Drinking good beers in Southeast Asia
Find good beer in Asia sometimes can be difficult, especially if the population is more than 90% muslims like the Java Island but always there are some options. Also, be prepare to pay a lot of money for a beer. Taxes, taxes and more taxes. I paid $20 for a can of a NZ beer, but I have to say, that this was really awesome. If you are travelling soon to Indonesia, Malaysia or Singapore, have a look the following places to find good craft beer in Southeast Asia 🙂
The business city of Indonesia is extremely huge and with bad traffic, but even so, you can find good places with good beers.
- Eastern Promise (Jl. Kemang Raya No.5)
This pub is a like a typical English Pub in Kemang area in South Jakarta. They have some beers on draft but also some craft on bottles. I could find some Anderson Valley in bottles. All the craft beer are served in a Teku glass. Kitchen is based in a traditional Dutch cuisine and British.
- Brewerkz (Senayan City)
Brewpub based in Singapore but also with location in Jakarta. Good beers and well traveled from Singapore and nice american food. They have different kinds of beers but one of my favourite was the Session IPA. Also they have beer tasting flight for a reasonable price. Probably, this is my first recommendation for beers if you are in Jakarta.
- Beer garden (Lot 8 SCBD)
I could only find Tuatara from NZ but also they have more commercial beers on bottles and taps. Probably, Tuatara wasn’tso fresh as I was expecting. High prices in general and good variety of food; pizzas, burgers, sandwiches, steaks…
- Paulaner Bräuhaus (Grand Indonesia Mall)
Only brewpub in Jakarta owned by Paulaner. Traditional german food with different kind of Paulaner Beers. Excellent food and service. Beer also good.
Where to stay: Grandhika Hotel
If you are in the Java Island for tourism you must probably are going to visit the heritage temples of Borobudur and Prambanan is also worthy to stop at Yogyakarta to walk around Malioboro road but also to relax have some beers
- TapHouse Beer Garden (Jl. Jlagran No.18, Pringgokusuman)
They don’t have craft beer but they have something good like Hoegaarden and some Pilsner brewed in Bali.
Where to stay: Melia Purosani
Famous destination for surfing. A must place to go where you can go once in your life to discover the beaches, food and the heritages temples.
- Stark Beer House (Jl. Kartika Plaza No.20, Kuta)
There are not too much places for craft beer but this one is one of them. Mostly all their beers are brewed with some exotic fruits from Bali. They have decent Pale Ales and good Lagers. Food is also correct and the place is near the beach. Good place in Kuta
Where to stay: The Manipura
I just were inKuala Lumpur and its just fantastic to spend a weekend there. Excellent street food although find good beers can be difficult I will share with you a few places
- Taps beer bar (Jalan Nagasari, Bukit Bintang)
Excellent selection on 20 taps and more than 100 bottles. Mostly all their beers are from Europe and also some from the US. Lot of beers from BrewDog, Mikkeller and ToØl, which are probably distributors. Didn’t try the food but its a good choice to drink good beers from Europe.
- Takumi Craft Beer (Jalan Sultan Ismail)
Japanese bar with a small selection on draft but correct. You can get a taste flight for all the beers. Most of them are from Hitachino Nest.
Where to stay: Traders Hotel
One of the most expensive cities in Asia, so be ready to prepare around $15 dollars for a pint. Singapore is expensive but alcohol is too much. However, where are pretty decent places where you can find fresh beers from NZ, Australia, Europe and of course, Asia!
- Druggists (119 Tyrwhitt Road)
Most all from Europe. Official distributors of Mikkeller in Singapore with a good selection of beers on tap. I have to do a mention here to Juan, from La Quince Brewery who joins me and we had a good chat about beers in Singapore!
- Good Luck Beerhouse (9 Haji Ln)
Near to the Masjid Sultan, we can find this cosy place where was the only one when I could find craft beers from Singapore. A little bit pricy considering that almost all the beers are from Singapore and not imported. Pairing a good beers with dumpling is always a good option
- Nickeldime Drafthouse (275 Thomson Road)
Mix bar, mix bottle shop very focused in beers from Europe and USA. Someone told me that they are the main distributors for Lervig in Asia, so you can expected to find their beers on tap. Good American style cuisine.
- Brewerkz Restaurant & Microbrewery (Merchant Rd, Riverside Point)
Good brewery with several locations in Singapore and also Jakarta (as I mentioned before). Good food and reasonable beers. Also, I went to the Riverside’s pub, which the location is fantastic.
- JiBiru Craft Beer Bar (313@Somerset)
Good selections of beers on tap but also in bottles. All from Japan. Good whiskies, sake and more drinks related with this country that I would like to visit soon. They also have food menu which looked very taste but I didn’t have time to try it
- Freehouse (21A Boon Tat St)
One of my favourite place where you can drink something relative fresh from Australia and New Zealand. Good selection of beers on tap and also on bottles and can. Also they have some beers from Europe and US. Here is where I discover Garage Project Brewing, great hoppy brewery from New Zealand.
Where to stay: Marina Sands Bay
In Singapore I tried also to go Smith Street Taps, but it was closed at 22:30, so check the opening times.
Summarising: Can be difficult to find good fresh beers in Asia, it’s a long way from Europe or USA, but you can some good beers there. However, in a quality/price balance, I think drink good beers here is very expensive comparing Europe or USA. However, food is cheaper and delicious, you will really enjoy pairing asian food with good beers.