Brewing in Singapore

One man's adventure of brewing beer in Asia.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A Bit Blur

September is upon us and I know not what happened to August - it was hardly even a blur - it vanished with nary a trace. But all was not lost, in it's place now stands a brand new fully functional 30 hl brewery. It took 16 months but now we are finished - well, almost finished. There are a few more details to sort out but we are finished enough for me to start brewing. I brewed my last (for a while) batch on the mini brewery on Thursday and I brewed my first batch on the new brewery today. I will be brewing all next week so that we may start selling the beer out into the wider market and we will move the mini brewery back downtown Tuesday.

August was madness - I worked the last 26 days in a row, usually about a 10 to 14 hours a day. By day I brewed beer on the mini brewery and supervised the installation of the new brewery, by night I did radio, TV and magazine interviews where I babble on mindlessly about beer and brewing (our corporate communication team is very agressive in getting me in front of the press). For one Men's magazine the two other craft brewers in town* and myself did a 60+ beer tasting (in two hours) it was not an easy task - you should try it some time (yee-iiee). After brewing each of our three main beers this week - I am really looking forward to a weekend off (what will I do with myself).

My assistant starts tomorrow, his name is Ben Tan. He has been with APBS (Tiger Brewery) for the last 5 years working in the larger brewery. This is good as he has relationships (connections) that I lack. He is a very nice guy and very enthusiastic about learning more about brewing. He is an commando in the armed guard (things are a little different here in Singapore where all males do a tour of duty in the armed forces and all men under the age of 42 are still in the active reserves) - basically what this means is that Ben is tougher than your average guy (a fact that I plan on using often). Craft brewing is not for the weak or those who lack stamina. Lugging a 20 meter length of 2 inch hose around is not an easy task (nor is hefting 25 kg. bags of malt, or 50 liter kegs). I believe Ben may be called on to use much of his training in his new job. (plus, if we are out drinking and someone hassles me Ben will break them in half like a twig - no not really, he is much too nice of a guy to do that).

On the horizon - Soon we will develop two new beers ..... I was thinking that we'd stick with the classics - good and evil - something light and something dark.

*the two other craft brewers in Singapore are Alex (from Paulaner), and Scott (from Brewerkz). Both very nice guys. And yeah we were a bit blur after 60+ beers


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