Hold on to your horses, Singapore craft beer lovers – Singapore will see its first-ever all craft beer festival this coming March with CRAFT Singapore 2016.
In Singapore, we love our beer. And despite the jaw-dropping prices – inflicted on it no thanks to our excise taxes on alcohol – the country holds quite a number of beer festivals such as Beerfest Asia, Oktoberfest Asia, as well as a smattering of other small events dedicated to the brew. But there’s going to a new entrant next year: CRAFT Singapore will be a beer festival wholly dedicated to craft beer – i.e. you won’t see commercial beers there – that’s going to be held at Marina Bay from 4 to 6 March 2016, in conjunction with iLight Marina Bay 2016.
In recent years we’ve seen a rise in interest in artisanal beers in Singapore, so it’s no surprise that there is finally a beer festival wholly dedicated to craft beer here. Charles Guerrier, founder and Festival Director of CRAFT Singapore 2016, has been living in Singapore for over 17 years and has been an avid supporter of the local craft beer scene in the Lion City.
“CRAFT Singapore aims to be fun, educational and interactive, with a host of brewers who will engage with the crowd and teach them what to look for, why the beer smells and tastes the way it does, and which beers match with specific foods. This will be a true artisanal festival addressing the maturing tastes of both Singaporean and international beer lovers and foodies,” says Guerrier, who also organised Singapore Craft Beer Week earlier this year.
The definition of craft beer is a hazy one, but usually refers to a beer made in a traditional or non-mechanized way by a small brewery. The US Brewer’s Association has a stricter definition – only a brewery that has a small annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less, is less than 25% owned by a beverage alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer, and makes its beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation, is considered a craft brewery making craft beers.
“The craft beer scene in Singapore has not yet had its day in the sun the way it has in other parts of Asia. With cities like Hong Kong forging ahead, it’s time to put Singapore on the map,” he adds.
The craft beer festival will be featuring local breweries such as Archipelago and Brewerkz, as well as new kids on the Singapore block Little Island Brewing Company, at the festival. Beer importers such as Eastern Craft Trading, TSA Wines, and MSBEV will be showcasing some of the beers in their portfolio, so visitors are expected to find at least 25 booths with specialty beers and gourmet delicacies by local restaurants at the event.
“While the craft beer market in Singapore is growing we still find a lot of venues and their patrons have certain preconceived ideas about what craft beer is, and often fall back on the various familiar macrobrews out there,” says David Pilgrim, director of MSBEV. “Unlike other beer festivals in our calendar, CRAFT Singapore is focused on celebrating craft and what it means to enjoy a full-flavoured beer made with all-natural ingredients such as our award-winning beers from Holgate. We are excited how the festival can help change minds about what craft beer is.”
The CRAFT Singapore weekend will be divided into five sessions, with a mix of day and night activities for families and friends to enjoy themselves. Craft beer and homebrewing enthusiasts will also be glad to know that the event will also feature various masterclasses and workshops led by different brewers with different themes.