Singapore might just be a tiny red dot on the world map, but our capabilities are not to be belittled. Already, our country boasts a few homegrown brands (such as Razer and Tiger Beer) that have earned international acclaim for their products. Now, with more companies demonstrating their ingenuity, the list is just going to keep growing!
Sunbird Brewery Company is one such example, as they have been making waves in the craft beer industry since entering the scene in July last year with a collection of four craft beers. Led by founder Clive Tan who paid his dues at Archipelago Brewery and Brewerkz, Sunbird (named after Singapore’s national bird) is driven by the passion to produce bolder flavours with an innovative edge for consumers of the future. Curious to know what the hype was all about, my companion and I promptly accepted the company’s invitation to taste all of their craft beers – including their latest offering launched in April – at Orh Gao Taproom last Saturday (after restrictions on public gathering had ease, that is).
Orh Gao Taproom – a new casual bar serving residents in Bukit Timah!
Orh Gao is a colloquial term for stouts
Menu overhead (also pictured is the founder of Sunbird Brewery Co on the left)
Fly in Light
Fly in Light
A pale ale, Fly in Light has a 5% alcohol content with a fruity – more specifically, passionfruit and citrus – taste which complements the dry earthy flavour of the malt. It is light on the taste buds and does not make one feel surfeited after a couple of sips, therefore making it easy to drink. This was one of my favourites (as a non-alcohol geek) that evening, along with Fluff Up.
Fluff Up – a Belgian witbier (think Hoegaarden) – too has an alcohol content of 5% but with a more interesting flavour profile. It packs a little kick due to its spice and orange peel notes, which makes it a perfect accompaniment to seafood especially in countries with hot climate like Singapore.
Birds of Paradise
Birds of Paradise
One cannot forget to mention Birds of Paradise since hoppy and bitter brews are becoming a huge trend in the craft beer industry. A white IPA with a creamy taste, it has bitter taste profile as with American IPAs (which neither of us is a fan of). That said, its citrus and pine undertones will definitely go well with the holiday season (because we shouldn’t let the pandemic stop us from feeling the holiday spirit, right?), or simply spicy food like buffalo wings (psst.. Orh Gao taproom serves great buffalo wings 😉).
Some finger food to go with the beers. Not sure if we were just hungry but they were ALL delicious. We practically cleared the plate!
And probably the best thing that was served with the platter – the chilli. Haven’t had such satisfying chilli in a while! I swear if this was sold in bottles separately, I’d totally get some 😆
Eclipse of the Sun
Eclipse of the Sun
Another beer in Sunbird’s regular range is Eclipse of the Sun and it is wildly popular among expats here. Despite the slightly higher alcohol content of 6%, the Scottish Ale is malty and full-bodied which could be due to the caramel that gives it a raisin taste, as well as its deep copper brown colour.
In commemoration of National Day this year, Sunbird has rolled out a new and exciting seasonal concoction infused with flavours familiar to the local palate – the Ondeh-Ondeh Porter. This one-of-a-kind craft beer pays homage to a timeless traditional dessert – as its namesake implies – with an alcohol content of 6%. The drink has a distinct roasted and dry taste, coupled with a caramel flavour and coconut smell which is further drawn out and complemented by the addition of pandan.
Ondeh-Ondeh Porter, bottled (look how cute the ondeh-ondeh illustration is on the bottle – haha!)
Crafted as a porter due to the nutty flavour profile obtained when the gula melaka brown sugar is toasted, this is certainly nowhere as bitter as a stout but its sharpness might still be a bit too overwhelming for novice drinkers. However, if you’re one who appreciates this category of beer, the bitterness of the porter actually goes hand-in-hand with the roasted caramel taste. As one with a sweet tooth, I only wished this was crafted as a witbier instead. But on second thought, that would probably render the beer too sweet.
Sunbird’s brews in bottled form, a.k.a what you would get if you make your order online!
Unlike the other beers that are available in singles, the Ondeh-Ondeh Porter is only sold in a pack of 6 at $55 nett (or in a mixed pack of 12 that includes other beers) on the website, maybe because it won’t be on the menu for long (so it’s always good to stock up!). Of course, you could always sample or enjoy one bottle at selected bars and restaurants islandwide – one of which being Orh Gao Taproom – in the month of August with people you have not met in ages! Great excuse to catch up with your buddies, eh?
Leaving you with this memorable quote we saw at Orh Gao Taproom.. Remember this, guys.
What are your thoughts about this local creation, or the craft beers offered by Sunbird Brewery Co. in general? Beer connoisseurs, do let me know your views in the comments below!
Thanks for reading!
Sunbird Brewery Co · 5 Mandai Link, #05-05, Singapore 728654 · order from WEBSITE · free islandwide delivery with purchase of $65 and above · For more information on where the beers are served, please visit FACEBOOK PAGE, INSTAGRAM or WEBSITE.
Orh Gao Taproom · 10 Jalan Serene, #01-03 Serene Centre, Singapore 258748 · Operating hours: 4.00 pm – 11.00 pm (Tue – Thu, Sun), 4.00 PM – 12.00 AM (Fri & Sat), Closed on Mondays · Nearest MRT station: Botanic Gardens (CC19/DT9) · For more information, please visit Orh Gao Taproom FACEBOOK PAGE or INSTAGRAM.
this was a media invitation. ALL OPINIONS EXPRESSED ARE MY OWN, with contributions from my beer-enthusiast companion.
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