Five reasons why Beerfest Asia 2017 is worth the hype
It's time to ready your liver, because Singapore's most epic beer-swigging festival is back this August, and it promises to be bigger, bolder, and cooler (like, literally)
Time Out Singapore in partnership with Beerfest Asia
More beer and ciders than you can handle
Pilsners, ales, lagers, stouts, ciders, meads – whatever your style, there's something for you at this year’s edition of Beerfest Asia. After all, you're looking at a mind-numbing range of more than 500 beers and ciders from all over the world.
There are the usual suspects – Brothers, Gosnells, Birra Moretti, Schneider Weisse to name a few – but Beerfest is also about seizing the opportunity to explore and get acquainted with unfamiliar brews. Like the 1906 Reserva Especial from Spain, an amber lager with toasty malts and creamy mouthfeel, or the Stark Wheat, a Belgian-style witbier from Indonesia with notes of banana and pomelo, and a pleasant spiciness.
There's lots to love on the #supportlocal front, too: Archipelago Brewery will be tapping some cheekily named pours like Sibeh Ho Witbier and Ki Siao Brown Ale. Also joining the fray is Brewlander, a new craft beer outfit that's co-owned by Singapore celebs Daniel Ong and Allan Wu, and helmed by John Wei, a brewmaster widely respected in the local scene.
Pro tip: The VIP package (from $130/day) is your best bet if you're really keen on making good ground – you get eight hours of free-flow to try as many beers as you want.
Cool new digs
Last year’s riverside venue at Marina Promenade had great chill-out vibes, but let's face it – the bloody humidity was always such a darn party pooper. Not anymore. At this year's new location within the Marina Bay Cruise Centre, you can knock back pint after pint in that sweet, air-conditioned comfort. Which also means that if you've got a weekend ticket, you can get more bang for buck, because you can start on the dot at 3pm (or 2pm on Sunday, 20 August) instead of waiting until early evening for the sun to fade out.
Chatting with brewers at Beerfest and trying the cornucopia of suds is a lot of fun – but it can get pretty intimidating if you don't get all the jargon thrown around. But don't worry, there are workshops aplenty to sort you out. If you've been self-conscious about not being able to tell your lagers from your ales, there's a primer to help you make sense of the many styles of beers and their respective flavour profiles. Looking to project the image of a discerning drinker? You can learn how to tell if a beer's good. Fancy making some of your own liquid gold? There's a session for homebrew hopefuls, too.
Moves for your booze
Haven't you heard? This year's fitness trend is all about beer yoga. Get in on the action and feel better about your swigging with a session of Beer Yoga. For one hour, you'll be guided through yoga poses with a deviant twist – think balancing an open bottle of beer while you flow through sun salutations and make like a downward dog. The idea is that you'll be motivated to concentrate on the poses because you wouldn't want to waste a single drop. If that sounds challenging, rest assured that you’ll be in good hands – leading the class is Dawn Sim, studio director and co-founder of Trium Fitness, who was a pioneer in bringing beer yoga into Singapore. Of course, you'll also be rewarded with well-deserved sips throughout the session. See, beer can totally be a healthy thing.
The party line
Beerfest has always delivered on the entertainment front, and this year's looking pretty promising too. The likes of Brendon P from CÉ LA VI, and DJ KFC will be delivering electronica, nu-disco, tech-house vibes and more from the decks. You'll also want to keep a lookout for Deadbeat's unorthodox ‘Drum DJ’ set, when they'll mash up genres to a frenetic live drum performance. Give it up for some #girlpower, because Altra Management will be presenting an all-female squad of eight DJs, among them: DJ Farz, with her sleek fusion of indie electronica, hip-hop, R&B and house; and DJ Shenny Yang, who’s all about the EDM pulse.
Photo: Emanuel Rudnicki
And, of course, you've got the sacred Beerfest tradition: tribute bands. The line-up this year includes Slippery When Wet, a Bon Jovi tribute act that boasts the honour of having received a stamp of approval from the legends themselves; Gunners, a band from Down Under that's all about rocking out to the greatest hits of – yep, you guessed it – Guns N' Roses; and Hysteria, an ode to Def Leppard's raw, hard-hitting music.