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Booze Bonanza

Booze Bonanza

Do you ever just want to flip every table at work, waltz out of there while singing like a mad person and then be a merry drunk at some watering hole? Well, these are some watering hole suggestions for you to get your drunkard on at.
Russell Leong
Russell Leong

I still can’t figure out why a stall that sells mildly carbonated teas on tap and moonlights as a bar at night would adopt a military term as its name. Well, maybe I’ll find the answer at the bottom of my next pint.

Their lightly carbonated, tremendously terrific teas that are freshly brewed and dispensed fresh from the tap are brilliant, but I like beer better. Danger Close taps up three beers that change regularly, and you could get anything from a locally brewed Rye & Pint Sunday’s Brew pilsner, to a big boozy stout.

Better yet, they’ve got a sick deal going on right now. Two pints will only set you back to the tune of $19.80! That’s right, slightly under $20 will net you two top quality brews. With great brews comes great responsibility, and it is your responsibility to pair brilliant beers with fantastic food, like the har jeong kai from the zi char stall next door, or some titillating Thai food from further down the row.

Danger Close is but a short stroll away from my office, and it’s pouring up beautiful beers at irresistible prices. Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is what I call Danger Close.

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The Mask is doing an ABSOLUTELY INSANE happy hour(s) promotion! $7 for a full pint of quality brews like Paulaner Weißier and Pilsner, as well as Asahi and Kronenbourg Blanc! You’d be a mad(wo)man not to get your drunkard on at the The Mask at the low, low price of just seven bucks a pint right now! Ok, that’s all.

P.S. No, The Mask didn’t pay me a single cent to post this, why do you ask?

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Y’all know just how much bang for your buck #BurppleBeyond gives you when it comes to food, but at certain places, #BurppleBeyond becomes more powerful than any drunkard has ever dreamed of. That’s right, it now applies to booze as well!

TAP at Robertson Quay has a special offer that makes me an absolutely exuberant alcoholic. Half a dozen pints of some of the better beers in town are going for the price of three! Now, you can get suitably sloshed for half the price! And when you’ve got a really good stout (that I can’t remember the name of) and Ballast Point Brewing Company’s Sculpin IPA locked and loaded on tap amongst a selection of smashing beers, you know you’re in for a indulgently inebriated time.

Your wallet will definitely thank you, but your liver won’t. Oh well, can’t win ‘em all.

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After realizing I had to wait more than half an hour for SweeT.Rex’s soufflé pancakes, I wisely decided to go with their instant gratification option instead. Their no bake cheesecake is $4.80 for a slice with ice cream, and while it does look a little on the small side, the price of admission is still reasonable enough.

The slightly gelatinous cheesecake component as surprisingly light in texture and not overbearingly rich as I would’ve expected from a cheesecake. Instead, it was slightly heavier than a Japanese cheesecake while retaining a measure of the creaminess of a traditional cheesecake.

The base is certainly the most addictive part of an already charming cheesecake. Oreos are always good, especially when it’s crushed and pressed and serves as the base of a decent cheesecake.

The ice cream, however, completely stole the show from the cheesecake. I don’t know who made the chocolate ice cream, but damn it was downright delicious. The dollop of sweet frozen dairy is fortified with bits of nuts and little chunks of chocolate, and the texture is akin to that of a rocky road ice cream sans marshmallows.

Grab one of these little slices of sugary bliss after pounding down some bak kut teh from Leon Kee and thank me later.

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Smith Street Taps is back in action after a 3 month hiatus, and on their opening last Friday, all pints were going for a modest $12 per pop. Also to celebrate, Smith Street Taps had a threesome with Little Creatures Brewing & Freehouse and The Chinatown Hustle Double IPA was born.

At 8.3% abv, it’s a mild DIPA, but it’s shockingly bitter and the hops were absolutely running riot within. The obligatory citrus notes within the DIPA were actually overwhelmed by the hops, which certainly is no mean feat.

The Chinatown Hustle is probably better when paired with some real good zi char or that famous claypot rice, but when drinking solo, I’ll just have one for the road.

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...but speaking from a chemist’s point of view, alcohol is also a solution. And Druggists are one of the premium solutions providers in Singapore. I don’t even remember what this beer was, but all I know is that I liked it.

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While Singapore’s craft beer bars are definitely improving in terms of variety and number of beers on tap, there is one area where Singapore pubs just can’t compete with Aussie craft brew pubs.

Australian craft beer pubs are infinitely more adventurous & daring, as they constantly have a few rare, more polarizing brews on tap on rotation, whereas Singapore pubs are more risk averse and usually stick with the mundane IPA/pale ale lineups.

Case in point is The Grain Store tapping up BentSpoke Brewing Co’s Cluster 14 barleywine. To the best of my memory (which tends to get pretty hazy after half a dozen pints), I have never seen a bar in Singapore load a barleywine on tap.

At a whopping 14% ABV, barleywine really puts the wine in its name. The nose is pretty heady, and has a nice caramel scent wafting from it. It’s actually surprisingly sweet for such a boozy beer, and tastes like honey, caramel and peach syrup. The body is a bit viscous, and the alcohol lingers on the palate for a little while due to the massive alcohol content in the beer. It does get a little too sweet towards the end, but this beer is definitely a dangerous one.

Let’s hope the craft beer bars in Singapore gather their courage and take a risk with some unconventional brews every now and then, I’m getting sick of IPAs.

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Unlike what the name implies, JiBiru isn’t a ‘no gaijin beers allowed’ kinda Japanese beer bar. As a matter of fact, the British Fourpure Brewery is one of the breweries on tap with its Port Of Call Session IPA making one of JiBiru’s taps its, well, port of call.

The IPA itself has a mild aroma of earl grey tea, but unfortunately it sort of smells a bit like a wet rag. The taste is a lot better, thankfully, with a mouthful of earl grey, lychee and a restrained hoppiness announcing itself to your tastebuds with every swig. It’s a Session IPA, so it’s a lightweight, easy drinking beer that’s quite highly carbonated and will probably give you gas.

As for JiBiru itself, the service is adequate, and the alfresco seating is quite nice, albeit a bit dark at night. The beers can get very expensive, as I paid close to $15++ for this pint. JiBiru has an early bird rewarding pricing system that tries to get its patrons through the doors early. The earliest bracket sees a pint of beer going for about $10 (depending on the beer in question), before it goes up to $13, and finally $15.

The early bird gets the booze for a reasonable price at JiBiru, and the prudent alcoholic bails early to save his moolah.

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Funnily enough, the predecessor to Beer Basket was named Bread Basket, but it sort of makes sense since both beer and bread require yeast and wheat to give life to humanity.

While the Beer Basket does offer an array of pub grub, it’s...acceptable. Oddly enough, for a beer oriented pub, the beer selection on tap is disappointing to say the least. However, what I’m really here for is that wonderful 5 beers for $29 bucket deal they’ve got going on.

That’s right, 5 bottles of a preselected variety of craft beer is going for just $29++. The selection includes well known favorites such as the lovely Stella Artois, and craft options such as local brewery Dester’s witbier, Deschute’s Ale and Lager. The Pacific Wonderland Lager was undoubtedly the best pick of the craft options, and the thought of having 5 bottles of those lovely lagers makes me one happy alcoholic.

Of course, they have many more craft beer options sitting pretty inside their chillers, so head on over to the Beer Basket to crack open a few cold ones with the boys.

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Ah Australia. The land of Shiraz and other assorted wonderful wines going at bargain prices, and in the last decade, the home of many a superb craft brewery. FogHorn Brewhouse is the first craft brewery in Newcastle, and they have put an old abandoned factory to good use. The owners converted the front half into the kitchen and dining area, while the back half is where the boozy magic happens.

That’s right, the golden liquid of happiness flowing into every glass came from a vat barely fifty meters away, and this schooner of Young Americans IPA is no exception. Not only is it a beautiful shade of gold, it bagged the Gold Medal at the 2017 Australian International Beer Awards.

It’s a fairly standard IPA, with a hoppiness that slams you in the face with every swig, and an overarching citrus aroma. The one thing that I quite enjoyed about the Young Americans was the lower than normal carbonation which made me less bloated than I would’ve been normally.

The best part is that the Young Americans was just one of the fifteen house brewed beers on tap, and I was a beery happy man indeed.

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I didn’t know it at the time, but I was moving into the hometown of one of Australia’s biggest craft breweries, James Squire. And yes, my life has never been better (or boozier) ever since I found out.

One of their most unique brews is this black beauty right here, The Wreck Preservation Ale. It’s a porter made from 220 year old yeast resurrected from one of the ancient shipwrecks off the coast of Australia, so savor every sip, for this brew was quite literally a long time coming.

It’s malty, roasty and slightly spicy with the usual roasted coffee bean flavor and scent, and each historical hit of The Wreck is creamy and lusciously full bodied. It’s smooth and low in carbonation, which means this brew won’t wreck your guts.

Now this is craft beer at it’s undisputed peak.

Australia was as slow to embrace craft beer as Singapore, but when they did, they went full on aggro in pumping out top quality craft brews. A witness to this fact is Nail Brewing’s Oatmeal Stout.

A heady aroma of chocolate, roasted cocoa beans, and coffee emanate from the stout. It’s smooth, lowly carbonated and pretty rich, but the taste was a little lacking. Chocolate and the sweetness of molasses come to the fore, but there isn’t much else going on. The finish is roasty and bitter, but it’s still somewhat sweet overall.

At 6%, the ABV is a good summation of the stout. It’s decent, but you’re left sitting there wondering if there is anything more to the beer.

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Alcohol may not be good for my body, but my body is good for alcohol.

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