Saturday, 3 July 2021

An insider’s look at 5 brewery and distillery tours in Singapore

There’s a lot you can discover about a culture from the way their local craftspeople work. This is certainly true when it comes to Singapore’s homegrown brewers and distillers, who tend to favour the use of local flavours and native ingredients in the pursuit of their craft.

While there’s certainly plenty to glean from consuming the beers and spirits they’ve produced, there’s nothing quite like visiting the breweries and distilleries themselves to truly appreciate the work that goes into making each batch.

At these following places, the public are actually welcome to visit their production grounds through guided tours, allowing a rare behind-the-scenes look at how they go about doing what they do best. You’ll even be able to get to drink as close to the source as possible. So head on over to these far-flung sites for a visit. We promise the trek is worth it.

1925 brewing co
The 1925 Brewing Co’s facility produces beers for retail and use at its own gastrobar.

1. The 1925 Brewing Co.

With this tour, you’ll not only get a rare look at how brewing is done locally (its facility can produce up to 24,000 bottles of beer a month), but get to taste special never-before-released brews as well – talk about being rewarded for making it all the way to their facility in Mandai. If you’re a fan of this family-run microbrewery’s core beers, fret not, for a tasting flight of its usual range is included too.

There are actually two types of tours to choose from. One is a full tour of the brewery inclusive of the tastings as mentioned above, while the second throws in a shuttle service that brings you to the brewery, then to 1925 Brewing Co’s restaurant and bar at Joo Chiat. There, you’ll be treated to a Teochew dinner and, of course, more beer! Bestsellers include local-themed Liang Teh Lager, Yellow Van Pale Ale and Kaya Toast Stout.

Brass Lion Distillery
Inside Brass Lion Distillery, where the magic happens.

2. Brass Lion Distillery

Touted as Singapore’s first micro-distillery, it produces some of the best gins, not just in town, but in the world, as evidenced by its spirits claiming accolades from major international competitions. Start your tour at its Alexandra Terrace location with a welcome drink, get to see the heart of the distillery (we’re talking about its handcrafted hybrid copper still, affectionately named Nala), hear how its gins stand out from others, then conclude with a tasting flight of its three flagship gins.

For an even more immersive experience, go for the Gin School workshop instead, where you can actually try your hand at being a distiller. You’ll spend 2.5-3 hours learning and making your very own gin, using any botanical, spice or fruit at your disposal to create the flavour profile of your dreams. After that, don’t forget to bring home the distillery’s flagship gin: the Singapore Dry Gin.

Brewlander’s Tasting Room offers a nice view of the Johor Strait as well.

3. Brewlander

A household name among local craft beer lovers, Brewlander’s brewing facility, conveniently located beside Tuas Link MRT, is one of the largest in Singapore, and its founder John Wei actually pieced together most of the machinery you’ll see there himself. Talk about dedication.

The tour begins at the Tasting Room with a telling of how Wei began his craft brewing journey (while you enjoy a welcome beer), leading to a guided walk of the brewery where staff will take you through what each machine does. You’ll then head back to the Tasting Room to sample a selection of beers on draft, armed with a finer appreciation for every drop you’re about to savour.

Be treated to stunning views after your tour at LeVeL33.

4. LeVeL33

Fancy a tour of the world’s highest microbrewery? That’s exactly what you’ll be able to get at LeVeL33, located in the heart of Singapore’s downtown Marina Bay. Find out how its two copper kettles and 12 fermentation tanks work (including the amazing way it managed to transport them 33 floors up) to produce their delicious brews. Then be treated to a beer tasting flight of its regular and seasonal brews at the end of the 1.5 hour guided visit.

Being a restaurant and bar as well, feel free to stay on after you’ve concluded the tour. Our favourite spot to perch at is the terrace, where you can enjoy an awe-inspiring view of the cityscape while imbibing quality brews fresh off the taps.

Tiger Brewery Tour
The home of Singapore’s most iconic beer.

5. Tiger

This ubiquitous beer brand requires no introduction. Being a major commercial brewery, you’ll be able to get a look at the entire beer manufacturing process via an experiential, guided tour of its premises. Learn about Tiger’s long heritage, see and touch the raw ingredients that goes into brewing, find out the brand’s success story overseas and even understand the importance of packaging and distribution.

Then comes the part everyone’s looking towards: a visit to the Tiger Tavern. At this old-school bar reminiscent of Singapore in the ’60s, get to taste a wide range of Tiger’s brews that are as fresh as it gets. Did we also mention you’ll get a chance at tapping your own pint of beer?

Please check the establishments’ respective websites for opening hours as well as booking and seating requirements before visiting, and remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about.

SEE ALSO: A look at Singapore’s newest and most innovative independent craft brewers

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