Wednesday, November 20, 2013

APACosaurus II - MR

November 20 - left Shanghai for Malaysia

Malaysia was one of those trips that was really quick - into the hotel by midnight, work the next day, and a next evening on the airplane. Sadly didn't see that much Malaysian. And what was seen seeing removing texting window

Everything was dressed up for Christmas all the streets, lights, everything was looking good.

Only had time for a couple of beers - then bed. Went to the Brotzeit and had their:

Original Münchner Urtyp - Helles

Münchner Dunkel

Dunkel Hefe-Weissbier

Technically not sure if this was a brewpub, but it was late; maybe it was maybe it wasn't, but it was very hot; the beer was cold; it was good.

As one restaurant in the hotel was still open, did get to try some proper Malaysian food. Did not note the name of it. Was really nice spicy prawn dish with some very small anchovies that had been deep-fried: quite spicy and delicious.

The next day it was two site visits, and a quick lunch. Lunch provided by one of the sites was pizza unfortunately; however it was Malaysian style pizza so spicy, hot and good.

Off to the airport for a flight to Singapore.

Now here's an example about good trip planning. The driver asked do you want to shop around a little bit plenty of time. I said no to get the airport as. It was good we did as there was a massive traffic jam so barely made it to the counter before the flight closed.

At the hotel, with a midnight snack before bed tried a small:

San Miguel - Pale Pilsen

Tiger - Lager

Next day it was up early and out.

Late afternoon after work it was a short walk to Clarke Quay. Well no short walk, was about two miles and the weather was hot. I mean hot, humid, what you would guess being how close Singapore is to the equator.

Service at the brewpub Brewerkz - 30 Merchant Road, Riverside Point - was typical for a lot of APAC counties. From a cultural standpoint, service was not great, I mean worse than European, not great. Almost like one needs a signal flare sometimes.

Anyway, although try as I might I could not get any free peanuts, had the

Golden Ale

HopBack Ale - bitter



American Pale Ale

Kölsch (very good)

Oatmeal Stout


XIPA - double IPA (very good)

Honey Apricot - honey ale

Black Pig - dark ale

The Golden Ale, HopBack Ale, and Pilsner definitely have some sort of funkiness going on. There was a faint bit of sulfides or sulfur smell possibly contamination with bacteria. Not really sure as to the cause, it was subtle but not good. And honestly, the Honey Apricot had neither flavor or aroma of either.

Tried their local hamburger which was quite good; it also sparked a mini-theme for the remainder of the trip - burger at brewpub.

Very close by was the SQUE Rotisserie & Alehouse at 6 Eu Tong Sen Street, Singapore.

This bar had really good service, fantastic selection, and friendly personnel. They do like to talk to you, and make recommendations.

Tried the following beers:

Nøgen O - Two Captains Double IPA

Nøgen O - Brown Ale

Next evening tried something different - went to the JiBiru Japanese Craft Beer Bar. Located in a mall at 313 Orchard Road, they ironically had as good a specialized beer selection as one found in Japan.

Tried these beers:
Owa - Kuro-OWA - Belgian Dark ale
Minoh Aki - W-IPA - imperial IPA
Ise Kadoya - Stout

Also at the suggestion of the manager, had a glass of

Kinshachi - Imperial Chocolate Weizen (8%)

Ended up walking a lot and ended up near the Promenade

Finally stopping at the Supply and Demand bar and had a

Badger Brewing Hall and Woodhouse - Hopping Hare Thrice Hopped

The next evening person was heading to raffles hotel bar, at 1 Beach Road Singapore.

This is the type of bar that you could imagine a movie with Peter Lorre and Sidney Greenstreet was filmed!

Raffles is the home the Singapore sling. of course have to try it; was not too bad although a bit surprise at the price, but such the price of fame.

Wanted to do something interesting what with it being a special beer (no. 4,600) so headed to the tallest brewery in the world. Not the highest brewery but the tallest, meaning of the 33rd floor of building.
Yes the brewery Level 33.

The snacks were delicious as was the beer.

33.1 Blonde Lager

33.9 Wheat Beer

33.2 Pale Ale

33.12 Chestnut Beer - nut brown [4,600, see photo below]

33.3 - stout

Left Level 33, and walked around a bit, and tried to find a taphouse for Archapeligo, that apparently is gone.

Well the sign is there, but no Archapeligo beers. Also apparently located on "whore alley" so to say.

Ended up at Red Dot Brewery, 33/34 Boat Quay. Had an very nice lamb shank for dinner - perfectly cooked. There's different styles including a green beer that has spirulina in it.

One negative aspect of the evening at the Red Dot was some live music that night. Now I love live music as much as the next person but if there's blood coming out of your ears or nasal passages - it's too loud!

As I said to the waitress when she asked "why did you jam some paper napkin in your ears, don't you like music?" I replied "I'm doing that because I do like music. I haven't heard so much horrific, painful distortion from an overdriven amplifier since we clipped a Crown playing Slim Whitman in college." I believe my techno-humor was wasted on her.

Up the next morning for an early, long flight from Singapore to Beijing. As the plane landed, the thing that struck me the most is that Beijing is fairly polluted from an air standpoint - for example besides a perpetual smog/haze, there's the pervasive aroma of coal.

Took a taxi into town to find the Slow Boat Brewing Company at Dongsi 8th Alley, Dongcheng, Beijing. It's a little disconcerting to get dropped off near an alley, but Google map said it was was down an alley. Walked around for a ways and did not see anything. Was about to turn around and saw some other Americans; they said follow us.

Slow Boat had some very good beers; and a very good burger. Was very pleasantly surprised how good it was. Maybe top 10 ever had? Top 5? Beers sampled were as follows:

Longshoreman's Saison

Knot 51 Red Ale

Captain's Pale Ale

Monkey's Fist IPA

Flying Whale IPA

First Immortal Double IPA

Two-Six Oatmeal Stout

Sea Anchor Imperial Vanilla Stout (a standout)

Three Sheets Coffee Porter

Unfortunately, had a tour set up for the following day and the hotel somehow fell through, wanted to go to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall and the Forbidden City. Fortunately "Tours by Jessie" came through; a frantic email or 2 later - mind you at 7 PM - and a tour was all set.

After a quick breakfast, and a short drive, arrived at the Great Wall.

The Great Wall was phenomenal; quite moving in person and quite an achievement - spectacular.

Had a Yan Jing on the Wall, while smoking a Cuban cigar; Cohiba to be exact. Took about 5 shots to get that smoke ring right.

The Forbidden City was also impressive as well; glad the Communists had not destroyed it.

At the end of the day one more more beer at the Crowne Plaza and then was off to South Korea. At the hotel tried an
Oriental Brewery - Cass Fresh - light lager
The Korean Barbecue was nothing like what you find in the US
In the evening, went out to try some of the local brews. Magpie Brewing was closed on Monday, unfortunately. Did get to go to the Craftworks Taphouse, Myeongsan Bldg, Itaewon 2-dong #651.
Bäekdusan Hefeweizen
Namsan Pure Pilsner
Halla Mountain Golden Ale
Bukhansan Pale Ale
Geumgang Mountain Dark Ale
Jirisan Moon Bear IPA
Seorak Oatmeal Stout

Jirisan Moon Bear IPA Pumpkin Spice

The place was very modern looking and had some really slick videos running about the products.

Once again, doing what may become a tradition, tried their version of a hamburger. It's actually superb and told the chef how good it was. Also tried the guest ale,

Brew Dog - Dead Pony Club - pale ale

...then headed back to the hotel.

Back at the hotel, had a

Hite Max

as an apéritif. The next day, after work and some more wonderful food...

It was a taxi to the airport late afternoon and one more beer at Inchon airport
Hite - Ice Point - pale lager
and on the plane heading home.

So that's the story: 3 weeks, 25,000 miles, 7 countries, 139 beers, 11 cities, and the Great Wall.


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