We love our Asahi Drys, we love our Kronenburg Blancs, but sometimes we just want to indulge in artisanal booze that offers much more. When commercial beers are no longer doing it for you, why not try a craft beer? Typically crafted in small batches, these microbrews often have a distinctive taste due to unique high-quality ingredients and a fermentation process that makes them more indulgent (and often pricier) than your average convenience store bottles.
With an endless selection of bars in Singapore catering to a multiplicity of palates, it can be difficult navigating the world of craft beer. Fret not. We’ve enrolled the expertise of Sylvester Fedor, Marketing Manager of Young Master Brewery for his list of must-hit spots for a fix.
A relatively new kid in town, American Taproom is a town hall-inspired spot focusing exclusively on craft beers from the U-S of A. A glance at the 32 beautiful taps lined up behind the bar counter will leave even the most OCD patrons quaking in ecstasy. The establishment houses 32 brews from brewhouses around the world, including our local beer makers, offering a diverse smorgasbord of flavour profiles that range from your hoppy IPAs to your experimental chocolatey Stouts and Dragonfruit Goses that will satisfy even the pickiest of connoisseurs. Given the smorgasbord of craft beers to choose from, it might be wise to take things slow and approach the friendly bartenders for recommendations.
American Taproom is located at 261 Waterloo St, #01-23 Singapore 180261 (Tel: 9632 1570)
Smith Street Taps
With 110 reviews on Facebook to date, this hawker stall has a stellar score of near perfect—a testament to the quality of craft beers sold at Smith Street Taps. Lying in the heart of Chinatown, the beer specialist has its undeniable rustic and quaint charm, which proves to be a lovely switch-up from your run-of-the-mill watering holes down Cross Street and Ann Siang Hill. It houses 12 taps and a variety of cans and bottles. Plus, your favourite hawker fares are well within arms reach so we are willing to let the obvious lack of air conditioning slide.
Smith Street Taps is located at 335 Smith Street #02-062, Chinatown Complex, Singapore 050335 (Tel: 9430 2750)
A project by Young Master Brewery, Hong Kong’s top-rated and largest independent brewery, The Guild is the latest addition to the slew of watering holes along Keong Saik Road, housing a selection of 10 brews from Young Masters and an extensive food menu by Chef Vinny Lauria, the mastermind of some of the most popular restaurants in Hong Kong. We've done a review of this restaurant-bar previously, click here to read more.
The Guild is located at 55 Keong Saik Road #01-01, Singapore 089158 (Tel: 6224 1262)
If you like American Taproom’s taps-on-wall aesthetic, then Freehouse's rendition will definitely appeal as well; albeit on a smaller scale. You can’t get anymore welcoming than the glowing neon pink “No Strangers Here” sign at the bar station, further accentuating the establishment’s millennial appeal. We are digging the Asian fusion food menu and the impressive selection of 16 craft beers on tap, and on rotation, so you don't need to have the same thing twice each time you’re back.
Freehouse is located at 21A Boon Tat Street, Singapore 069620 (Tel: 8362 6740)
The storefront of Druggist emanates some serious Wong Kar-Wai vibe, like the set of In the Mood for Love. Whilst the exterior might liken to a dingy Chinese medicine hall, the disconnect is apparent when you step foot into the establishment—modern, brightly lit, but peppered with relics from the Singapore Druggist Association. While their food menu might not be as extensive as other venues, serving mainly bar bites, their repertoire of tinctures and tonics might be your remedy to wind down (or up) after a long day at work.
Druggist is located at 119 Tyrwhitt Rd, Singapore 207547 (Tel:6341 5967)
Ounce might not be the standardised unit of measurement in our metric system, but it's always good to know that sixteen ounces make up a full pint of good craft brew. This neighbourhood gem, located at The Rail Mall at Upper Bukit Timah, serves up a rotating cast of eight craft beers on draft and a selection of delectable pizzas, burgers, and tapas. Don’t be too surprised if you see joggers and bikers dropping in for a pint or two as it is within the vicinity of the Green Corridor and Bukit Timah reserve.
398 Upper Bukit Timah Road, The Rail Mall, Singapore 678049 (Tel: 6219 9304)
Hailing from New York, Manhattan, this American diner is not to be mistaken for another mediocre fast food joint. The patties here are made from prime beef flown straight in from Nebraska. Coupled with the assortment of 18 craft beers on tap, it makes for one Happy Meal to cater to the child in all of us.
Burger Joint is located at 115 Amoy Street #01-03, Singapore 069935 (Tel:6221 8648)
3rd Culture Brewing Co.
Another beer hawker to add to the list. Best for some delicious no-frills frothy beer fresh on tap. 3rd Culture Brewing Co. has come a long way since its humble beginnings, serving just four taps when it started. Now they house ten at their Old Airport Road branch and 12 at its Maxwell Food Centre flagship. Impressive, considering that the flagship is the space of a single hawker stall. The curated selection goes on rotation pretty frequently so that patrons are constantly discovering new flavour profiles and combinations to pair with their favourite hawker fare.
(P.S.: That's Sylvester on the far left)
3rd Culture Brewing Co. has two locations, 1 Kadayanallur Street #01-33, Maxwell Food Centre, Singapore 069184 and 51 Old Airport Road #01-144, Old Airport Road Food Centre, Singapore 390051
Add this mecca to your alcoholic pilgrimages. Boasting a wide selection of premium liquors and spirits, it is no surprise that Temple Cellars—a one-stop bottle shop-cum-bar—also has a selection of four craft beer taps (on regular rotation) as well. In addition, the bar hosts regular alcohol-related masterclasses, so remember to check out their Facebook page for session updates and class information.
Temple Cellars is located at 81 Clemenceau Avenue #01-12, UE Square, Singapore 239917 (Tel:6262 2191)
If you are craft beer lover, Mikkeller Bar shouldn’t be a novel name to you. The bar is the brainchild of Danish brewer Mikkel Borg Bjergsø. Known as a “phantom brewer” or the “gypsy brewer” in the industry, Mikkel is responsible for creating some of the world’s most distinctive craft beers; adored by aficionados and Michelin chefs alike. With over 25 taps, as well as bottles and cans, you can get a good buzz on some of the finest quality drafts Mikkeller has to offer.
Mikkeller Bar is located at 7 Purvis St, Level 2, Singapore 188586 (Tel: 6677 7969)