Interview: Charles Guerrier for Singapore Craft Beer Week

What inspired you to organize Singapore Craft Beer Week (SCBW)?
There wasn’t a voice for the craft beer scene here, especially since it’s mostly small, all hands on deck companies in the craft beer business who can’t afford any advertising or marketing and are busy with operations. So for me, the important thing is to provide a platform for distributors and brewers to engage with consumers in a relaxed environment that’s conducive for educating and spreading the word about craft beer. Beerfest has helped open up the market, but I think distributors need a more interactive platform. After I left Eastern Craft, I figured this was a way I could help everyone. The scene’s been growing and I figured the time is right for something like this.

What’s the response been like so far?
It’s the first time I’ve done this, and it’s encouraging to see so many different people coming on board. It took me about three months from the time I first conceptualized this to the festival; I spent a lot of that time just running around and explaining my idea to distributors and outlets. Hopefully, in a few years, people will be so excited about SCBW that they’ll be the ones coming to me.

What do you hope to achieve with the Singapore Craft Beer Week?
There’s a real interest and desire on the consumers’ part to know more, so this gives consumers an opportunity to try new beers and raise public awareness. I want to let people know that there’s a large variety of craft brews available, with an emphasis on appreciating different flavor profiles and understanding beer, like an educational trail. Hopefully, they’ll go out looking for craft beers long after the week is over. Ideally, bars recognize their customers’ demand and increase their selection to meet those needs. It’s also about building a real beer culture, and that process will take time. After all, drinking a craft brew is an entire experience from beginning to end.

What are your top picks for Singapore Craft Beer Week?
The three events I’m most excited about are the Extreme Beer Evening (October 23), the Brewdog dinner (October 25)—they aren’t just pairing beers from a progressive brewery that does some weird and wonderful stuff, but are also cooking with the beer—and Old World, New Frontiers (October 24)—where four brewers will be talking about their own, as well as each other’s beers.