Making the ordinary extraordinary

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Asia’s first and only infusion beer lab, Alchemist Beer Lab, officially launched at glitzy mixed-development spot, South Beach, recently.

Eliteror.com dropped by, incognito (of course), and found the craft beer experience relational, yes albeit experimental. Once you have tasted craft beers, you hardly want to go back to the big beer boys found on supermarket aisles.

Conceived by the same team behind microbrewery-pub Little Island Brewing Co. located at Changi Village, Alchemist Beer Lab features a proud display of 16 visually stunning and technically advanced beer infusion towers to offer a wide variety of infused beers. With the recent boom in the local beer scene, beer drinkers have become more discerning about the type of beers they enjoy. Alchemist Beer Lab is guaranteed to bring seekers on an enhanced experimental libation journey with its infused beer concoctions.

Francis Khoo, Managing Director of Alchemist Beer Lab and Little Island Brewing Co. says, “Events such as Beerfest Asia and the Craft Singapore Festival draw crowds of beer connoisseurs and lovers alike. Leveraging our experience in running Little Island Brewing Co. to provide high quality brews and employing the beer infusion towers’ technologically advanced systems, accompanied by a succinct food menu, we aim to create an elevated drinking and dining experience for the new generation of customers at Alchemist Beer Lab,” he adds.

An enchanting libation experience Alchemist Beer Lab is the first beer infusion bar in Asia to house a grand total of 16 sleek and state-ofthe-art towers. While infusing beer is by no means a new process to beer makers, the beer infusion towers at Alchemist Beer Lab utilise a progressive and cutting edge system that allows brewers to introduce any type of ingredients into their infusions with optimal flavour extraction and fresh results. At Alchemist Beer Lab, two kinds of systems from Poland and the United States of America are used; one holding up to one-litre of beverage, and the other with a capacity of three-litres.

Traditionally, beer-brewing entails cooking of ingredients such as hops and malted barley at high heat ranging between 80 to 100 degrees Celsius. This is done to firstly, extract sugars from malted barley, and secondly, to extract oils and flavours from hops. However, with extended high heat, certain flavours from ingredients can be destroyed. Extraction of flavours via the infusion beer tower creates instantaneous results and guarantees an additional depth to the drink’s flavour profile. With the infusion beer tower, ingredients are first placed into the fusion chamber and followed by the releasing of compressed gas, before the beer is injected into the tower. This process helps in maximising flavour extraction from the ingredients to produce surprising and delightful twists to the beer.

Head Bartender of Alchemist Beer Lab, Barnaby Murdoch, says, “The possibilities are immense – we can infuse any type of ingredients, such as botanicals, fruits, nuts, spices and even coffee and chocolate into our draft beer to create fresh and unique taste profiles. We are excited to experiment with endless combinations of flavours, enhancing our brewed beer to offer a life-changing drinking experience for beer enthusiasts.” The draft beers used to infuse flavours into will all be methodically brewed at Little Island Brewing Co. by Brew Master of Little Island Brewing Co. and Alchemist Beer Lab, Steve Spinney, notable expert on beer in Asia and winner of three consecutive Gold Awards at the Asian Beer Competition for his “Storm Beer” creation. Currently, out of the 16 infusion towers, eight taps consist of draft beer from Little Island Brewing Co., such as the Sister Golden Ale and the Singapore Pale Ale, both light and refreshing; as well as the That Old Black Magic, a dry Irish nitro stout, which clinched a Gold Medal at the 2016 Asia Beer Awards. Other well-loved flavours such as sweet and semi-dry cider as well as red and white wines are also available.

Not set with a fixed line-up of infused beer options, the remaining eight towers feature experimental and funky flavours that include a dry Irish stout infused with marshmallow, vanilla pod and mint leaves; ale with grilled pineapple and anise; and pale ale with rosemary. Beers in each tower will be refreshed regularly – at least once every week – so as to continuously offer guests a selection of innovatively infused beer on tap, satisfying every drinker’s demands of an exceptional drink.

A sleek and sophisticated ambience: bask in the magical Drawing inspiration from its namesake, Alchemist Beer Lab turns the ordinary into the extraordinary. Designed by architectural firm Akira Kita Architecture, also the team behind the design concepts of Esquina and Luke’s Oyster Bar & Chop House, Alchemist Beer Lab’s interior is decorated in a sleek and muted colour palette of grey, coppery-gold and brown marble, and accented with wood elements to emulate an experience of medieval times. Stepping into the bar, one is greeted with a nine-metre tall high ceiling, half-vaulted with coppery-gold wallpaper, not unlike the awe-inspiring sacred spaces of European temples and monasteries where alchemy was practised in the past. Three mid-century modernist glass pendant lamps specially sourced from Tom Dixon also light up the central space and magnify the entire height of the bar – giving the illusion of an expanded space. A long Saint Laurent marble kitchen counter stands in the centre of the bar, encouraging an intimate and communal dining and drinking experience. Outdoor seating is also available for imbibers and diners who love an alfresco option. Located within South Beach Avenue on the basement floor – the retail component of the South Beach development – the bar is also easily accessible from Exit A of Esplanade MRT station.

A delicately prepared menu of hearty fare, served tapas style The kitchen is helmed by Executive Chef, John Edwards, who has thoughtfully conceived a Modern-European tapas-style menu to accompany the extensive array of drink options. Dishes such as the Slow Cooked Pork Cheeks, a delectable combination of tangy and sweet red cabbage, a dollop of yogurt, with cabernet syrup drizzled all over and topped off with crispy pig’s ears; the incredibly hearty and indulgent Duck Fat Chips with chipotle salt and preserved lemon aioli; and the Ceviche of Goldband Snapper, a mouth-watering bite of fresh fish with zesty lime, chopped coriander and sharp hot sauce jelly, promise a night of culinary satisfaction. For those looking for a light bite with their beers, relish in a selection of snacks including Warm Kalamata olives with lemon, garlic and chilli and Pork scratchings with fennel salt, as well as Charcuterie and Cheese platters.

From 12.00pm to 3.00pm on Mondays to Saturdays, enjoy the Set Lunch promotion, which comes with a cup of coffee or tea. Fuss-free, flavourful and filling dishes such as the Steak Sandwich, with meaty grilled porterhouse, refreshing rocket pesto and luscious Brie cheese, and the Potato Gnocchi, with sweet roasted pumpkin, crunchy pine nuts and burnt butter.

The sleek interior spaces draws both novice craft beer drinkers and seasoned drinkers alike. It is just so wonderful that Alchemist Beer Lab combined good taste, hippy-esque craft culture without forgoing the quality that the adventurous Asian taste buds is willing to travel for, this time, to the heart of the city.

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