Uncle's home brew inspired two brothers to set up 1925 Brewing Co

Mr Yeo Eng Kuang (left) and his brother Ivan Yeo founded The 1925 Brewing Co in 2013 with their uncle Yeo King Joey. Their facility in Mandai is now able to produce up to 24,000 bottles of beer a month.
Mr Yeo Eng Kuang (above) and his brother Ivan Yeo founded The 1925 Brewing Co in 2013 with their uncle Yeo King Joey. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

It was fond memories of family dinners - rather than just business planning or entrepreneurial ambition - that led to the creation of The 1925 Brewing Co.

Brothers Yeo Eng Kuang, 35, and Ivan Yeo, 39, the duo behind the successful microbrewery and restaurant business, remembered with fondness those evenings when they would drink their uncle's home-brewed beer and feast on authentic Teochew cuisine.

This was the impetus behind them setting up their business and naming it The 1925 Brewing Co, to celebrate the birth year of the family patriarch Yeo Kim Ho, who was a dry goods grocer.

"At the time, it was definitely a risky move. Our family was concerned, especially when the food and beverage business was so volatile," Mr Yeo Eng Kuang told The Straits Times.

The business was founded by the Yeo brothers and their uncle Yeo King Joey in November 2013.

Yesterday, they were among 48 pioneer recipients of the "Made With Passion" Singapore brand mark.

In May 2014, the Yeo brothers first began restaurant operations in what Mr Yeo Eng Kuang now describes as a "hole-in-the-wall" at a two-storey shophouse in the Jalan Besar neighbourhood.

"Brewing beer was also a learning process, but we have gained experience over time," he said. "Now, it only takes us a month or two to develop one of our collections as we have a much deeper understanding of all the ingredients we use."

As their brews grew in popularity over the years - both locally and in Asia - the family ended up relocating their brewery operations to a larger facility in Mandai Link in 2018.


The signature Liang Teh beer from The 1925 Brewing Co. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

Their Mandai facility is now able to produce up to 24,000 bottles of beer a month - including their bestsellers: local-themed Liang Teh Lager, Yellow Van Pale Ale and Kaya Toast Stout. They also operate a tap room in Joo Chiat.

Mr Yeo Eng Kuang has quit his job as an auditor. He now spends his time researching and developing new beers as well as exploring collaborations with other brands.

"This business used to be a side hustle, but I have now poured all my energy into it," he said.

"The timing was right and I just thought - if not now, when?"

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 21, 2020, with the headline 'Uncle's home brew inspired two brothers to set up 1925 Brewing Co'. Print Edition | Subscribe