We’re talking craft beers, a whole new breed from the usual stock present at your local supermarket. Singapore has seen a growing presence of unique craft expressions from all over the world, encompassing flavoured beer, IPAs, ciders and more.
Don’t regard craft beer as hipster domain; it’s just akin of taking a step up the ladder and splurging on a more luxurious bottle of wine. The best place to start your love affair with the exceptional beverage and to find out your favourites, would be to head to any of the five best craft beer bars the city holds. Just like any liquor, beers can be far more complex in flavour and composition than their mass-market counterparts, so there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be given a chance.
Situated on the top floor of an office building in the Marina Bay Financial District, LeVeL 33 is a fantastic craft beer bistro bar to go on a date, thanks to the stunning views, or just to chill out after work. The industrial setting typically features four beers crafted with olden European flavours in mind, with the occasional seasonal brews making an appearance.
Located at 8 Marina Boulevard #33-01, MBFC Tower 1, Singapore 018981
The 10,000 sq ft microbrewery serves up an array of craft beers catered to local palates, including the SPA (Singapore Pale Ale) — a bitter, oak-natured IPA with flowery notes. All the beers are brewed in vats in-house, and you can also spot a large wood smoking even were meats are slow-cooked everyday. It might be on a far-flung corner of the island for non-East Siders, so this is one to check out on a lazy weekend evening.
Located at Block 6 Changi Village Road #01-01/02 Singapore 509907.
Druggist’s display of 23 taps lining the wall beneatha massive chalkboard is probably the second most Instagrammed bar decor other than the famed “风和日丽” lights at Loof. Druggist shares a building with the Singapore Chinese Druggists Association, and it boasts one of the most extensive selections of sour beers, imperial stouts and IPAs. The snacks are distinctly local, like coffee pork ribs, szechuan pickles and sambal ikan bilis.
Located at 119 Tyrwhitt Road Singapore 207547
What used to be an actual military armoury is now a trendy watering hole for the hip after-office crowd at South Beach Towers. If you like your bars with a pinch of swank and a hint of stature, check out the Armoury. It has a standard fare of beers from USA, Japan and Europe on tap, making it a good stop for a quick introduction on the craft tipple. Hunker down with an ice-cold pint, and raise your glass to order some fries double-fried in duck fat. It’s a calorie assault well worth it.
Located at 36 Beach Road, Singapore 189677.
TAP situates the obscure love for craft beers in the centre of the city. 20 craft brews are available on tap, aside from over 80 craft ciders, beers and sodas — it’s a veritable arts n’ craft store for beer worshippers, except with alcohol instead of paint bottles. Familiar names like Left Coast, Green Flash and co. make their appearance at TAP with tons more unorthodox expressions, alongside a menu of burgers, cold cuts and tapas to keep your beer-guzzling soul satiated.
Located at #01-88/89/90 Capitol Piazza Galleria, 15 Stamford Road, Singapore 178884
In a country where having a beer in the kopitiam counts as a part of national culture, it’s no wonder we have waves of craft beer bars parked in prominent coffee shops around the island. Orh Gao Taproom is one such beer post parked in the heart of Botanic Gardens. Known as Killiney Kopitiam by day, the whole space becomes a taproom come 4pm. No kopi kettles will be in sight. Instead, you have a bar serving up ten different beers on tap, which rotates seasonally, alongside a lengthy selection of bottled brews from craft producers around the globe. To add to the appeal, Orh Gao Taproom also serves Asian-style bar bites like har cheong kai chicken wings to line your stomach as you plough through some pints.
Located at 10 Jalan Serene, Serene Centre #01-03, Singapore 258748
Rarely do you have neighbourhood joints as cool as Nickeldime Drafthouse, so if you live in Novena, consider yourself lucky. The bar serves up 19 different beers on tap, sourced from Asia to America, and a dizzying array of bottles. To supplement your session, they’ve got satisfyingly greasy grub like burgers, garlic fries and their signature sourdough pizzas, as well as live soccer matches televised for ardent fans out there.
Located at #01-01 Novena Regency, 275 Thomson Road, Singapore 307645, +65 6265 5118
Keong Saik’s thriving restaurant-bar, The Guild, is a collaboration between Hong Kong’s Young Master Brewery and Hong Kong-based household name, chef Vincent Lauria. Inside the spacious shophouse is a round bar spotted with 19 taps of Young Master Brewery’s signature and seasonal brews to complement the food menu, packed with Asian-American fusion dishes that utilise local produce where possible. Read our full review here.
Located at#01-01, 55 Keong Saik Rd, Singapore 089155, +65 9042 3900
Having 30-odd beers on tap is no mean feat, which makes American Taproom an impressive craft beer haunt, in our books. There’s a ton of IPAs on the menu, along with stouts, meads, ales, and everything else. One may expect all their brews to come from the U.S., but there’s a pretty international selection to scour. The American element in the bar’s namesake comes from the food menu, which is lined with all-American snacks ranging from burgers to buffalo wings.
Located at #01-23 Waterloo Centre, 261 Waterloo St, Singapore 180261, +65 9632 1570
Having a pint at Almost Famous is quite an experience. The minimal, industrial-looking space looks more like a showroom than a beer bar, but it is deliberately designed to let your senses focus entirely on the beer. The selection warrants your undivided attention, given that it hones in primarily on beers produced by small, regional brewers. There are 16 taps that rotate on occasion, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to sample Asia’s finest pours throughout the year.
Located at Chjimes, 30 Victoria St, #01-06, Singapore 187996, +65 9772 1787