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Singapore's big-flavored new craft beer line launches this week

Step aside Mikkeller, we have our own gypsy brewer.

By Mrigaa Sethi | Mar 07, 2017

  • Singapore's big-flavored new craft beer line launches this week
    Brewlander beers
  • Singapore's big-flavored new craft beer line launches this week
    Brewmaster John Wei
  • Singapore's big-flavored new craft beer line launches this week
    The Brewlander team

Last summer, we got pretty excited about the arrival of two, new Singaporean microbreweries: Jurong-based Innocence and crafty crowd-pleasers Crossroads. (The latter, by the way, recently got on the catalogue at our favorite bottle delivery app, BottlesXO.) Well now we have a new contender in town, a corporate-type turned brewmaster named John Wei and his line of craft beers, Brewlander, having its big launch at Smith Street Taps on Tue, Mar 7.

A gypsy brewer working with facilities in Cambodia, Brewlander's line is named after feel-good emotions and currently includes a summer ale (Hope) and a saison (Pride). We're particularly excited to try Love, their wild IPA, made with wild yeasts and New World hops, promising "a tropical medley of pineapple, mango and passionfruit aromas". The strong of heart and palate should try Courage, their bitter, five-hop-blend double IPA. Co-founder and brewmaster John Wei tells us, "Our focus is on making the best possible beer we can, and not so much on making it more cost-effective." They bring their malt from the UK and their hops from New Zealand and the US. "We work with liquid yeast cultures for our beers," he adds, "which cost three to five times more than dry yeast."

But that cavalier attitude about cost is not the only reason we want to love Brewlander. Wei has a great story, too. He worked as a business development executive and started out brewing at home nearly a decade ago. He went on to win a few awards at home brewing competitions, started a blog, became certified by the Beer Judge Certification Program and now serves as the body's Asia representative. It all came to a tipping point last year, though. "I was making some career choices and it was really either I do this now or never. So I have, with a group of friends who believed in the beers and have decided to come on board to help make this a reality."

Sound good? Try Brewlander now at Smith Street Taps before they run out post-launch. Brewlander already has partnerships with craft beer bars and retailers around Singapore, including 3rd Culture Brewing Company, Freehouse and Thirsty. More information here.

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