Alan kindly invited me to join the league of good-beer bloggers. I quickly accepted. Regrettably, Singapore and the rest of Southeast Asia are not the best places to find good local brews. Most regional beers are uninspiring international lagers or worse - such as the syrupy-sweet and metallic Guinness Foreign Extra Stout, its many lower-quality imitators, and the octane-enhanced but taste-deprived 'super' lagers.
Still, there is hope for this country. And that has been largely due to the efforts of Saskatchewan brewmaster Scott Robertson and the fine beers of Brewerkz. The brewpub and eatery usually carries a selection of eight draught beers, some - such as the popular India Pale Ale and pilsner lager - are constant menu items and most of the others are cycled throughout the year. It also makes several tasty bottled brews.
My favorite is the hand pumped cask-conditioned Hopback Ale – which aficionados may note is probably the only real ale brewed in Southeast Asia. It starts with hoppy and floral notes a has the smooth low-carbonation mouthfeel typical of a cask-conditioned brew. The color is a light orange, which is not typical of the darker tones of most hopbacks - however, this lends to a lightness that is ideally suited for the island's tropical climate. The alcohol content is a mild 4.5%.
The brew costs slightly more than the rest of the draught offerings, at S$5/pint during weekday lunch compared to the S$3/pint for its on-tap counterparts, but it is well worth the extra cash.
Almost all of Brewerkz's' beers are of top quality, and I will be looking at a few more during my remaining weeks in Singapore. Still, the restaurant does not deserve unrestrained praise. Their thin Strawberry beer, which tastes like a club soda mixed with a touch of strawberry essence, should be avoided at all cost. Especially as it is one of the pricier brews on the menu. More on that later.
So long as Alan hasn't found a recruit from Australasia or Japan, the two best regional sources for finer beers, I may endeavor to review some of the better imports. In the interim before I leave, I commit to spending several of my unemployed afternoons at Brewerkz testing the remainder of the menu. (No dear, I'm not slacking off... it's research).