Craft beer specialists Taps Beer Bar has shifted out from 1 Mont Kiara to a larger premise in Plaza Arkadia in Desa ParkCity. The new space is roughly twice the size of the previous outlet, allowing for a more comfortable, breezy and smoke-free environment to drink in. On tap currently is a selection of 15 craft beers, which will double to 30 by the year’s end – by far the largest selection on tap in the city.
The range of craft brews come from all over the world, from the popular American brands like Rogue Ales and UK-based BrewDog to the underrated beers from Southeast Asia like Brewlander (Cambodia) and Pasteur Street (Vietnam).
The Great Beer Bar is very easy to like, not least because it has on rotation up to eight craft beers on tap at any point in time. More importantly, a majority of the specialty beers on the menu are in the RM20 range. The space is simple, modern and very casual, with long communal tables set up in a minimalist space dominated by exposed bricks and bare cement walls.
The fridge carries more variety from craft breweries such as The Wild Beer Co, Beavertown, Stone Brewing Co, Crew Republic, Buxton Brewery and Anderson Valley, to name a few. This bar is the next step in the evolution of Ales & Lagers in Solaris Dutamas; so yes, they are both by the same owner.
One of the newer craft beer bars in KL, PAUS carries around 50 different types of craft beers. On the shelves, the choices on offer are arranged by type (pilsner and lager, ale, wheat beer, porter stout, India pale ale, ginger beer, cider perry and more), along with short descriptions of the beer and its price (currently they range between RM26 and RM38). At the time of print, PAUS imports most of their craft beer from Australia or New Zealand, but they’re planning to bring in more from Japan, Taiwan and Thailand.
The team at PAUS plans to introduce new craft beers every three to six months. And to help you keep track of what you’ve already tried, the team has devised a system where you can fill out a card with your name and the beer you’ve had, sort of like a membership card. So the next time you come, just pick out your card and get your favourite again, or try something new and update your list of beers.
For beer enthusiasts, this is the best bottle shop in town. For the uninitiated, this is a bottle shop in which to educate yourself. Run by the good fellas behind beerbeer.org, Ales & Lagers focuses solely on craft brews (none of your commercial beers here).
Currently, they stock about 60 different types of craft brews in bottles and the variety is constantly expanding. What’s more, they also provide some barstools and tables so you can buy and drink on the spot. But the stock comes in small quantities, so if you find something you like, it’s best to grab a dozen to go.
This neon-lit bar in the corner of APW is where you’ll find a wide variety of craft beers, with most of them coming from Japan. Among the labels spotted here are Hitachino and Yoho Brewing from Japan, Siren from England and Hawkers from Australia. We recommend going for the Red Rice Hitachino beer – this craft ale is brewed with red rice and has a sweet, fruity and crisp flavour.
Beers aside, you can opt for a pleasant and refreshing umesho (plum wine), or one of the cocktails served here – we recommend the Botanic cocktail, a spin on gin and tonic but with added fresh strawberries, cucumber and ginger. If you’re looking for dessert, they have homemade ice cream available at the bar with flavours like Bailey Coffee, Hoegaarden, cornflakes and more.
Few people would venture into a mall for a few beers, but Takumi Craft Bar located on the lower ground floor of Isetan The Japan Store is worth a visit. For one thing, you wouldn’t find a wider variety of Japanese craft beers in town on the shelves, some of them even served on tap, including Hitachino Nest Beer, Echigo Brewery and Shiga Kogen.
Pro-tip: You can even buy food from anywhere in The Japan Store and have it with your beer at Takumi. The only downside? You have to shuffle off by 9pm – which isn’t so bad, considering you’re already within walking distance of Changkat Bukit Bintang.
Gold Bar is as much a wine bar as it is a beer bar. It currently has seven beers on tap including pale ale, Goldie (lager) and wheat beer, with plans to expand their selection. If you’re not too sure what to order, the blackboard above the taps provides basic information like alcohol content and flavour profile. For a small tasting, the beer flight (RM50) offers three different varieties. Bottled beers and ciders are also available.
Have cocktails instead
We’re enjoying a cocktail renaissance, where classic revivals, egg foam trends and elbow bands sidle up to the bar. Here are the best cocktail bars in KL that are leading the charge, from classy joints to secret bars to concept speakeasies.