real good beer

Brew For Good

Knock back a flavourful pint while doing good for the environment. These new entries in the local craft beer scene put sustainability and conservation in the spotlight.

Brew For Good
Crust Brewing

01 | From bread to ale

Crust Brewing entered the local craft beer market last September, with a premise built on sustainability. Founded by avid home brewer Travin Singh, Crust Brewing specialises in beer made from surplus bread, which it collects from bakeries and hotels in Singapore. Not only does this reduce the massive food waste here, it also gives the bread a new lease of life as delicious artisanal craft beer.

The bread is turned into mash, which replaces 30 percent of the grains used in Crust Brewing’s beer production; the company hopes to stretch this percentage to 40 percent. Already, Crust Brewing has recovered more than 150kg of bread since its inception. In its effort to further reduce waste, it’s also implemented a bottle collection refund system and reuses the beer bottles after a thorough wash and sanitisation.

Among its current repertoire of brews are its flagship Breaking Bread Ale, an inaugural light ale brew, and the I Knead An Easy IPA (a tropical hops-forward IPA). Also available are limited-edition collaborations such as The King’s IPA with Edible Garden City, an easy IPA with hints of Ulam Raja’s green mango notes; Beerguette with Tiong Bahru Bakery, a pilsner-style brew using surplus baguettes from the bakery; and Kaya Toast Stout with The 1925 Brewing Co., an aromatic reimagination of the classic local breakfast.

02 | Drink up for the environment

A beer start-up by childhood friends Chris Toh and Charles Bennett, Wild Brew seeks to partner with local advocacy groups to raise awareness of conservation and environmental issues in Singapore. Through the sale of its beers, Wild Brew also aims to financially support conservation projects and nurture more conscious consumerism.

Bennett’s day job as a conservation scientist sees him carrying out projects around the world to safeguard the environment. It’s also opened his eyes to the process of grant applications, fund- raising and the practice of “restricted funds”, where donor organisations or governments prescribe how monies may be used or allocated. In a bid to establish something creative and different, and which can award “unrestricted” funds to conservation projects, the duo formalised Wild Brew in late 2019, after evolving it from their home-brewing experiments.

Wild Brew makes its beer locally at RedDot Brewhouse, chosen also because the brewery sends its spent grains to Insectta, an urban insect farm that recycles food waste and turns them into biomaterials.

Its inaugural beer, Creature of Habit, is an American pale ale that uses three different malts and hops for a bold tropical aroma and flavour. Its malty, hoppy and slightly bitter flavour profile complements a refreshingly dry toasty finish. It is available for purchase online and on tap at selected bars. Wild Brew’s core offerings will be expanded to include an IPA and lager. In the works, meanwhile, is a line-up of seasonal craft beers dedicated to locally threatened wildlife, for which the pair is in discussions with the Nature Society (Singapore).

03 | Feed the fish

Recognising that brewing is a very resource- intensive production, Off Day Beer Company tries to build a circular economy while doing its bit to divert its food waste from landfills. Together with local fish farm Ah Hua Kelong, it is researching ways to repurpose spent grains from the brewing process into fish feed. It is also working with artisans to develop recipes to turn spent grains into food products like miso or crackers.

Launched early this year, Off Day is a collaboration between five local beer enthusiasts: Casey Choo, founder of That Singapore Beer Project and business development manager of Good Luck Beerhouse (GLB) and incubation brewery The General Brewing Co (GBC); Daryl Yeap, founder of Daryl’s Urban Ales and head brewer at GBC; Jasmin Wong and Kaaster Soh, co-founders of craft beer distributor The Mad Tapper, craft beer bar Freehouse and specialist liquor store Temple Cellars; and Kevin Ngan, founder of GBC and co- founder of GLB and Temple Cellars.

Playing on the double meaning of “off day”— a colloquial term for a day off from work, or a bad day with setbacks — Off Day is meant for the everyman and for everyday drinking.

Using premium malts from the UK, hops from the US and Oceania, as well as modern brewing techniques, Off Day brews are approachable and tasty. The range includes IPA Off Day Beer, a bright brew with the crispness of a pilsner and aromatic fruity American hops; Off Day Pale Ale, which balances a gentle toasty maltiness with a hint of citrus hops; Off Day Haze, a hazy session IPA with a juicy hop hit; and Off Day Double IPA, a potent brew of resinous hops and complex malt flavours.

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