Chalking up awards, putting home-grown Singaporean craft beer on the map
After recent awards haul, brew queen Kim Wong says she never wants to quit her dream job
For Singapore's brew queen Kim Wong, quitting has never been an option.
The 56-year-old industry veteran of Specific Gravity Beverage Company declared she would "do this until 80 if I have the chance to".
Last month, the home-grown craft beer brand earned international acclaim at the Australian International Beer Awards, the largest annual beer competition in the world assessing both draught and packaged beers.
It won the gold medal and trophy for Best Design - Outer Packaging for its Classic IPA, Craft Lager, and Wheat Beer 4 Packs, and bronze for Best Design - Label/Surface Design, for its Classic IPA in the category of British Style (Best Traditional IPA) and for its Wheat Beer in the category of German Style Hefe (Best Wheat Beer).
LEAP OF FAITH
Taking a leap of faith with a mid-career switch at 34, Ms Wong is an entrepreneur who has helped put Singapore on the map for classic craft beers.
Armed with an accountancy background back in the day, she took up a bookkeeping job that quickly wore her down with the long working hours.
Sharing an interest in beer and brewing with her husband, Mr Tang Kian Phung, a 61-year-old polytechnic lecturer, they set up Dreams Cafe in 1996 and became one of the first in Singapore to serve craft beers from North America and Europe.
She told The New Paper: "Enjoying beer with my husband and the brew master while watching people drink the beer that I made in my cafe was something that brought me a lot of happiness."
Ms Wong then moved on to become a brewery manager for 21 years.
She ran two breweries and brewed more than 80 different beer styles, while maintaining 13 flowing taps.
Her skills in brewing won her accolades and medals at beer competitions around the world.
After spending six months at her friend's Hong Kong brewery in 2018 - to help it improve its product - she became a self- employed brewery consultant.
Her latest venture, Specific Gravity Beverage Company, which was registered last October amid the pandemic, has now become the talk of the town.
Along with her business partner, Mr Devin Kimble, 58, a long-time craft beer champion and microbrewing pioneer in Asia, Ms Wong aims to produce high-quality ales that are affordable, unpretentious and accessible, with taste profiles that cater to the Asian palate.
Operating as a "gypsy brewery", it uses local and foreign breweries to brew its beer, and runs its sales online.
The goal is to open its own brewery down the line.
Ms Wong said: "Our beers are made with the finest malts, real hops and live yeast. They are a bit bolder... but are also beers your uncle or auntie, old National Service buddy and boss will enjoy."