Beer made from gula melaka? Sweet!

The rise of craft beer has seen some very uniquely flavoured beers coming to these shores. We've seen beers brewed with watermelon, pumpkin, jasmine, and even a smoked beer that smells and tastes like bacon.

However, we've not really had a beer that has a distinctly Malaysian flavour yet… until now.

Introducing the Gila Gula Melaka Beer, a brown ale brewed with gula melaka (palm sugar), which will be available on tap in limited quantities from Dec 22 to 25 at Taps Beer Bar outlets in Changkat Bukit Bintang and Mont'Kiara in Kuala Lumpur.

Back in September, two Malaysians, Taps co-founder Mili Lim and Toga Mamora, went to Tokyo, Japan to brew a beer that would have the sweet goodness of gula melaka, under the watchful eye of Taisuke Kourai from the Hitachino Brewing Lab in Tokyo.

The Gila Gula Melaka beer will be available at Taps Beer Bar Mont’Kiara, from 22 Dec to 25 Dec 2016.Photo: The Star

"We wanted to brew something with a Malaysian flavour, and being Peranakan, gula melaka seemed like the ideal ingredient to use," said Lim. "We brought our own gula melaka to Tokyo because palm sugar isn't easy to find in Japan."

While she admitted that Taisuke, being a professional brewer, was the one who executed most of the brewing process, Lim said they helped out whenever they could. "It was a good learning experience, especially for beer geeks like me," she said.

The Gila Gula Melaka beer contains 6 per cent ABV, and was brewed using four types of malt (including chocolate malt), and three types of hops (Columbus, Saaz, and Kent). The gula melaka was added during the brewing process as an adjunct to give the beer a local twist.

Mili Lim, co-founder of Taps Beer Bar, went to Tokyo’s Hitachino Brewing LAb to brew a beer made with gula melaka.
Photo: The Star

During the beer's debut at Taps Beer Bar, you can pair the beer with some specially created dishes, including caramelised roast pork and sambal babi with sourdough. Taps is also collaborating with ice-cream specialists Inside Scoop to serve their salted gula melaka ice-cream during the time.

Taps Beer Bar is located at Changkat Bukit Bintang (A-0-3 One Residency, 1 Jalan Nagasari, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03-2110 1560) and Mont'Kiara (G-1, 1 Mont'Kiara Mall, 1 Jalan Kiara, Mont'Kiara, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03-6206 5983 ) For more information, visit