Asia Life

Beerfest Asia 2013: Best on Tap in Singapore

Beer enthusiasts are descending on Singapore this weekend to sample some of the world’s finest brews.

Jonathan DeHart

Beerfest Asia 2013 is bringing more than 400 of the world’s best brews from more than 20 countries to Singapore’s Marina Promenade June 13-16, attracting liquid gold enthusiasts from around the region. Now in its fifth year, the event ensures boredom is not an option, with stage performances, comedy acts, workshops on craft brewing, food, and of course, first-rate tipple.

Alongside the ever expanding beer menu – 50 new brews are on tap this year, including the citrus-tinged British Indian Pale Ale by Archipelago Brewery – wine, champagne, ciders and whisky are also brought to the table this year. And for guests who aren’t sure where to begin, the event also hosts a battle of the beers, the Asia Beer Awards 2013.

It’s a healthy balance between those who liberally imbibe anything they can get their hands on and those of the connoisseur variety. “It’s like a madhouse for beer lovers, with the completely insane going nuts in the commercial tent whilst those with a degree of sanity seek refuge at the craft beer booths,” said Jeremy Reynolds, director of Eastern Craft Trading and JiBiru Japanese Craft Beer Bar.

Andrew Wee, executive director of Trilogies of Beers and Moa Brewing Company, New Zealand Bar & Grill, added, “For me, it’s an event where work and play come together well, and where creative minds can talk about more creative brewing.”

While the festival is international in scope, and is considered by some to be the largest in Southeast Asia, one of the more interesting things to ponder is the Asian offerings. Let’s face it: for many, their go-to beers are Western imports, which are well represented in Singapore this weekend. Nations with their beers on the menu range from Australia and France to Mexico and Ukraine. The full list of all beers on offer can be seen here.

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But what are some of Asia’s top brews? One list offers the following: Angkor Beer (Cambodia), Everest Beer (Nepal), Kingfisher (India), San Miguel Pale Pilsen (Philippines), Bia Hoi (Vietnam), Beer Lao (Laos) and Tsingtao (China). An alternative list – weighted more towards Japan – can be seen here, while this one lists some of the liquid staples of Taiwan and Thailand.

It’s worth noting that Tsingtao is brewed in Qingdao, home of the legendary Qingdao Beer Festival held every August. For PRC-brewed beer beyond the ubiquitous Tsingtao, see a good list here, which contains the quirkily named Reeb (“Beer” spelled backwards).

For a critical take on the 50 best options on tap at Asia Beerfest 2013, both Western and Asian, read more here.