Dop Tupinquin
– Struise Pannepot Grand Reserva 2010

Highlights for me were definitely Fred’s Blend with it’s really strong coffee nose, viscous engine oil pour which follows with a really mild mellow chilli burn afterwards – beautiful beer. Also George! Calvados which was rich, sweet, savoury, sweet, malty, brandy – wow.

Maybe it was the company it was in, but Pannepot Grand Reserva 2010 was surprisingly disappointing.

So yah, great place – if you’re in Singapore and you’re into beer this is an absolute must visit. If you’re with a group, prepare to spend quite a long time there as we did (I think almost 7 hours in total from lunch time we left just before dinner).

Another plus point, because obviously you’ll be drinking a lot of beer! The bathroom is right next door haha.

I also fully recommend the roast pork from Keith Crackling Roast and the cheese tasting platter from The Cheese Ark.

Facebook: TheGreatBeerExperiment
Instagram: @greatbeerexperiment
Address: Stall #46, PasarBella @ The Grandstand (200 Turf Club Rd.), 287994, Singapore
Phone: +65 6469 7291
Opening Hours: Mon: 10:00-19:30 Tues-Sun: 10:00-22:00
Ratebeer location: The Great Beer Experiment | Singapore – RateBeer

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A Beer Tasting In Singapore With Omnipollo / Buxton Yellow Belly

So it turns out my passion is beer, craft beer, not macro beer. I love it, it’s interesting, varied (and not as expensive as whisky). So I’ve decided instead of neglecting my blog, I’d better write about beer instead – so here we are. My first attempt at reviving my blog with a direction haha (no, I’ll not write exclusively about beer, I’ll still cover other stuff too) – but at least I have a bunch of content to write about now.

Recently a group of us (my craft beer geek tasting group) had an invite down for a beer tasting in Singapore to try a very special beer from a very special beer supplier in the southern island called Applehops. Applehops specialises in distributing English beer (yay) to Singapore and Malaysia and brings in fantastic stuff from Weird Beard, Siren, Wild Beer, Beavertown and many more.

He’s also expanding his range with stuff from Omnipollo and coming soon Brekeriet – I can’t wait to see what else he brings in.

The tasting also coincided with Beerfest Asia 2015, so we decided to spend a few days in Singapore exporing the beer scene, which is growing fast there. I’ll cover the whole trip, the venues we visited and Beerfest in following posts, but for now I’m going to start with the tasting itself and the reason we went pretty much – Omnipollo/Buxton Yellow Belly a legendary beer.

I was really, really late! I drove down from KL and there was a jam, I left late due to some work stuff and I got there after the tasting had started. Very luckily for me, my hotel was literally a 2 minute walk from the place we had the tasting, a small joint called Artistry Cafe, which apparently serves amazing brunch.

I stayed at the Village Hotel Bugis, which was a great place in a good location with parking and nice modernised rooms in a fairly old building.

When I arrived, I was greeted with this – a very rare beer Weird Beard Sadako (Ardbeg BA) – strong peaty whisky on the nose, iodine, Ardbeg in the mouth, barrel forwards with a smooth oily finish. Rather nice! Some might call it a long whisky cocktail, fortunately for me I rather like Ardbeg so it’s ok for me!

Weird Beard Sadako

There was quite a few bottles popped when I arrived, but thankfully for me..there was something left in all of them – even The Kernel ale, which was my first time having a taste of the legendary brewery.

Yellow Belly Tasting Singapore

And the beer I came all the way to Singapore to try? Still very much wrapped up, and yes it kind of look like a KKK’s intentional as it’s a beer against racism.

To us, one of the most cowardly deeds is to act anonymously, hiding behind a group. A signifying trait of institutionalised racism.
This beer is brewed to celebrate all things new, open minded and progressive. A peanut butter biscuit stout with no biscuits, butter or nuts. Taste, enjoy, and don’t be prejudiced.

Omnipollo / Buxton Yellow Belly

And as with every post of course, the beer geeks taking group shots haha.

Beer Geek Activity

And here’s the money shot!

What we had (from left to right):

– Beavertown Bloody ’Ell
– Siren / Omnipollo / Rick Gordon Lindqvist Nacken (BA with Brett)
– Siren Barrel Aged Daydream
– Siren Long Forgotten Journey
– Omnipollo / Buxton Yellow Belly
– The Kernel Pale Ale (Simcoe, Nelson Sauvin, Ella Rakau)
– Weird Beard / London Amateur Brewers Hive Mind
– Weird Beard Something Something Darkside
– Weird Beard Sadako (Ardbeg BA)
– Wild Beer Bibble

Yellow Belly Tasting Singapore

Just 10 beers, but enough to knock me out after a long drive down from KL haha, and some of them were heavy stuff. Here’s a very rare, shot of us – as a group haha. The Singapore beer invaders.

Yellow Belly Tasting Singapore

And a not so serious shot..yah well we did just have 10 rather strong beers!

Yellow Belly Tasting Singapore

Anyway back to the topic at hand, how was the tasting you ask? How was Yellow Belly pray tell? Does it live up to the hype?

It was a tasting that changed my perception on English beers honestly and opened up my mind to what was out there, by that time I’d already had some great beers – but due to the stuff we get in KL I wasn’t so in tune with the amazing, mind-bending beers coming out the UK.

It was a really interesting tasting with a small selection that has a staggeringly wide palate, Bloody ‘Ell, Hive Mind and Bibble were honestly just ok – pretty simple, easy to drink session beers. But most of the rest, were quite interesting and different in some way.

Notable being the Ardbeg BA Sadako as described above..along with Nacken which smelled like cider gone bad, had some white wine to it and a whole lot of funk. The barrel aged Daydream was something special too with vanilla and bacon, strong and sweet.

And of course my first beer by The Kernel was enlightening, one of the most balanced beers I’ve had, so mellow but so tasty at the same time. An incident which motivated me to visit them in London.

Yellow Belly Tasting Singapore

And the big one, Yellow Belly? How was it? It was genuinely life changing. It’s one of the best beers I’ve ever had, if you melted a snickers and put it in a bottle with some really awesome kind of imperial stout – you’d get Yellow Belly.

A sweet medicinal nose, in the mouth it’s sweet, sour, smooth, velvety, cheap milk chocolate like kinder eggs, dark roasted, almost burnt peanuts, in caramel topped with whipped cream. Yah don’t lose focus, a beer tasted like all of that. Seriously.



Yellow Belly, I love you, I need more.

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