Craft beers from quirky Beijing-based Jing-A Brewing Co (京A) officially drop in Singapore; Mandarin Wheat and Worker’s Pale Ale now available.
You may be surprised to learn that mainland China has an active and burgeoning craft beer market. For those more aware, however, top-of-mind Chinese craft breweries would include Beijing’s Great Leap Brewing and Shanghai’s Boxing Cat Brewery. Then there are those who may know of Beijing’s Jing-A Brewing Co. (京A), founded in 2012 by a couple of expatriates, Alex Acker and Kristian Li, who started as homebrewers but eventually turned their passion into a business.
Chances are, more people around the world, and here in Singapore – will hear of Jing-A now. Danish brewing giant Carlsberg in 2019 invested a minority stake in Jing-A (low enough, we assume, to allow Jing-A to retain its craft beer status), with the investment likely going to help Jing-A expand its operations and widen its distribution, including export.
Which is why Jing-A has officially announced this October that their beers are now available in Singapore.
But first, a little more about Jing-A Brewing Co. Its name is inspired by the first-generation of car license plates in Beijing, to give it a sense of authenticity and rootedness but also a spirit of adventure. In fact, as an edgy craft microbrewery they are a little more offbeat than most. Acker and Li have always been inclined towards experimentation, often using unusual ingredients even in their core beer lineup. Examples include using Japanese koji sake rice, wasabi root, and ginger in their red ale, and osmanthus flowers in their Belgian saison. Or how about Guizhou chilli peppers in their seasonal smoked chilli porter? Over the past decade that free-spirited approach helped them grow their reputation as serious yet fun craft brewers, attracting locals and tourists alike to their 京A brewpub and taproom in Xingfucun.
Except now we don’t have to travel all the way to Beijing to try Jing-A beers.
Two beers from the Jing-A portfolio are currently available in Singapore. There’s the Jing-A Mandarin Wheat, an Asian twist on the Belgian witbier using local mandarin oranges and coriander seed, as well as the award-winning Jing-A Worker’s Pale Ale, made in the style of an American pale ale. The latter picked up a Gold in 2017’s Brussels Beer Challenge as well as in the International Beer Cup, Bronze in 2019’s Australian International Beer Awards, and a “Double Gold” in 2021’s Asia Beer Challenge.
“As an independent brewery driven by passion, we are excited to debut in sunny Singapore,” say co-founders Alex Acker and Kristian Li. “By incorporating surprising combinations of unique ingredients with twists on classic styles, we are dedicated to producing exceptional brews made for local palates. We look forward to introducing them to craft beer lovers in Singapore.”
The Jing-A Mandarin Wheat and Jing-A Worker’s Pale Ale are currently available in Singapore from e-commerce platforms such as Lazada, Shopee, and PandaMart at a recommended retail price of S$18.30 per 4-bottle pack. They are also available in select bars and restaurants, including KPO, SOL at Neil Road, Fu Lin, and Coq & Balls, with varying on-premise prices.
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