20 beers and ciders to try at Beerfest Asia 2015

 

Beer lovers rejoice; Beerfest Asia is finally upon us this coming week!

But with a purported 400 beers and ciders on offer at the festival, how does one know what tipples to spend your precious tokens on to quench your parched throats? We scoured through the interwebs but clueless articles like this one doesn’t quite help.

So, like the list we put together last year, if you’re attending this year we looked through the offerings at the four-day event to sort out and recommend some of the beers and ciders you may want to put on your must-try list:

1. Amager/Cigar City Orange Crush Session Ale (SMITH STREET TAPS, Booth B9/10)

Emerging Danish brewery Amager Bryghus collaborates with high-flying Tampa, Florida-based Cigar City Brewing to create this session – read: easy-drinking – ale that’s been heavily dry-hopped with American Citra, Mosaic and Simcoe hops and steeped with American orange peel for a refreshing citrusy punch.

2. Anthem Cider Hops (The Mad Tapper, Booth B6)

New to Singapore are a range of ciders from Anthem Cider by Salem, Oregon’s Wandering Aengus Ciderworks, including the Anthem Cider Hops, an off-dry sparkling cider that also happens to be hopped – with Oregon-grown Cascade hops, no less – like a beer.

“We made a dedicated trip to the U.S. in April to understand trends and establish relationships with the best American cider makers, including Wandering Aengus,” shares The Mad Tapper director Kasster Soh. “James Kohn, co-founder of Wandering Aengus, was already keen to grow his range into new markets.”

3. Archipelago Limited Edition Coco’s Cream Pie (Asia Pacific Breweries, Booth R8)

Singapore’s own Archipelago Beer is debuting a special limited edition beer at Beerfest Asia before it enters its regular Archipelago concept outlet – the Coco Cream Pie, an American cream ale with the subtle taste of white chocolate, earthy hops and toasted malts that’s nitrogenated and topped off with a smooth, creamy head of foam. Also check out the other Archipelago limited edition, the HOPSALE, which will be at the festival.

4. Baird Fruitful Life Citrus IPA (Epicurean Nomads, Booth B18)

Baird Brewing, from Japan’s Shizuoka prefecture, leverages the region’s excellence in citrus fruit cultivation by combining the use of Japanese Daidai bitter orange and US Pacific Northwest hops in this zesty American West Coast-style India Pale Ale.

5. Baird Wabi Sabi Japan Pale Ale (EPICUREAN NOMADS, BOOTH B18)

Baird Brewing‘s Wabi-Sabi is a rather crazy hybrid pale ale and IPA, and made even more insane with the use of Japanese wasabi and green tea for the most bizarre yet refined tipple ever.

6. BrewDog Alice Porter (TSA Wines Pte Ltd, Booth B15)

BrewDog Alice Porter

Aberdeen, Scotland-based BrewDog has been on a mission to shake up the beer world – the founders even star in a beer and travel documentary series called the Brew Dogs – and their Alice Porter is the first of the brewery’s 2015 seasonal brews, featuring roasty smoothness with fruity, rich coffee characters.

7. Thatcher’s Haze (TSA WINES PTE LTD, BOOTH B15)

The Thatchers range of ciders have been on our shores for a number of years but the Thatchers Somerset Haze is new, a cloudy premium cider crafted with Discovery, Falstaff, Gala and Jonagold apples for a crisp sweet finish.

8. Evil Twin Yang (TSA WINES PTE LTD, BOOTH B15)

Brooklyn, New York-based Evil Twin Brewing‘s owner and head brewer Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø blends two of their beers – the Yin imperial stout and the Yang imperial IPA – to create a whopping yet exquisitely-balanced imperial Black IPA for a Black & Tan.

9. Forbidden Brewing Lady Pink (THE MAD TAPPER, BOOTH B6)

Auckland, New Zealand’s Forbidden Brewing Co makes this crisp and refreshing cider, complete with a pink glow, by using only the best 100% pure New Zealand Pink Lady apples.

10. Hida Takayama Dark Ale (EPICUREAN NOMADS, BOOTH B18)

Hida Takayama Beer Company – nestled within the heart of the Japanese Alps – may be one of the smallest Japanese craft breweries with an equally tight beer lineup, but its dark ale (which is really an English strong ale) is of excellent quality with a lusciously creamy mouthfeel with soft, gentle and fluffy carbonation. Only problem? It’s limited to 1 bottle per customer at Beerfest – so remember to get yours.

11. Robinsons Iron Maiden Trooper (East of Avalon Wines, Booth B4)

Launched here in Singapore last year in October, the Iron Maiden Trooper by Robinsons Brewery is a golden ale that’s named after Iron Maiden’s ninth single (released on June 20, 1983) and the second from their 1983 album Piece of Mind. This English bitter features malty and citric notes from a unique blend of Bobec, Goldings and Cascade hops with a subtle hint of lemon.

12. MOA Quaffer (The MOA Brewing Company, Booth B11)

Marlborough, New Zealand-based MOA‘s Quaffer is a dry-hopped India Pale Lager that uses a single hop – the New Zealand Motueka varietal – which provides the beer citrus and tangelo notes as well as a nice floral but resinous character.

13. MOA Southern Alps (THE MOA BREWING COMPANY, BOOTH B11)

MOA range

Possibly MOA‘s latest beer to hit the Singapore market, the Southern Alps is hopped and dry hopped with a blend of Pacific Nelson Sauvin and American Citra hops for giving a citrusy, lemongrass aroma, while the use of a Belgian ale yeast and coriander for spicing provides hybrid Belgian witbier and IPA characters in this White IPA.

14. Mountain Goat SureFoot Stout (Rogue Merchants Pte Ltd, Booth B13)

We’ve always been a big fan of Melbourne, Australia’s Mountain Goat Beer, and its SureFoot Stout – part of its Rare Breed limited edition series – finally makes its debut both in Singapore and at Beerfest Asia. It’s a rich bittersweet stout with notes of dark chocolate and coffee.

15. Iwate Kura Nylon Coffee Collaborative Ale (EPICUREAN NOMADS, BOOTH B18)

Iwate Kura by Sekinoichi Shuzo from Japan’s Iwate prefecture takes collaboration up a notch by obtaining a batch of Singapore-based Nylon Coffee Roasters‘ Four Chairs Coffee Blend and infuses the beans into this beer for toasty coffee notes and caramel sweetness that’s balanced by the inherently bitter finish we normally associate with (good) coffee.

16. Reverend Nat’s Hallelujah Hopricot (THE MAD TAPPER, BOOTH B6)

Portland, Oregon’s Reverend Nat Hard Ciders is totally new to Singapore, and its edgy hard ciders are evidenced by this fine specimen: the Hallelujah Hopricot upends traditional cider making by using Belgian saison yeast and Belgian witbier spices in its making. As though that’s not contrary enough, how about the addition of Oregon grown Cascade hops and a splash of apricot juice as well?

17. Rogue Ales MoM Hefeweizen (SMITH STREET TAPS, BOOTH B9/10)

This Belgian-style blonde ale from Newport, Oregon’s Rogue Ales is nowhere as crazy as its recent Sriracha HOT Stout; instead the unfiltered fusion of wheat and barley malts is spiced with coriander and ginger for an easy-drinking, yet characterful beer.

18. Stone Stochasticity Project HiFi+LoFi Mixtape (SMITH STREET TAPS, BOOTH B9/10)

2014_StchPrjct_HiFi-LoFi_Label_22oz_R3

The Stone Stochasticity HiFi + LoFi MixTape from San Diego’s Stone Brewing Co is a beer that pays homage to a centuries-old tradition of combining new beer with aged “stock ales.” This modern brew blends a stock ale aged more than three months in oak foudres (large wooden fermentation vessels) with a fresh version of the same beer to create a perfect harmony spanning end to end on the taste spectrum.

19. Titanic Mid Atlantic Pale Ale (SMITH STREET TAPS, BOOTH B9/10)

New to Singapore and Beerfest Asia are beers from Titanic Brewery from Stoke-On-Trent, England, such as its Mid Atlantic Pale Ale which is brewed using the finest English malts and choice American hops, with traditional English top fermenting and historic American bottom fermenting yeasts, for a citrusy and refreshing session IPA.

20. Nasu Kohgen Nine Tailed Fox, Year 2000 Vintage (EPICUREAN NOMADS, BOOTH B18)

nasu kogen nine tail fox

(Image credit: Japan Beer Times)

Nahsu Kohgen Beer Company from Nasu, Japan makes many easy drinking beers, but this is not one of them. The Nine Tailed Fox is a special, limited edition 11% ABV barleywine that has seen 15 years of intricate cellaring and this extraordinary vintage has finally reached its peak drinkability. Only problem? There are just two bottles available for sale at Beerfest Asia this year, and each comes in at a whopping $280 – it’s not called Japan’s most expensive beer for nothing. You’ve been warned.

 

Disclosure: The author of the article is a co-founder of Smith Street Taps, which will be exhibiting at Beerfest Asia.