Get to know beer with no boundaries

Cherries, caramel, coriander and orange peel, these are some of the flavours that are spicing up beer these days.

In particular, craft beers, which are produced in limited quantities using traditional methods, have been gaining fans among Singaporeans.

Craft-beer lover Adrian Boey says that with craft beers you get a huge variety of beers with a range of different flavours.

The 32-year-old research fellow's favourite beer is the Australian-brewed Mountain Goat Hightail Ale, which he described as "malty, with a taste of roasted caramel".

Craft beers now make up 25 per cent of the local beer market, up from 8 per cent five years ago, Mr Andrew Wee, owner of MOA New Zealand Bar & Grill, estimates.

Mr Wee, who is also the sole distributor of MOA beers in the region, says his company alone imports almost 2,000 barrels of MOA beer to Singapore each year.

MOA, which hails from the world-famous winemaking region of Marlborough, New Zealand, offers a wide range, from fruity breakfast beer to the imperial stout to one with a floral aroma with faint glimpses of Marlborough's white-wine character.

Mr Wee reckons there are around 380 different types of craft beer distributed in Singapore.

The owner of the Good Beer Company, Mr Daniel Goh, says that "in recent years brewers have also been ageing beers in casks that previously held whisky, rum or bourbon".

Mr Goh, whose hawker store in Chinatown complex specialises in craft beers, sells over 40 types of craft beer.

He is also the co-owner of the recently opened Smith Street Taps, boasting eight taps.

The overall beer industry in Singapore grew by 3.8 per cent in 2012 with a market value of S$915.2 million. Residents here chugged down 96.4 million litres, a 3.7 per cent increase in volume.

Mr Wee, who will be speaking at a MyPaper Metropolitan series on Feb 22, attributed the increased appetite for craft beer to a "culture of appreciating" a better beer. "It gives people more options," he says.

Ms Loretta Perera, 26, a digital consultant, says that craft beers are so diverse because the brewers "have no obligation to stick to one taste".

Adds Ms Perera: "I like my music like I like my beer - alternative and not off the shelf."

dtang@sph.com.sg

Find out all about brewing and appreciating craft beer from industry veteran Andrew Wee at the Understanding Craft Beers workshop in the MyPaper Metropolitan Series. To register, visit http://pbp.sph.com.sg/mpmw. Registration closes on Feb 20.

Date: Feb 22, Saturday
Time: 2pm to 5pm
Venue: MOA New Zealand Bar & Grill, Changi City Point
Price: $22 per person


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