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Mikkeller Bar
Photograph: Mikkeller Bar

The best craft beer bars in Singapore

From local microbreweries to bars with a wide range of international craft beers on tap, these are the best bars in Singapore to quaff down a pint

Written by
Natasha Hong
,
Nicole-Marie Ng
,
Fabian Loo
&
Dawson Tan
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Craft beer has definitely come a long way since POTUS Jimmy Carter legalized US Homebrewing but it wasn’t really till 1980 when Sierra Nevada perfected the Pale Ale. Fast forward to recent years, the US now has over 7000 craft breweries in operation with no sign of slowing down. Well, like it or not, this global phenomenon has gained real traction in Singapore over the decade with plenty of local microbreweries brewing up a storm while dedicated purveyors of craft beers import an excitable range of craft beers from around the globe to cater to all hopheads alike.

So for all y'all pint lovin' folks out there, here are the best craft beer bars to get yourself acquainted with the freshest hop juice on the island. 

RECOMMENDED: The best new bars in Singapore to have a drink at in the city

  • Clubs
  • Chinatown

Having a few swigs here is as rustic as it gets but extremely local is what it is. This craft beer taproom/stall is located within a hawker space at Chinatown Complex pouring out no-frills fresh, cold pints – some 20 different pours sourced from a variety of local and international brands – that can be paired with hawker food from neighbouring shops. Just remember to dress light for the weather, and perhaps wash all that hawker nosh down with some cold pints. If you're fortunate enough, you might even find yourself in good company of craft beer purveyors of Singapore and perhaps, shed some light on Singapore's craft beer landscape and history.

  • Bars and pubs
  • Kallang

Corrine Chia and Lincoln Goh's other craft beer spot is a watering hole modelled after Mikkeller's Viktoriagade flagship in Copenhagen, and the selection of beer styles here is pretty damn gutsy. Expect the juiciest NEIPAs from Gamma Brewing, hearty imperial stouts from Amager Bryghus to the eclectic sour red ale from the legendary Brouwerij Rodenbach. Extra brownie points for the knowledgeable servers, too.

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  • Bars and pubs
  • Craft beer pubs
  • Marine Parade

At the basement of the iconic Katong Shopping Centre is a cosy drinking hole, Freebird. The mall is known for a couple of timeless gems like the chicken rice at the food court, the classic banana pie from Dona Manis and the friendly neighbourhood ghostbusters located near the entrance – so a joint serving up craft beer, coffee and tea and bar bites is quite a refreshing change of scenery. Come with an open mind and ready to be adventurous with your palette. The selection includes lesser-known IPAs, stouts and sour beers that go down well in our hot weather. 

 

  • Bars and pubs
  • Craft beer pubs
  • Kallang

Local bar American Taproom opens a second outlet along Geylang Road. Need help choosing from some 30 taps that the drinking hole has to offer? Just consult any one of the friendly staff; the bar comes tended by beer servers under the Cicerone Certification Program – perfect for offering tailored recommendations. Cold pints are best quaffed down with comfort food of slow-cooked pork ribs ($32) and beer-battered fish and chips ($18).

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  • Restaurants
  • Chinatown
  • price 1 of 4

On the back alley of Gemmill Lane is an underground bunker, clad in graffiti-covered swirly timber serving up greasy meat stacks and sporting a thoroughly impressive craft beer tap list, pouring esoteric hopbomb IPAs, sour-salty goses and heavy stouts. Expect an NYC enclave that's decent, warm with reasonably priced Nebraskan Beer Patty burgers until late at night.

  • Bars and pubs
  • Craft beer pubs
  • Tanglin

Orh Gao Taproom leans into its local heritage by naming the place after the Hokkien moniker for stouts. Aside from 10 exciting taps of local to international craft beers, the food served is a fun play on hyper-local Asian classics, including juicy Har Cheong Chicken Wings ($12), spicy Sambal Stingray ($15), and an irresistible Rempah Fried Chicken ($14). It comes with no surprise that it became such a hit with craft beer lovers and nearby residents alike.

 

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  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Kallang

Hidden away in the forgotten sanctuary of Kampong Bugis, this gastropub serves up soul-comforting American grub with over 18 taps of international craft beers. While you’re at it, chat up the friendly owners as they are more than happy to share about beer pairings that complement your food and trust us, they've got some darn delicious craft beers from around the world to recommend. There's even a sake on tap if you're looking for the occasional classy switch up. 

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Marine Parade

This exclusively local craft beer spot is a gem in the East, sporting a 15-strong rotating craft beer list and a comfort fusion food menu to please. Aside from the freshest craft on the island, they've got a small selection of beers flowing from traditional hand pumps which boast notoriously smooth ales with livelier aromas and a rounder body. With a happy hour running from the moment doors open till 7pm on the daily, there's never been a better incentive to start your day with a pint.

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The Guild
  • Restaurants
  • Gastropubs
  • Chinatown

The Guild is the antithesis of the speakeasy that once occupied its grounds. Instead of chichi cocktails written on an illegible menu, you get generous pours of craft beer from Hong Kong's largest independent craft brewery, Young Masters. Probably the best weekday deal on eclectic Keong Saik Street, you'd be cheesed to know Young Master core beers flow off the taps at just $11 a pint on Mondays. Oh and definitely order up a life-changing bowl of salt and vinegar fries as you quaff – thank us later.

  • Bars and pubs
  • Beer hall
  • Chinatown

Here's a beer hall with an on-site 500-litre microbrewery that experiments with fun and funky recipes so that you don't have to. Featuring a 23-strong beer list, quaff down familiar blends from local craft beer company – Lion Brewery Co, including the crisply refreshing Straits Pale Ale, and the low-malt Kaiser Kolsh perfumed with pear and apple aroma. Both are perfect for day drinking. But if you're looking to try funky creations, grab a pint of the Raspberry Beer-et, a Berliner Weisse well-balanced with sweet juiciness and tartness from the berry, and the Something Something, a Tropical India Pale Ale.

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  • Bars and pubs
  • Rochor

Let’s get the basics out of the way: this is a no-frills craft beer bar along Haji Lane that’s dark and dingy but promises the freshest local craft beers and a modest selection of Asia-inspired cocktails from cult cocktail bar Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall to chase. On typical nights, you’ll have access to 16 taps of craft beer with which to acquaint yourself, best paired with elevated zi char bar bites and juicy meat stacks. But if alfresco is your thing, dress light, ask for a table on the lane and bask under the moonlight in the ever-vibrant Haji Lane.

  • Bars and pubs
  • Chinatown

The Copenhagen-based craft beer brand has set up a permanent home in the buzzy Chinatown Complex Food Centre. What started as a pop-up (following a period of closure) is now the world’s only hawker-based Mikkeller Bar. Available on tap are 10 rotating options, along with a list of bottled variants to guzzle down. From the opening tap list: Do Stuff Together, a hazy New England pale ale bursting with tropical and citrus notes; and the Kaffestout with bold, toasty coffee notes.

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  • Bars and pubs
  • Craft beer pubs
  • City Hall

Combining CHIJMES' striking black and white colonial exterior with raw industrial design, Almost Famous Craft Beer Bar has an aesthetic that’s bound to draw in the Virgil Abloh devotees. Smooth blocks of cement seat people around concrete slab tables and cold metal chairs, while adjustable panel lighting makes sure its pints and bar snacks are always Instagram-ready. It has 16 rotating taps on offer and focuses on beers from around the region. 

  • Bars and pubs
  • Craft beer pubs
  • Chinatown

It’s a new dawn for Heart of Darkness. The craft beer taproom, hailing from Saigon, has found a new home in the hip neighbourhood of Keong Saik. With the new space comes a bigger area – sample over 25 different craft beers on tap, along with a drinking menu filled with wines and beer cocktails. Feeling hungry? The food menu pulls from its Asian roots to give you Western-fusion plates that are best chased down with a cold pint or two. 

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  • Bars and pubs
  • Kallang

Here's a modest taproom along Owen Road that hopes to quench the thirst of craft beer lovers. The Parlour Mirage is an amber-hued shophouse space that features 12 rotating taps (from $13.50) that range from an easy-to-drink Clockwork Tangerine from BrewDog to a sweet strawberry gum stout by Native Series. But this craft beer house hopes to be more than just a watering hole, pair up pints with Japanese and Mediterranean fusion nosh for an overall jolly good time.

Little Island Brewing Co
  • Bars and pubs
  • Changi 

This ultimate laid-back microbrewery is tucked away like a time capsule on the eastern reaches of Singapore. The draft beer list is on constant rotation, with the brewery frequently experimenting and concocting new brews. While you sip away into the evening, tuck into American roadhouse barbeque and other classic pub noshes. For those who love some daytime imbibing, the Weekend brunch is also worthy to mention. Also, you could drink as much as you pour thanks to Little Island’s pour-it-yourself system – so you’ll only pay about $2 to $3 for 100 millilitres of happy juice.

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  • Bars and pubs
  • Breweries
  • Bukit Panjang

Feeling hot after a hike along the Rail Corridor? Make a pit stop at The Rail Mall block and you'll find craft beer on tap and a wide selection of craft beers by the bottle. With rotating taps on a weekly basis, it keeps things fresh for people who want to try new beers. Pro tip: pop in on Taco Tuesdays for combos starting from just $20. 

  • Bars and pubs
  • Bukit Merah

This Taiwanese bistro and bar bring together the best of the country’s street snacks with cold pints of beer. Tucked away in Lengkok Bahru, Abundance has already been drawing crowds for its hearty selection of chilli dumplings ($9.90), braised pork belly buns or gua bao($6.90), traditional peanut ice cream roll ($6), and more. Wash it all down with cocktails ($10) Aperol spritz or yuzu highball, or share a toast with a tap list that might feature Heart of Darkness’ Kumquat Pale Ale, a passionfruit wheat from Vietnam-based Pasteur Street Brewing Company, and more. 

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  • Bars and pubs
  • City Hall

Alchemist Beer Lab is Asia's first infusion beer lab brought to you by the people behind microbrewery-pub Little Island Brewing Co. Be greeted by 16 glistening beer towers filled with a variety of experimental beer infusions like Obama (stout infused with marshmallow, vanilla pods and mint leaves) and Sister Golden (ale infused with grilled pineapple and star anise). 

  • Clubs
  • Orchard

JiBiru, with its popular flagship Hitachino Nest beers, pulls in a regular 20-something and Japanese expat crowd into an outdoor bar. People-watching with a beer is quite the thing to do here. Pair the bustle with a dominantly Japanese range of beers, which are generally sweeter than their British and American counterparts and make for a suitable thirst-quencher between hopping through malls. The pared-down food menu serves casual izakaya favourites like katsu curry rice and yakitori skewers.

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