Beerfest Asia: Cheers to Craft beer
Beerfest Asia is set to provide a belly full of fun with products from a range of independent brewers
WHAT Beerfest Asia 2016
WHERE Marina Promenade
You may have heard of craft beer, but do you know what exactly that is?
Beerfest Asia 2016 is bringing you a variety over four days, along with great food and entertainment.
From June 16 to 19, visit Asia's largest beer festival at Marina Promenade for a belly full of fun. Unlike large beer manufacturing companies, craft beer brewers are small, independent and traditional and possess unique qualities that make them labelled as such.
It is one thing to be able to hold your drink, but another to know what is stirring in that glass.
M spills on what you need to know about craft beer with Mr Darryl Chuan, business development manager and brewmaster of Hospoda Microbrewery, and Mr Frederic Druz, managing director of Eastory Asia.
What makes craft beer "craft'', and why should we cherish the effort and hard work that goes into producing craft beers?
MR CHUAN They are the opposite of mass produced beer brands. They tend to experiment more with different ingredients.
I believe that people are starting to appreciate craft beers more now because of the craftsmanship that goes into the brewing. Being adventurous by trying out different ingredients and being different from anyone else should be commended. No one wants to drink the exact same thing every day.
MR DRUZ Each beer lover has a unique interpretation and story. For us, the definition of "craft'' is related to the quality and raw ingredients used in the brewing process. There is a lot of attention paid to the above attributes, which is why and how we select the breweries that we represent.
What are the growing trends in craft beer consumption among Singapore drinkers?
MR CHUAN The Singaporean palate for beer has become more sophisticated over the last few years, and it is reflected in the range of craft beers that are available in a lot of bars today.
This wasn't the case a few years back. I think part of it has to do with the influx of foreigners from countries where the craft beer and microbrewery scene is much more developed. We are moving towards this trend, but Singaporeans still need to be educated about the availability of such brands.
MR DRUZ It's been observed that there has been an increased interest in recent years. As the beer-drinking community grows in the country, consumers are more open to the less common type of beers, as opposed to the common lagers.
As a member of the beer industry, do you see this is as a good sign? And is it a sustainable trend?
MR CHUAN This is a good trend, especially as more people become adventurous with trying out different beers and moving away from mainstream brands. We have only scratched the surface, with many craft beer brands having yet to break into the Singapore market.
MR DRUZ It is definitely a good sign, signifying a market expansion and the craft beer segment is essentially on its own. From how we see it, craft beers are here to stay due to the growing number of microbreweries in the world and the region, providing a greater variety to the market and with greater demand from the consumers.
What made you decide to bring more craft beers to Singapore?
MR CHUAN We are lagging behind mature craft beer markets in North America, Europe and Australia, but this is a great time to get into the market to capitalise on the growing demand for unique beers.
MR DRUZ We realised that the offering of beers within Singapore was limited back then. That's when we brought in what we did seven years ago. It's to raise awareness and exposure within the country.
Do you think there'll be more Singapore craft brewers in the future? What would you say to encourage such budding brewers?
MR CHUAN Yes, absolutely. It's the natural progression to meet the growing demand for craft beers in general. My advice would be to be adventurous and come up with beers that are different from anyone else's.
We live in such a diverse country such that there will always be people who want to try something new. Brewing beer of a specific style, whether it's beer from a particular country, using different ingredients, or just unique flavours - it is important to sell something that they can talk about when they drink.
Engage customers and talk to them about what makes your beer different. Craft beer drinkers love to know about the background of such beers. They will appreciate the efforts of the owner or manager who take the time to talk about their beers.
MR DRUZ We do believe that there will be more Singapore craft brewers and we are very keen to explore any possible partnership to help showcase and develop their artisanal offerings.
What are some of the more unique craft beers you've come across?
MR DRUZ It was one brewed by the McCashin's Brewery from New Zealand. Stoke Beer's range of craft beers and ciders are brewed with water from an ancient aquifer right under the brewery and contain no added sugar, preservatives or additives. You've got to taste it for yourself.
What unique beers will you be bringing to Beerfest Asia?
MR CHUAN We are the only Czech-style brewery in Singapore. Our ingredients are imported from the Czech Republic and we try to stick to what makes Czech beers so good, while tweaking it a little bit to suit the Singaporean palate.
We will be bringing our bohemian pilsner, a light, refreshing drink with a hint of fruity notes. Our bohemian dark lager is full-flavoured, heavy on malt with caramel notes, but deceivingly easy to drink. Finally, staying true to our Czech roots, our bohemian mix is a mix of our pilsner and dark lager, a popular style of beer in the Czech Republic.
MR DRUZ In addition to our current range, we are proud to launch a craft beer from Corsica (an island in the south of France) called Pietra.
The uniqueness of Pietra comes via its brewing process, where selected malts and Corsican chestnut flour are used. Being highly fermentable, chestnut flour has an excellent long lasting effect on the head (top foamy layer of a beer pint) and gives the beer its beautiful colour.
Mixed into the malt during the mashing process, the chestnut flour is a prime ingredient and not just flavouring.
Who is your Beer Babe?
Vote for your favourite Beer Babe among the five representing different beer brands and stand to win a pair of Beerfest Asia VIP tickets.
Five winners will receive these passes worth $268 each to attend the event on June 19.
To vote, visit www.beerfestasia.com/SG/2016/festival-info#giveaways. Voting ends on June 13 at 11.59pm.
Ingelica Lee, 22
She broke three teeth, cut her lip and needed stitches in 2014, yet she still competed in a dance competition the next day.
An undergraduate at SIM-RMIT by day, this seasoned competitive dancer is also a dance and fitness teacher by night.
She says: "Think of yourself as limitless. If there is anything that is worth a shot, give it a shot."
Ziyi Kuek, 26
The skate instructor and freelance model also blogs and does graphic design occasionally.
The winner of beauty pageant Bride Of The World Singapore 2012 aims to run her own business one day.
She says: "Go for what you believe in, regardless of your age. You are never too young to do what you want."
Venetia Lim, 24
The first runner-up of the Singapore Turf Club's Turf Belle Search 2015 describes herself as a social butterfly who loves interacting with people.
A travel enthusiast, she visits places around the world to experience different cultures, scenery and cuisine.
Lim, who handles events and launches, says: "I am a people person. I hardly stay at home, I much prefer to go out and interact with people."
DRAFT DENMARK LAGER BEER
Clarissa Tan, 18
She may be the youngest of the quintet, but the model has already appeared at multiple events and done blogshop modelling since she was 15.
A newly-signed club deejay, Miss Tan enjoys electronic dance music and will make her debut next month under local artist agency Altra Management.
She says: "Opportunities don't come unless I work for it."
STRONGBOW APPLE CIDER
Jolene Teo, 21
The Temasek Polytechnic graduate enjoys adventure sports like jet skiing, parasailing and sky diving, and usually joins her family for hiking at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve on weekends.
She is waiting to enter university this year.
She says: "Once I set my mind on something, I am determined to do it. If I fail, I will try even harder."