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Where to get Japanese craft beers in Singapore

The island’s taps have plenty of options if you know where to look

By Bite! Japan Staff | Feb 13, 2017

  • Where to get Japanese craft beers in Singapore
    Jibiru Yakitori and Craft Beer Bar

Craft beer has been an enduring trend in Singapore’s nightlife scene, with more bars opening in recent months, serving everything from American micro IPAs to Belgian lambics to Danish gypsy brews. Among the plethora of options are some great Japanese craft beers, too, and we don’t just mean Sapporo Black and Kirin. We’re talking solid microbrews you’ve never heard of before, and you’ll find them everywhere if you know where to look. Here’s our mini-guide on where to go to explore the exciting world of Japanese craft beer.

The first and most visible go-to spot for Japanese craft beer, 313@somerset’s semi-alfresco bar introduced us to the pleasures not just of Sapporo Black but, more importantly, of the now ubiquitous Kiuchi Brewery Hitachino Nest offerings, from seasonal brews to classics like the white ale and the lager, all of which are available on tap here. Their bottled selection is even bigger, and on top of that, regulars should look out for their seasonal and limited-edition offerings from other breweries in Japan, too. Need more reason to go? They’re open for lunch and serve affordable sets, yakitori and other beer essentials. 

New York’s Burger Joint came to Singapore last year, in a tucked-away back alley of Amoy Street, offering an affordable, wood-paneled, diner-like respite from the fancy fray with its basic but delicious burgers, and a whopping 18 craft beers on tap, covering the UK, the US, Japan and other countries. The selection changes often, but on most nights you can count on a brew or two from Japan. Recently they’ve been regularly tapping stuff by Yamanouchi brewery Tamamura Honten’s Shiga Kogen beers.  

After years of pleasing us with their 313@somerset location, the people behind JiBiru have opened a new bar, in fancier surroundings, but with the same focus on Japanese craft beer. Craft Beer Bar Takumi at the Mandarin Orchard Hotel has many JiBiru staples on its menu including Hitachino Nest White Ale, Shiga Kogen Pale Ale and Owa. Adding to that, they have a focus on limited edition and barrel-aged beers like Kuro Owa Grand Cru 2013 aged in Bordeaux wine barrels, Shiga Kogen No 10 Anniversary IPA and Belgian offering Buffalo Grand Cru Barrel Aged. 


Plenty more where that came from. The Bite! Japan Facebook page is full of the latest Japanese restaurants and izakaya in Singapore, new promotions and bits of information to impressive your friends with. Follow us here.


Freehouse

One of our favorite new craft beer bars, this friendly and super casual spot on the second floor of an Amoy-area shop house is always packed with a friendly crowd, thanks to its even friendlier staff, great selection of microbrews on their 18 rotating taps from around the world, regular and exciting single-brewery tap takeovers and Asian-inspired pub grub like bacon tempura and cereal frog legs. The taps often feature Japanese brews, and a recent tap takeover featured beers by Shiga Kogen

Located below Anthony Zhong's (ex-Jigger & Pony) Shin Gi Tai, this cozy beerhouse sports a rustic and vintage outlook to create a super laidback vibe for all to enjoy. Besides the obvious craft beers that'll be in stock, they'll also be serving a menu of dim sum to go along with your drinks. Drinks wise, they offer over 50 different kinds of apple ciders, bottled craft beers and other alcoholic beverages. Local craft brewers like Innocence brewery and Crossroads have their craft beers pouring permanently. On the Japanese beer front, there are some regulars on the bottled and canned beers menu, such as the Suiyoubi No Neko, a witbier from Yo-Ho Brewing Company in Nagano, as well as their American-style IPA Aooni, both in cans. They also carry bottles of Nagoya Akamiso Lager, which you’ll be hard-pressed to find elsewhere.

Pioneering the whole craft-beers-in-hawker-centers trend, Good Beer Company follow-up Smith Street Taps has a loyal following. It’s basically your usual kopitiam stall setup with no frills—though plenty of delicious and cheap food nearby. You purchase your beer on the spot and sit at the ubiquitous plastic tables that surround the stall. Fans stay tuned to the bar’s Facebook page to see what’s new on tap: regular appearances by Sapporo Black and Hitachino Nest aside, they have recently carried a couple brews from Iwate prefecture’s award-winning brewery Sekinoichi Shuzo, which does Iwate Kura beers.

Like what you see? For regular updates on Japanese food and drink in Singapore, follow Bite! Japan on Facebook.

Like what you see? For regular updates on Japanese food and drink in Singapore, follow Bite! Japan on Facebook.

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