Asia Brewers Network

Sunbird Brewing Co. strike gold at Brew King Singapore

23rd July 2021

Sunbird Brewing Company have won the inaugural “Brew King Singapore” beer competition in a public judging held on Saturday 17th July at the newly opened 36 Brewlab & Smokehouse on Club Street.

Southeast Asia’s first ever freestyle beer competition, supported by hop producers CLS Farms, saw 13 of Singapore’s top craft brewers vie for the title of Singapore’s 2021 “Brew King”. The brewers were tasked with fulfilling a competition brief of “brewing a tropical beer highlighting El Dorado hops”.

As the challenge was run as a freestyle competition brewers were not restricted to any of the regular beer style guidelines and were free to express their creativity in any way they wished. The result was a keenly fought competition across beer styles and ‘out-of-beer-styles”.

Professional and public judging took place on the 17th July. During the morning the competing brewers with the help of a handful of independent judges met to select the top 5 entries, then in the afternoon a public tasting was held for those chosen top five with the winner selected by popular vote.

Sunbird Brewing Company brewers share a beer

Sunbird founder and head brewer Clive Tan and assistant brewer Mark Lye celebrate their win with a glass of their City of Gold Hazy Copper IPL

The winning entry, Sunbird’s “City of Gold”, was a hazy copper IPL (India Pale Lager).

The victorious brew wowing drinkers with light maltiness, pineapple, citrus and a slight hint of mango on the nose with notes of caramel, pineapple, citrus, mango and grapefruit on the palette.

“We were excited to be part of this creative new competition concept and delighted to have taken out first place amongst such tough competition” said founder and head brewer Clive Tan.

Taking second and third place respectively in the keenly contested competition were Brewerkz’s “Downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee” Imperial New England IPA and Brewlander’s “Inception” West Coast style IPA.

There was also a prize for the most creative brew which went to 36 Brewlab’s Greg Brown for “Violet No-Regard”, a Cherry Beer take on Willy Wonkas’ 3-Course Dinner Gum coloured purple with butterfly pea. The beer promised to take the drinker “through a veritable flavour feast of predominantly El Dorado juicy goodness balanced with Motueka and Simcoe for the finishing courses … with bright tropical fruit flavours, lemon lime candy sweetness and aromas of pear, watermelon, parma violets and stone fruit.”

“With such a creative and talented brewing community in Singapore, we were humbled to win the award. The vibrant, rich ‘makan’ (eating) culture here inspires us all to explore the boundaries of what’s possible with creative, curious brewing” said head brewer Greg brown.

Public Tasting for Brew King Singapore

Despite strict social distancing there was a good turnout for the public tasting and Brew King vote

Full list of entries (in no particular order):

  1. Beerfest Brewery – Golden Tropical Wheat Beer
  2.  RedDot Brewhouse – Morrowind Cream Ale
  3.  Lion Brewery Co. – Leon De Oro (Golden Lion) Cask Ale
  4. Thirsty Asia – Quart of Ale, English Ale
  5. Trouble Brewing – Golden Hog Session IPA
  6. Sunbird Brewing Co. – ‘City of Gold’ Hazy Copper IPL
  7. Archipelago Brewery – El Tropical Belga Hopped Belgian Witbier
  8. Brewlander – Inception West Coast IPA
  9. Rye & Pint Brewery – Red Ryeding Hood Red Rye IPA
  10. 36 Brewlab – Violet No-Regard 3 Course Dinner Gum
  11. The 1925 Brewing Co. – All That Glitters
  12. Off Day Beer Co. – Papayas in the Morning
  13. Archipelago Brewery – El Cucaracha (The Cockroach) Black IPA
  14. Brewerkz – Downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee Imperial New England IPA

The Brew King freestyle beer competition is a community initiative from the Asia Brewers Network and will be repeated yearly with different brewers briefs each time it’s held.

Article by:

Charles Guerrier

Charles Guerrier

Charles founded SEA Brew in 2015 and is now responsible for the running of the Asia Brewers Network and associated activities. He travels extensively throughout the region putting his Beer Sommelier accreditation to good use.

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