Ahhh Singapore, a city of sweaty, confused, middle aged tourists and obnoxiously priced meals. We learned the latter the hard way, as we decided to try a random place on Boat Quay. It was horribly bad deep fried seafood which cost us about $130 (somehow they managed to make an exciting sounding ‘prawns fried with mango and wasabi’ taste like ‘wet cardboard’). Earlier in the day we got caught in a rainstorm and ducked into the nearest bar and paid $12.45 for a pint of VB. Singapore… if you’re not paying attention, you really get fucked over.
It’s not all bad though… sure our hotel charged $10 to wash one tshirt, and $15 for a Tiger beer… ok ok, I’m done whinging about the price of things. (come on though, $10? who’s doing the washing? the Pope?).
Anyway, as we sat eating our wet cardboard, I glanced longingly over at Brewerkz. A brew pub on the other side of the river. Not Singapore’s only, but by all accounts, the most interesting. So the next day we stopped in for lunch.
Brewerkz has two locations, but the main one is at Riverside Point. If you clicked the link you will come across a slightly clumsy website, with no actual mention of what beers they have (that I found) but they do have a food menu… not really putting the ‘brew’ in ‘Brewerkz’. Physically, it’s a huge place. Lots of outdoor seating, and quite a decent looking inside, with a pool table, and my favourite part, a clearly labelled and visible brewery. After the website I had my suspicions that there were a few white lies being told about the actual brewery (years of ‘breweries’ lying about actually being a brewery has jaded me), but everything checks out.
They have a decent looking food menu, and comparatively reasonably priced considering their location.
The beers were also very decent looking. All the usuals, an IPA, a pilsner, a stout etc, but also a red rice beer, and a ‘Singapore Olde Ale’, amongst a couple other interesting looking beers.
How do the beers taste?
I thoroughly enjoyed every beer I tried. I went for a tasting platter which was $13 for 5 tastes. Surprisingly the highlight for me was the Honey Apricot Ale, which was crisp, dry, and very lovely and sweet. Perfect for the climate. The stout also held up to be a solid stout and one I would definitely drink again.
I took a couple away, one being the Moh Gyyai (the Singapore Olde Ale), which was refreshing and drinkable for a 7% beer with some strong belgian yeast flavours
I should also note the White Rabbit, which reminded me of 8 Wired’s recent Nelson Sauvin Saison. I wasn’t a huge fan of either, but for fans of the Sauvin Saison, the White Rabbit may be of interest to you.
I think the only dissappointment was the Hop Back. I didn’t get a load of hops from it, which is a let down for a fan of fresh hops, but it certainly wasn’t a bad beer.
I enjoyed the beers. They are obviously attempting a little variety and a few more interesting things than your usual brewpub, and I’m a big fan of that. Having a ‘Singapore Olde Ale’ is a nice touch… even if if an ale made with Belgian yeast at 7%abv doesn’t scream ‘Singapore Olde’, it’s still a tasty beer. Brewerkz is a great stop over for any fan of well made beer that has something a little more interesting and unexpected for the weary traveler.
So how do you avoid getting spending a lot of cash when dining out in Singapore? Just eat at hawkers markets. A plate of Xiao Long Bao, generous serve of dumplings, large fried rice with prawns and a big Tiger beer; all cost us the same as one beer in a lot of places along the riverfront. The food was far superior as well.
Also, it would be criminal of me not to mention 2am Dessert Bar. It’s a great place in near Holland Shopping Centre at the end of a dark road above a pub. Obviously it specialises in desserts, which are amazing, but they also have a good range of beer on the menu. I drank a Hitachino White Ale and ate the Basil White Chocolate desert. The Hitachino White is a magnificent white ale and the lemon and coriander flavours really help it compliment any dessert. The beer menu was apparently changing when we were there, so they only had the Hitachino beers. This is a shame because also listed on the menu were a couple from 2 Brothers in Australia, and a Kinshachi Miso Lager; which I was dying to try. Their website still has the old menu, so I am unsure what changes have been made. Check it out here:
Finally, I should mention their is a bar around the waterfront called the Prince of Wales, which has Grand Ridge Brewery signage. I didn’t get a chance to go in, but I’m guessing you can get their beers there. So worth a look if you are in the neighbourhood.