Beerfest Asia 2016: The Road to El Dorado
Listen up alehounds, because Beerfest Asia 2016 running till the end of this weekend (16 - 19th June) is the festival you ought to begin your weekend beer trawling at. And here's why.
1. 500 different brews
Upping its quotient from last years' impressive 400 skus to 500 this year means more assortment and a mind boggling selection for festival go-ers. With everything from the big boys like Asia Pacific Breweries peddling white and black Tiger drafts (which have been alleged to sell out like hot cakes); to local microbreweries such as the 1925 Microbrewery & Restaurant tapping 4 varied styled beers and the higher powers represented by hipsterish distributors such as Beerstyle Distribution carrying a odd supply of heavier ABV stuff such as Russian Imperial Stout and Kaiju Where Strides the Behemoth Double Black IPA - there's something for everyone.
2. Lively Fringe Activities (yes, I meant the music)
Can't drink without the aid of pumping good music? Fret not, as the sun drops below the horizon; festival grounds sees a metamorphosis into an oasis of loungy vibes with the Rock Marquee entertaining classy acts such as Slippery when Wet - the ultimate tribute to Bon Jovi and Elton John and Killer Queen. Opting for a more quiet night; then cozy up to your loved one with the sounds of Major Tom David Bowie Tribute show band in the Blues Marquee.
If humour is your jam, foot an additional $28 for access to the varied Beerfest Comedy club acts happening in the Comedy Lounge.
For the first time ever, there is the Electronic Dance Music element featured in an all female line-up in the Electronic Marquee. So if you're looking to make a transition from your beerfest experience into somewhat of a clubbing fiesta afterwards, this should be your go-to.
3. Asia Beer Awards
If you're like me and beer-hunting is more of a sport than feeding the demons. You'll be delighted to find a plethora of highly acclaimed beers that have been honored and recognized in the recent awards; keep your eyes peeled for medal-holders, their treasured stash stowed away in the various booths. Hit the ground running and make a beeline for the the Cockies Ocean Road Pale Ale from Cockies Beer (B0), the luscious and seductive porter, Holgate Temptress from MS Bev (B11) and the coffee powerhouse Americano Stout from Beerstyle Distribution.
4. Accessibility and Convenience
First, let's make things clear. DO NOT drink and drive, Hence I would condone any irresponsible behavior of enjoying one, too many tipples and attempting to car pool a bunch of drunkards home. Don't be silly. With a location such as Marina promenade, shadowed by the ominous Singapore Flyer, you can't ask much more in terms of accessibility. If you're coming by MRT, make a stop at Circle Line's Promenade station and exit via A. The walk from festival grounds will take your approximately 8 minutes or so. If not, there's the option of catching a cab or Grab; the nearest taxi stand is located at the Singapore Flyer.
To purchase your drinks at the festival, you'll need to visit one of the many Currency Convertor stations interspersed on festival grounds to make your purchase either by credit card or cash. Those chips sure do make for very heavy tokens; but hey, it avoids the situation of misplacing them anytime. Also, note that if in the case you can't finish your chips (we tend to overestimate our drinking capabilities sometimes. Guilty.), Beerfest Asia is happy to refund you 80% of the value of those chips if you have an amount of $30 and more.
Honestly the weakest point of the collective 5. The food options at Beerfest Asia isn't stellar; but it sure does the trick of lining the stomach before hitting the cold ones. Mr and Mrs Maxwell and Harry's feed the crowds in the alfresco area whilst diners who are willing to fork out the additional $8 entry into the spirits tent will get to enjoy the smoky Peruvian inspired fare catered by Tiger's Milk. Tuck into Harry's Signature Wings ($15), Fish Cracklings, Grilled Pork Sausages ($10) or heed my advice and fill up at nearby shopping malls Millenia Walk or Suntec City before making your way down.
Okay, so it reaches the point where you make a decision. Here's a little something to help in your evaluation
Standard Ticket prices at the door:
17th June (Fri) - $40
18th June (Sat) - $40
19th June (Sun) - $30
17th June: 6pm - 2am
18th June: 3pm - 2am
19th June: 2pm - 10pm
Doesn't take a genius to figure out that the weekends are better bang for buck!
If you're a craftbeer aficionado like me; let's take it a step further and tempt you with some of my personal picks from the festival. The rare finds, the creme de la cream.
1. Verhaeghe Duchesse De Bourgogne (TSA Wines, Booth B1)
no prizes for guessing why this is here. The smooth criminal fiance, Mister Sim, once sweeping me off my feet with an endless deluge of this refreshing and tangy flanders red ale
2. Baird Dark Sky Imperial Stout (Epicurean Nomads, Booth B18)
I would implore you not to start with this heavyweight, an Imperial stout gorgeously complex with flavors of chocolate, toffee and licorice. The mouthfeel is seductively smooth at first note and evolves into a mosh-pit of warm acridity afterwards.
3. Gosnells Hopped Mead (Edition Eats Pte Ltd, Booth B10)
One of the oldest alcoholic beverages known to man, mead is the creation of fermenting honey with water and heightened by various fruits, spices and grains. The Hopped mead sees an intriguing variation with amarillo hops injecting a lively spring of floral notes in its step.
4. Lamzing Morning in Monsoon (Stone Head, Booth B14)
A highly successful Cambodian export brings to shore 'localised' variants of the standard templates, reinventing the piquant saison with sticky rice and sweet flavors of mango as well as to slip blue pea flower into their lighter brews for an injection of quirky color. The Lamzing Morning in Monsoon, is the perfect picture of an ideal brew whilst on a vacation, a coffee imperial stout spliced with whaffs of toasted coconut to inspirit wanderlust.
5. Taiwan Rauchbier (The 1925 Microbrewery, Booth E5)
Better known for its whiskies, Taiwan has recently broken out of its mold and hereby producing some excellent products using the same gorgeously clean waters. This smoked beer from Taiwan head Brewers brewing co. is an amber colored beer with a slight tinge of smoke and an inherent sweetness reminiscent of red dates and Chinese spices.
6. Holgate Temptress Chocolate Porter (MSBev, Booth B11)
Hailing from Victoria, Australia, this porter from Holgate Brewhouse infused with rich Dutch cocoa and whole vanilla beans carries lashings of chocolate and coffee in its wake. Perfect for tonights' chilly weather.
7. Kaiju Where Strides the Behemoth Double Black IPA (Beerstyle Distribution, Booth B6)
This one will hit you like a ton of bricks the roasted malts and piney hops balanced out delicately in this robust double black IPA. One for those tossing up between a dark ale and a sturdy IPA.
8. Yeastie Boys Gunnamatta IPA (Beerstyle Distribution, Booth B6)
Best paired with fish and chips or a simple platter of fries, this would quickly get you into the swing of things on a balmy evening. Guarded by brightly floral bergamot notes, the tea like resemblance may be a bit bewildering for the novices's palate. But I daresay, it may be revolutionary step, try it!
|the pathetic amount of sausages that cost me $10. Sigh.|
So there you have. Reasons to hit the ground running. Head down to http://www.beerfestasia.com/ for more information regarding the festival.