The wait is over, Beerfest Asia is back. This festival of the world’s favorite drink has become a fixture since its debut in 2009, so you should know what to expect: Good beer, good music, good food and good times. But what’s new in the third edition? What’s going to entertain us without nightly World Cup screenings? More importantly, what’s different in the way of beer?
Beerfest Asia 2011 runs for four days from Jun 16-19. Edward Chia, Festival Director of Beerfest Asia 2011, tells us that there will be over 250 beers on show, with around a fifth of them making their debut in Singapore. “We have new exhibitors on board and among them, they are bringing down some 50 new beers that are not in the market currently,” says Chia. “This means that festival-goers can only taste these beers at Beerfest Asia and nowhere else.”
2011’s edition looks primed to continue the trend set in motion by preceding festivals. “Beer drinking is no longer limited to the average Joe,” says Chia. “We see more beer connoisseurs and craft beer drinkers and it’s real, organic growth as people actively seek out craft beers to taste and sample. People have even taken up home brewing as a hobby.”
Beer drinkers these days aren’t all Joes in fact. An increasing number of them are Janes. Chia tells us that more and more ladies are letting their love of the beverage be known. “It is not just us realizing this trend. In fact, our exhibitors have also noticed and will have a few pleasant surprises for female festival goers.”
And so, the important question: What are his Excellency the Festival Director’s beers of choice? “There’re so many to choose from! If we have to choose, Budweiser Budvar and Zubr from the Czech Republic (it’s the first time that Beerfest Asia will feature Czech beers), American craft beers brought in by BeerStyle, BrewDog beers from Scotland and English beers from Singapore Beer Alliance are all good bets.”
Melancholic indie stuff can be great but this isn’t the time or place for it—Beerfest is all about tribute acts. Favorites from last year’s festival, Queen dead-ringers Killer Queen and U2 clones Achtung Baby are returning with incarnations of The Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Blues Brothers featuring the All Star Showstoppers.
There’s also an element of comedy to this year’s Beerfest, gearing to make you laugh more than you already do when you’re inebriated. Patrons can buy tickets to the Comedy Club for $20 and enjoy stand-up performances from the likes of Jonathan Atherton, Paul Ogata, David Smiedt, Tom Rhodes and Henning Wehn.
And have you ever watched an American college movie and longed to try your hand at beer pong? This is your chance. In addition to the legendary game of drink, you’ll find pool and foosball tables at various marquees on the festival grounds.
Enough talk, let’s drink. In the spirit of an increasing female presence in the market, we’re giving picks “for him” and “for her.”
Stone Brewing Co. Double Bastard Ale
This brew is all man, not just in name but in its 11.2 percent a.b.v, aggressive hop bitterness, strong flavors of pine and grapefruit, and a finish that seems to last forever.
If mainstream German beers are starting to bore you, graduate to this mighty weizenbock with fruit and spice characteristics.
Anderson Valley Brewing Company Poleeko Gold Pale Ale
Everyone needs a good session beer. You can go the distance with this light, citrusy American pale ale.
Brother’s Festival Pear Cider
Have a cider instead of a beer—nothing wrong with that. Just don’t be fooled by this sweet, easy-drinking offering from Brother’s; the seven percent a.b.v might take you down.
North Taiwan Honeydew Melon Beer
A little like that honeydew milkshake you get from a foodcourt when you’re in a health-conscious mood, this one-of-a-kind beer is refreshing and surprisingly drinkable.
Confusing anyone familiar with budget bubbly and passion pop, Eve comes in lychee and passionfruit flavors. This low-cal innovation from Carlsberg is tailor-made for ladies who want to make an impression.
The Lindemans range
Don’t let the fruity flavors of apple, peach, raspberry, blackcurrant and cherry make you think any less of these Belgian beers. They’re made with barrel-aged fruit juice and brewed with the centuries-old technique of spontaneous fermentation.
Kinshachi Chocolate Weizen
We’re not going say that ladies can only drink light and fruity beers. Step up to the plate with this complex, robust, eight percent a.b.v drop from the Land of the Rising Sun.
Beerfest Asia 2011 is on Jun 16-19 with tickets $20 upwards through SISTIC. For more information, visit www.beerfestasia.com.