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Best Places for Craft Beer in Singapore 2016

Best Places for Craft Beer in Singapore 2016

When night falls, there’s only one thing on our minds — beer! From breweries in the west to regular local bars simply upping their craft beer game, there’s never been a better time to immerse yourself into this wonderful ice cold world. Whether you’re heading out to unwind with co-workers at a Japanese bar in Orchard or to sip on locally brewed stouts at Changi, here's our pick of 15 top craft beer spots in Singapore that make you wanna chug, chug, chug!
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Unlike its spacious sister branch in Bangkok, the Singapore branch of Mikkeller Bar operates out of two 40-foot shipping containers planted within the grounds of Deck at Prinsep Street. The small counter-top seating space in the air-conditioned glass container is ideal only if you’re having an intimate chat with a girlfriend; otherwise it is best for you and your group of friends to settle down at the larger, alfresco seating area with wooden benches. There are 20 craft beer taps on rotation, including the founder's creations, imports from internationally known breweries and three specially concocted brews exclusive to this branch — the Bugis Brown ($8 for 200ml, $15 for 400ml), Prinsep Pilsner ($8 for 200ml, $15 for 400ml) and Waterloo Wit ($8 for 200ml, $15 for 400ml). They open till midnight daily except Monday, so grab dinner with your group of friends elsewhere before heading here for a relaxed drinks sesh under the stars.
Avg Price: $15 per person (drinks only)
Photo by Burppler Hwans Lim

For those of you who like your beers fruity and refreshing, this Korean bar in Duxton is the place to go. There's nothing more refreshing than their Fruity Kream beers ($10 from 350ml, $13 for $500ml), with seven to eight flavours that include watermelon, passionfruit and yuzu — all perfect on warm, humid evenings! For something with a bit more hit, try their Fruity So Maek ($14), which sees a shot of fruit-flavoured soju inside a glass of Korean draft beer. They don't serve hearty mains here but they do have hot snacks to satiate when the belly rumbles. Try the tasty Fried Octopus ($16) — a generous portion of chunky, crispy and savoury bites served with Sriracha that go so well with beer. Apart from the unique fruity spin and authentic Korean vibes (there are many Korean customers here), we also appreciate the tiny thoughtful touches like complimentary and refillable prawn crackers, charging ports and cable at every table, and free Wi-Fi.
Avg price: $25 per person
Photo by Burppler Hwans Lim

Head to this bar at the end of a trying day and leave your work woes at the door. Located on the second floor of a shophouse along Boon Tat Street, Freehouse has 16 craft beers and ciders on rotation, all affordably priced from $9 for a 10oz pint. The selection changes often, so don’t be shy to ask any of the bartenders what's new. Keep an eye out for the Panhead Blacktop Oat from New Zealand ($10 for 10 oz pint, $15 for 16 oz pint) — a silky stout with hints of chocolate, tiramisu and oats. It’s not all drinks and no food here. The bar bites they’ve created here are eyebrow-raising when you’re sober, but totally acceptable when you’re buzzed. Order the Cereal Frog Legs ($17) — American bull frog legs that pretty much tastes like a skinny chicken wing and be sure to dip it into the addictive ginger flower dressing.
Avg Price: $25 per person
Photo by Burppler John Kuan

Nickeldime Drafthouse is easily the best big group hangout spot for friends. The excellent beer list (both tap and bottled), impressively good bar bites and hearty Western mains are bound to satisfy; if not there’s always authentic Vietnamese pho next door to fall back on. There are 15 rotational craft beers on tap (from $10), sourced from all over the world. Each brew comes in limited amounts, so you can be assured you get something different with every visit. Order their 510 Burger ($16) — hickory stout BBQ glazed beef patty blanketed with IPA cheese, topped with a sunny side up egg and craft beer candied bacon, sandwiched between two fluffy homemade buns. Other beer-infused mains that are great for sharing include the I wanna Hold your Ham ($17), a cheekily-named 11-inch pizza made with beer dough. Pro tip: In need of a midday happy hour? Take advantage of their one-for-one craft beers during lunch and loosen up with a full pint of Tennent's Lager ($13), if available.
Avg Price: $25 per person
Photo by Burppler Hilary See

By the same folks behind Alchemist Beer Lab at South Beach Tower comes this spacious microbrewery with an idyllic sea-view. Located behind Changi Village Food Centre, this 270-seater, self-service and self-pour brewery is the perfect place for family gatherings (just be sure to make reservations if you're in a big group!) — the large space is great for the kids to run around, the food is hearty and the drinks are excellent. There are six mainstay craft beers. Both dads' favourite Black Magic Dry Irish Stout ($12) and the crowd-pleasing Oh Yeah Singapore Pale Ale ($10) are popular options, as evident by the multiple cups on each table. For food, order the Wagyu Beef Brisket ($18 per 100g), 15-hour smoked beef that is unbelievably tender and flavourful, and the tasty Pork Ribs Balinese Style ($26 per 200g) to share. Pro tip: The craft beers run on a tap card system so you can have a go at pouring your own pint!
Avg Price: $35 per person
Photo by Burppler Dex Neo

A true neighbourhood drinking hole, this no-frills restaurant-cum-microbrewery in the industrial part of Bukit Batok has quietly become one of our favourite places to enjoy a boozy weekend. Come with a group of serious pint pourers for the free flow Beer Buffet ($35) that gives you access to the craft beers for two hours. Of the eleven brews cranked out by On Tap Brewery available, the ones you must have are the award-winning Wheat Beer ($8, it won second place in the Asia Beer Medal Awards) and the crowd favourite alcoholic Root Beer ($11). Before the excessive chugging happens, be sure to get the devilishly spicy Molten Wings ($8 for three pieces) or the lip-smacking Deep Fried Pork Belly ($9) to line your tummy. A recipe handed down to the chef by his grandmother, the latter features juicy chunks of pork belly with a melt-in-your-mouth fatty layer.
Avg Price: $40 per person
Photo by Burpple Tastemaker Xing Wei Chua

Amidst the party bars of Boat Quay comes this surprising find — a super laidback drinking spot along Circular Road. They even have a beer pong table set up on Fridays and Saturdays! Drinks wise, they have both bottled beers as well as a rotation of beers on tap — we tried the Thai Black Tea Pale Ale ($10) that they had that night, and loved how it was very flavourful yet light, and a cheap and great option for the rest of the night. We also like Dead Guy Ale ($16) and yummy cider La Chouette ($15), easily the most apple-y, satisfying bottled cider we've had. This is a perfect place for chilled out Friday night drinking with friends, but as the food here leaves much to be desired, we highly suggest you have your dinner elsewhere first.
Avg price: $15 per person (drinks only)
Photo by Burppler Jayne Tan

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Whether you’re slurping down a bowl of comforting fish soup from Mr Fish or you’ve endured the hour-long wait at the one-Michelin-starred Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice (good on you!), reward yourself with a lovely, ice-cold pint from Smith Street Taps. The sister outlet of The Good Beer Company, this haven for craft beer lovers offers familiar names like Sapporo alongside lesser-known brews from all over the world at very affordable price tags ($10-$12 for a pint). Don't be shy to talk to owners Daniel and Meng Chao for recommendations — it'd be silly to miss out on a great food pairing, or a truly unique pour. If available, go for the German Weihenstephaner ($12), a wheat beer that Burpple Tastemaker Russell Leong describes as “refreshing and light with a whiff of wheat and a tease of fruitiness”.
Avg Price: $15 per person (drinks only)
Photo by Burpple Tastemaker Russell Leong

At first glance, this may seem like a shady, hipster, overpriced beer spot, but venture inside and you'll realise that it is in fact a cosy, super chill brewpub that serves both excellent craft beers and tasty, solid mains. Get the night going with a pint of their home-brewed Small Monster ($7 half pint, $15 full pint) or opt for the Flying Monkeys Smashbomb IPA ($7 half pint, $15 full pint) from Canada. For mains, the Crispy Egg Aglio Olio ($16) comes highly recommended, but spice lovers should try the King Prawn Pasta ($22). It’s the kind of hellishly spicy dish that will have you breaking a sweat even in an air-conditioned room. Cool down with the Beehive ($12) — an eggette (similar to the ones found in Hong Kong) drizzled with agave nectar and lemon zest, served with homemade bourbon kaya dip, coconut gratin and a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. Pro tip: Plan your drinking sessions around their Happy Hour (2pm-6pm, 10pm-12am on Mon-Thur and 2pm-6pm, 9pm-12am on Sun) to enjoy pours at $5 for half pint and $10 for full pint.
Avg Price: $30 per person
Photo by Burppler Hilary See

Run by the same team behind the now defunct Lee Tai Fu in Changi Village in 2001, this family-friendly restaurant cum bar in Tiong Bahru serves up an extensive menu of hearty eats along with a large selection of bottled beers (from $17) sourced from around the world — think BBNo. from London, Tripel Karmeliet from Belgium and Thatchers Cider from the UK. This makes it the ideal Sunday family brunch venue for kids to eat well and for parents to indulge in a tipple or two. If $5 kid-friendly eats like chicken tenders and Hawaiian pizza aren't enough to keep the young engaged, the collection of old school toys like McDonald's memorabilia should! Parents, go straight for the Otah Pizza ($24). An umami-rich otah paste is spread liberally atop a thin prata crust and topped with ikan bilis, onions and cheese. Wash this down with an ice-cold beer. They regularly bring in batches of limited edition craft beers — check their Facebook page for updates!
Avg price: $30 per person
Photo by Burppler Hwans Lim

This small and doodle-friendly watering hole (spot our hand drawn Burpple logo on the walls!) is only accessible via the back alley of Gemmill Lane and can be identified by its neon burger sign with an arrow directing you to a door. While this burger chain from New York City is famous for its satisfying (yet pricey) burgers like the drippy Double Bacon Cheeseburger ($27.40), the main draw here is their astounding craft beer selection. The 18 distinctly different American craft beers on tap makes this a great after-work drinks session with the colleagues. From hoppy IPAs to sour-salty brews to dark stouts, there’s definitely something for everyone. If it's your first time at Burger Joint, the owners are happy to offer you a shot before buying yourself a pint ($9-11 for half pint, $15-19 a pint)!
Avg Price: $20 per person (drinks only)
Photo by Burpple Tastemaker Denise Ong

Located on the rooftop of People’s Park Complex, this hipster spot is a great place to wind down after work. Swing by for a bottle of craft beer or two and hang out with your friends at the open air carpark, where you can also take in an unobstructed view of the CBD. Head back indoors where there are long communal tables (much like the ones in school canteens) to sit and have more drinks if the weather is unfavourable. There’s an extensive selection of craft beers sold here, so take your time to choose. Crowd favourites include Mystic Peach ($12), a fruity brew popular with the ladies, Hazelnut Brown Nectar ($14), a sweet, nutty beer and Trappistes Rochefort ($18), a dark beer brewed by Belgian monks. For value, share a bucket of five beers ($50) with your friends. The Slipper Lobster and Crab Ball with Tom Yum Cream Pasta ($19) is great to line your tummy, if not the moreish Chicken Wing Stuffed with Otah and Thai Chilli Dip ($10) and the SEY (Salted Egg Yolk) Soft Shell Crab Slider ($14) are perfect for sharing. Pro tip: Get 5 percent off all your purchases when you purchase Lepark’s stored value card!
Avg Price: $25 per person
Photo by Burppler Hilary See

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