Cover Photo: The 1925 Brewing Co

These Singapore-born breweries are revolutionizing beer and inspiring love for local culture

Each time the first Friday of August rolls around, beer lovers all over the globe feel the familiar singing in their veins drawing them towards their favourite bottle of lager or ale. Since the day is named International Beer Day, set aside a time to honour a drink deeply embedded in world history. It’s not hard to decipher where the beverage’s universal popularity comes from—beer is an equaliser. Often found scattered atop the table during times of elation, despair or camaraderie, beer symbolises the plight of the ordinary and humble. In the spirit of the upcoming celebration, we have come up with a list of the best locally brewed craft beers for you to relish.

See also: Here's Why The Craft Beer Industry is Growing in Singapore

1. The 1925 Brewing Co.

Founded by two brothers and their uncle, The 1925 Brewing Co. bears the birth year of their grandfather, who singlehandedly launched his own modest trading business in Teochew dry goods and foods. In this way, the company pays tribute to the first generation of Singaporeans, whose pioneering spirit and courageous grit are embedded in the cornerstones of our homeland. Packaged within nostalgic artworks and named after ordinary local icons, the brewery's flavours draw inspiration from Asian ingredients and culture, and are crafted to be the perfect accompaniment to Asian food and drinks.

The heart-aching passion and raw history condensed into each 1925 brew is phenomenal. The 1925’s most renowned beer is none other than Blk622—a dark ale with a jet black body and a smooth creamy foam head. The brew’s flavours are bold and rich, peppered with sublime hints of coffee and caramel. One of its most long-awaited concoctions, affectionately named Xiaohei, boasts a myriad of flavours and foregrounds the unlikely yet delightful combination of nuts and fruits. This must-try holds the title of the Best IPA in the Great Singapore Brew Off 2017.

Grab your piece of local history on The 1925 webstore.

2. Pink Blossoms Brewing

Similar to Singapore’s humble beginnings, Pink Blossoms Brewing proves that the biggest successes come from simple origins. Painstakingly built from scratch in 2018, unlikely founder Hong Han started out as an accountant and tax adviser, whose work serendipitously led him to the vibrant world of American craft beer. The brewery’s philosophy prompts drinkers to seek out beauty in mundanity. Like how a sakura’s breathtaking bloom is short-lived yet unforgettable, the big, bold flavours of Pink Blossom’s brews are immortalised in our savouring of each sip.

The store’s flagship beers are aptly granted uplifting names. Its generously dry-hopped New England Pale Ale, Lean On Me, is a smooth blend of refreshing pale ale, infused with citrus and stone fruit hop aromas. Let It Be embodies its name with an IPA which changes from time to time at the whims of Pink Blossoms's creative team. Don’t miss their latest Imperial Stout, Never Say Goodbye, full-bodied and roasted with rich malt flavours—coffee, caramel and chocolate.

Pick your favourite bloom on the Pink Blossoms Brewing webstore.

3. Brewerkz

One of the pioneers of the Singapore craft brewery experience, the Brewerkz legacy began in 1997 as a regular brewpub, later expanding into the restaurant business. A far cry from their unassuming start, Brewerkz now operates its own brewery and is the proud recipient of a multitude of honourable accolades in the brewing industry—a true parallel to Singapore’s own success story. Despite holding the title of Singapore’s oldest brewery, the company’s popularity stems from its contemporary designs and youthful soul.

Proving that Brewerkz always has a finger on the pulse, the company’s most recent achievement comes in the form of its Circuit Breaker New England IPA—the global winner of the 2021 Craft Beer Marketing Awards Global Crushie, in the category of “Best Can Design/Pandemic Related". The can’s design encapsulates the mundanity and desolation of a nation caught in the throes of Covid-19, and the revolutionary substyle of IPA is brewed with heaps of oats and wheat, creating a soft and silky mouthfeel. The tropical brew delivers bright hints of mango, cempedak and pineapple—a drinkable pick-me-up during these times of woe.

Get yourself an award-winning brew on the Brewerkz e-store.

4. RedDot Brewhouse

Another founding member of the local craft beer scene, Reddot is built upon raw passion and fondness for home brews. The company is run by a close-knit family. Founder Ernest Ng’s daughter, Crystalla, fell in love with the brewing process and her interest drove her to pursue a higher education in the science of beer brewing in VLB Berlin, the oldest beer brewing university in the world. An inspirational figure in a largely male-dominated industry, the young brewmaster’s adventures abroad and personal tales translate into unique and intriguing flavours.

The brewhouse’s signature brews include the Bottle Chrysanthemum Rum Lager—a Chinese dinner game-changer that deconstructs elements of white chrysanthemum & rum, as well as the Bottle Monster Green Lager—a sparkling green, Spirulina infused lager with a citrusy, malty aroma and crisp champagne flavour. Also noteworthy is the seasonal Heartlander Stout, an ode to our island home. Using coconut as its main ingredient theme, this medium-bodied creation tastes of toasted coconut and dark ripe fruits, giving off a comforting hazelnut and coffee aroma.

Get your hands on a Crystalla special through the RedDot e-store.

5. Trouble Brewing

The troublemakers over at Trouble Brewing are driven by a sole purpose: to bring Singaporeans quality, fresh, local brews that taste good and are affordable. Priding themselves on being matter-of-fact and no-frills, the brand’s tongue-in-cheek philosophy prizes a simple, good drink over triple-hopped embellishments.

Enjoy rustic classics such as the Dodgy Tip—suited for hop-lovers with notes of roasted malts and torched maple with a spicy finish, and the Middle Child featuring saccharine notes of banana and pears, as well as herbal spice cloves with a fruity dry finish. Trouble has even come up with the perfect gift for our nation's birthday: the special edition Singapore Lager. The beer pours a typical crystal-clear light golden colour with a foamy white head. Light and rejuvenating, every swig of this drinks smooth, crisp and clean, and complements your favourite local cuisine well.

Thirsting for more trouble? Satisfy your craving on the Trouble website.

6. Little Island Brewing Co

Hippy gastronomist Francis Khoo's chance encounter with award winning Steve Spinney led to the conception of this craft beer brainchild. Francis's diligent honing of his taste experiences across the globe coupled with the Bali-based brewmaster's distinguished skills brought Singapore some of its finest in-house brews.

Marketed with groovy pop art pieces that range from bohemian to rockstar, the company's microbrewery is home to a captivating assortment of ales. You might be drawn to the alluring mermaid featured on the Sister Golden Ale—a golden brew serving big malt and fruit in the mouth with a distinctive hoppy nose, or take a stroll through Eden with the Four Letter Worts—a light ale, malt with ripe fruit and an elegant finish. You might even be enticed by the dark aura surrounding That Old Black Magic - a sinister blend of eight different malts and three types of hops to give a perfect bitter sweet balance, leaving tastebuds tingling with chocolate and coffee.

Feast your sights on an illustrious array of artistic brew on the Little Island website.

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