6 Craft Breweries in Asia Worth Checking Out

Jul 3, 2019

Asia’s craft suds scene keeps getting better. Craig Sauers checks in with six exciting breweries using local flavors and ingredients to push beer boundaries.

Taihu Brewing

Taiwan

Where to try it: Taihu beer is now served at Taiwanese institutions like Din Tai Fung, The Regent Hotel and even Starbucks. It’s also available in Osaka at Watering Hole and in Shanghai at 233. taihubrewing.com.

GOA Brewing Company

India

Where to try it: Goa Brewing Company, based in Sangolda, is only available in India at the moment. Try the beers fresh at restaurants in Goa like Gunpowder and Bomra’s. instagram.com/goabrewingco.

Magpie Brewing Co.

South Korea

Where to try it: Magpie has bars in Itaewon and Hongdae in Seoul, as well as two venues in Jeju. The beer should hit Hong Kong’s shores this year. magpiebrewing.com.

Young Master

Hong Kong

Where to try it: Young Master operates four bars in Hong Kong, including Second Draft and TAP, plus The Guild in Singapore. The beers frequently appear at Mikkeller Bangkok, as well. youngmasterales.com.

Heart of Darkness

Vietnam

Where to try it: The home base in Saigon’s District 1 and the new Heart of Darkness brewpub in Singapore have the biggest range. They also export to Thailand and Hong Kong. heartofdarknessbrewery.com.

Anglo Japanese Beer (AJB)

Japan

Where to try it: AJB is relatively small, but its beers can be found at craft beer bars across Japan, including Watering Hole in Osaka. anglojapanesebeer.com.

Explainer

MEAD

What is it? Believed to be one of the world’s oldest beverages dating back thousands of years, mead is made from a fermented blend of honey, water, fruits and other spices that takes about a year to mature.

Where can you get it? On the third floor of a small, nondescript industrial space on the outskirts of Singapore, one of the country’s most unique alcohols is fermenting. Rachelle the Rabbit meadery is the lion city’s first ever meadery. named after the daughter of owner Simon Zhao, this all-natural, no-additive meadery is making this golden elixir with honey from south Africa and Malaysia combined with Asian flavors and ingredients. A selection of the brand’s five flavors can be found at nearly 40 bars, restaurants and retailers around Singapore starting at s$40 each. Keep an eye out for their masterclasses, sometimes held at Native, one of Singapore’s best bars, as well as their new line of spirits distilled from mead.

What to order? Although the honey wine flavors may sound cloyingly sweet, they’re surprisingly not. Rachelle’s Bandung is a play off the rose-syrup beverage of the same name, but it is dry in texture. Rachelle’s uppercut, a mix of ginger and lemon, is light and refreshing. Their newest seasonal flavor, Rachelle’s Fireball, combines honey and Canadian maple syrup, while Rachelle’s double Kick tastes like Christmas in a glass: a combination of orange, cinnamon and clove. — Katie Lockhart

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