Beerfest Asia gets off to a rousing start; patrons can choose from over 500 beers and ciders

SINGAPORE - Neither Thursday night's (Aug 17) MRT breakdown nor the downpour could dampen spirits at the first day of Beerfest Asia.

Pulsating hooks mixed with conversations over beer, neon signs which provided a colourful contrast to the dark sea, and with local giants such as Tiger Beer alongside lesser known brands making their debut - the event, many said, exceeded their expectations.

Returning for the ninth time, the beer-filled festival, presented by United Overseas Bank and organised by Singapore Press Holdings subsidiary Sphere Exhibits, offers over 500 varieties of beers and ciders, from the American Brooklyn Lager to Vietnam's Sagota Beer.

There are more than a 100 exclusive new labels making their Beerfest debut, including U Lager Beer from Thailand and Stark Craft Beer from Bali.

Mr Justin Lam, an executive with Yen Investments which brought in U Beer, said: "We thought Beerfest was a very good event to launch our beer because we can see if the public enjoys the taste."

This latest edition, which runs till Sunday (Aug 20), is also the first to feature beer workshops, which includes beer-tasting sessions and lets brewers share tips on how to homebrew beer.

At one workshop , local microbrewery The 1925 Brewing Co. highlighted their different creations, including beer cocktails and beer-infused chocolate ice cream.

Said the microbrewery's co-manager Yeo Eng Kuang: "We wanted to share our ideas of beer-related products in this workshop, meet like-minded people and bounce ideas off each other."

Flight attendant Yow Zi Jian, 24, who attended the workshop, said he and two of his friends have ambitions of entering the craft beer market, and the workshop was very inspiring.

The next three days will offer nine 45-minute workshops, which pass holders can attend for free but have to register for.

There will also be international live acts, ranging from Australian tribute bands such as Gunners (a Guns N' Roses tribute) and Hysteria (a Def Leppard tribute), to Club DJs in Singapore like DJ Maverick and DJ Farz, to local favourites like The Day Trippers and Raw Earth.

Ms Danu Gohri, 45, a first-timer at Beerfest Asia, said she came for a taste of European beers which are not always available here. "This has exceeded my expectations. I'm definitely coming back tomorrow."

The festival begins at 6pm and lasts until 2am. Festival-goers should look out for the two beer workshops on Friday, Barrel-aged beers by Joseph Soriero from 6pm to 6.45pm and What is Mead? from 7pm to 7.45pm.