Asia Brewers Network

1602 Craft Brewery Opens in Sarawak

25th February 2023

Craft brewery 1602 Craft Beer has officially opened its doors in the East Malaysian state of Sarawak.

The Sarawak-based brewery had started production in mid-2022, building distribution in and around state capital Kuching, before officially launching this month.

The brewery, named after the year in which the first map of Borneo was published, has an initial core range of four styles: Wheat, Pale Ale, Extra Dark, and Lager.

The idea behind 1602 was spearheaded by local prominent businessman Dato Sri Vincent Lee Kee Lung, according to comments shared by the brewery with The Borneo Post.

1602’s brew team is led by Malaysian Randy Liew, who had previously headed up Thirsty Asia out of Singapore and Germany Hans Gerber.

“I hope to see 1602 will fill the gap between imported craft beer and commercial beer. 1602 is more of a bridging, entry-level craft beer for the general public”, Randy shared with Asia Brewers Network.

“We hope the local consumer will know more about craft beer because of our friendly approach … we Malaysians do have the quality and talents to create something we are all proud of.”

1602 craft beer in malaysia

1602 brewers Randy Liew and Hans Gerner with Chief Financial Officer Wong King Wei

1602 is the first Malaysian brewery to promote the use of growlers, including installing draft taps in local convenience stores for takeaway. 

The brewery has also announced they plan to launch the country’s first beer introduction course in March to promote a deeper understanding of craft beer in Sarawak.

Article by:

Oliver Woods

Oliver Woods


Beer Asia

Oliver is a marketing strategist by trade and a craft beer enthusiast by choice. He is the founder of consulting firm Beer Asia and lives, works and drinks between Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Saigon, Vietnam. You can find him on Twitter @oiwoods

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