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We jumped off the plane, fresh from celebrating NYE in Sydney, eager to get back into crazy cultures and exploring craft beer in unexpected places.
A few places were a bit stale, but some really stood out from the crowd.
First up was Hopheads. In and amongst the high rise offices near Dhoby Ghaut, this place is in the basement of a skyscraper in a huge 7,000sq foot open plan space. The space is very minimalist & cool and would certainly draw a significantly bigger crowd in London than it appears to be doing here – we almost had the place to ourselves.
But, we loved it, a solid bottle and tap list, beer pong should you fancy it, pool table, darts, etc etc. Great start!
Always a pleasure visiting a Mikkeller bar, especially so far from Denmark, this one though is probably the smallest one we have been to yet. A converted shipping container in a small industrial set up is the home of this Mikkeller venue, with some additional outside seats to entice a few more craft beer wankers (like us) to stay a while. There isn’t much more to say about the bar itself, especially if you have visited any of their other venues around the world – minimalist décor, a distinctive shade of green on the walls and some top quality craft. The formula works!
Set up by the guys behind Mikkeller Singapore, Druggists is a very similar style of bar and is walking distance from the 1925 Brewing Company. The smooth jazz music playing and the early 19th century décor blend well together, and the very heavily European selection on the 23 taps means you won’t struggle to find a quality beer to enjoy the venue with. It was effortlessly classy.
The most authentic experience of drinking craft beer in Singapore is that at “Smith Street Taps“, where, if you can find it, you are able to drink craft beer in the heart of China town in a hawker market.
There’s a few of these craft beer bars dotted around in various hawker centres and they are a great environment to drink in. The beer is cheap, it’s a lot less formal than the rest of Singapore & it’s probably unlike anywhere you have drunk before!
Burger Joint was our next port of call, with a promise of excellent burgers with American beef & stellar craft beer. Sadly, we arrived 5 minutes after the kitchen had closed which was a real shame, as the smell was delectable. The guys behind the bar were very welcoming though, so we at least stayed for the beer as they had some great beer selections on offer from Modern Times to Tiny Rebel.
A very short walk from Burger Joint is Freehouse, with their ‘Stairway to Heaven’ up to the 12 tap bar – a very welcome sight.
The bar staff were very chatty, helpful and clearly passionate about the beer, though at the time of writing only 4 of their 12 taps were in use.
We decided to dedicate some of our time here to cocktails, as seemingly, no visit to Singapore would be complete without a trip to taste the the Singapore Sling at Raffles‘ long bar.
In many ways, it’s a shame the sling has been as successful a cocktail as it is. We were packed into a bar with all the other tourists, providing a more production line feel than the fancy cocktail experience we’d hoped for.
Less of the original mastery, exciting ingredients & customisation, and sadly more churning out hundreds of the same drink every hour!