Brewing in Singapore

One man's adventure of brewing beer in Asia.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Yes, I know it has been a long time since my last post - I am a bad Blogger!! (sorry) But we have been very busy.

Archipelago has a totally new line up of beers, and we won a silver medal for our Straits Pale Ale at the World Beer Cup last week (the Academy Awards of the Beer world). It is all pretty exciting stuff.

Alright, so first with the new beers. For the most part the Asian spiced beers are a thing of the past (we still have the Samui as our wheat beer - made with Kalamasi lime and Pandan leaves). But, it was felt that the spice beers were a bit too niche for the market (actually a niche within the niche of craft beers), and maybe that's right. Maybe we were a bit ahead of the curve with those beers, and so we have redesigned. (don't worry Tony - we will still have the Trader's Brown Ale around for a while longer)

We have come out with what we think are fout classic beer styles. The new beers may be a bit more generic in name, but they are definitely not generic in flavor. We have done our best to craft interesting beers of distinction that will appeal to a broader spectrum of people.
It was quite fun to brew the new beers (no doubt) and I think we have made some pretty good ones. In some ways I had a freer hand in designing these beers than I did with the spiced beers.

So here is the line up; most of you are familiar with our Samui and that has been re-named our Archipelago Wheat beer (a rose by any other name ....).

We have a new Summer Ale that will be the counterpart of the (silver medal winning) Straits Pale Ale (yes, I too will be sad to see this award winning beer go). But the Summer Ale is very drinkable and has a hint of the exotic with its touch of New Zealand Pacific Jade & American Chinook hops.

The Irish Ale is our interpretation of a traditional classic Irish Ale; no red malts here to make it sweet and cloying, just a sturdy brown beer like one might have found in the early part of the 18th century (or so my research would suggest). It's not fancy but is a solid and very drinkable beer (manly yes, but ladies will like it too - yeah ok, I stole that from the soap commercial).

Last is our new Bohemian Lager - we have produced a traditional all malt Pilsner style beer with the rare Czech Saaz hops and touch of the (extremely hard to acquire) Nelson Sauvin hops from New Zealand.

In additional we will have season beers that will be available at our many new concept outlets (Queen & Mangosteen, Circular Rd., Malted Milk at Robertson Quay, Smokey's in Joo Chiat, The Pit in Holland V., Timber-2 @ Art House, Blarney's at the Sail, Mel's Place and others)

The awards: It is quite an honor to have your beers recognized for the excellence and the World beer Cup is the most prestigious beer competition of them all.

This year Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) won three medals; two golds and a silver. They entered a total of 9 beers, 3 from our small 30 hl Archipelago brewery, the others 6 beers from some of their 30 breweries that they own around Asia. Of the three medals; the Archipelago brewery brewed one of the beers (a silver for our Straits Pale), for the other medal (a gold for Tiger Crystal) our Archipelago brewery did the R & D and the prototype brew (before it went into production – with some changes – at a much larger facility), and the third medal (a gold medal) was for Tiger beer which is the Asia Pacific Breweries lead brand (the production of which I have very little to do with).

For these three combined medals Asia Pacific Breweries was awarded the Large Brewery of the year award and since I was the only representative of APB present at the award in Chicago I got to accept the award. (yeah that was fun). I am just glad that our small brewery was part of the calculation winning such a prestigious award.

Congratulations to all my fellow brewers who won !!!
To see all the lucky winners check


At 12:11 AM, Blogger thomask said...

so fal, let me share what i take from this post, just to be clear, as my powers of sarcasm have diminshed greatly since living here:

- APB didn't deign the World Beer Cup important enough for major execs (no offence to present company intended of course) to attend, even though they ended up taking out Large Brewery of the Year.

- The Powers That Be (TPTB) have decided to change (the most interesting) 1/3 of their medal winning lineup.


- Individual / craft beers are too risky in the singapore marketplace to be allowed to exist.

All of which seems to add more bite to the Hobgoblins ad in The Pit - "what's the matter Lagerboy, afraid you might taste something?"

At 12:46 AM, Blogger Melissa Cole said...

Oooh lager with a touch of NS, my favourite hop! Fal, you genius you!

Nice to see you back blogging and a pleasure & honour judging with you in Chicago as ever x

At 5:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 12:56 AM, Blogger Fal Allen said...

well, I am glad to see that someone is reading these (besides the Korean PornSpam machines - comments deleted).

at Melissa: thank you, you are too kind - and Always good to see you (and an honor to judge with you).

at Thomas: I think that the APB execs thought (as I did) that with 3330 beers entered (and APB only entering 9) that we had no chance - so no point send anyone. (but can let tha Ang Moh guy go - he pay his own way somemore - si beh Seow one !)

We will continue to brew new beers and the Straits Pale is still in the line up for now

and the last point - I think that APBS (with Archipelago) has helped grow the Craft beer segment faster than it would have (although I do believe it would have grown - albeit slower - on it's own). I think that hte last five years have been pretty exciting and that the next five will be even more so as craft beer flourishes thoughout Asia (he says with is fingeres crossed)

See you at the BeerFestAsia !!

At 5:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



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