Let's make a toast to one of your favourite drinking events of the year
Savour 350 labels of beers while bands like AC/DC, The Beatles and Rolling Stones entertain you. Sounds like heaven, but from June 7 to 10 at the Marina Promenade, all this will be a reality at Beerfest Asia 2012. And with a larger list of brews and a greater number of bands (well, tribute bands at least) in the festival’s fourth year, attending all four days seems like the only logical thing to do.
50 more labels will make its debut this year including the Belgium-brewed Früli Strawberry Beer (what could be the ladies favourite), the Paulaner Brauhaus’s Munich Dark and Lager and the sought-after Hitachino Nest Pilsner. Big labels all the way from the States to Namibia will also be introduced locally for the first time.
On the regional front, think Bali is all about Bintang beers? Indonesia’s PT Bali Hai Brewery will be looking to shift mindsets (and palates) with its hand-crafted Bali Hai premium range that still employs traditional brewing methods.
Not to be outdone, locally brewed Jungle Beer will be showcasing its limited suds made from tropical fruits, flowers and spices. We can’t wait to try the Kiasu Stout –the strongest in its line with an ABV of 7 per cent.
Beerfest Asia 2012 highlights. Produced by Zaki Jufri
With a great number of labels to choose from, festival director Edward Chia suggests that, “the Belgian beers and English ales should be tried by the lager drinkers, and the big USA and German Weiss beers for the discerning few.” He also recommends the Belgian Rochefort 10 (a Trappist ale with an ABV of 11.3 per cent) and a low-carb beer from America called the Michelob Ultra – two picks which was a tough choice to make given the varieties.
Beerfest 2012 will see a slight increase of the number of exhibitors to 32. With more labels to explore (one-third on draught and 20 per cent mirco-brewed), this year's edition has been marked as the biggest one yet.
200,000 beers were consumed in 2011 and in anticipation for an estimated 32,000 bladder-heavy attendees, there will be two-times more portable toilets (50 to be exact) compared to last year’s. Good news for those looking to empty their tanks faster than they can top it up.
And what’s beer without food?
In collaboration with Harry’s, the well-established restaurant and bar chain will cater grubs of 20 bite-sized varieties. From their home-marinated chicken wings to a sausage platter and chicken and beef pies, the dining offerings ensure that it is as painlessly mobile as possible – other than the chicken curry briyani and Irish lamb stew which might take some effort.
If you do decide to park yourself after a tiring tour around festival grounds, three tents are located within proximity to ensure that you won’t ever get bored.
All-female AC/DC tribute band Hell’s Belles return to Beerfest Asia 2012
At the separately located Rock and Blues tent, five international tribute bands and six home-grown favourites will be paying homage to rock, blues and funk of yesteryears.
Featuring an all-female AC/DC tribute band Hell’s Belles, Jumping Jack Flash (Rolling Stones tribute band), The Australian Beatles and The Australian Blues Brothers, there’s lots of merrymaking to be had. And with household names 53A, Plainsunset and Shagies added to the line-up, Beerfest sounds more like a music festival than anything else.
If you are looking for laughs rather than letting loose, Comedy Club Asia’s line-up of international comedians should be an obvious choice.
Returning to the festival for the second-year running, comedians from Australia, UK and Singapore will be delivering their brand of hilarity. From Rob Brown's satirical wit to Matt Price’s improvisational audience interaction, and Jonathan Atherton’s intelligent and humorous global perspectives, weary festival-goers can look forward to being engaged and energized.
On hindsight and from his previous experience, Chia advices different days for certain groups of people. “The opening day will be great for trade visitors and beer lovers; Friday and Saturday for party-goers and Sunday for the family and kids as it would be less crowded.” Looking to snag some crates on the cheap? Chia points to the last day of the festival as unsold stock is sold at wholesale prices –a main draw for beer bargain hunters.
Beerfest Asia 2012 takes place from 7-9 June, 6pm; June 10, 12pm at the Marina Promenade (F1 tracks behind the Singapore Flyer.) Tickets from $15-160 are on sale now from SISTIC. Coupons are available on festival grounds in denomination of $1, 5, 10 and 50. Drink price ranges from $4-20.
Zul Andra is an entertainment writer currently writing for Time Out Singapore, NYLON, The New Paper, inSing.com and ZIGGY, he also maintains a column in Juice magazine. Contrary to popular belief, he is not a party animal. His lifelong ambition is to make the perfect omelette.