I'm sure not many people would have heard about Asia's first and only "infusion beer lab", but will be interested to find out more about it upon knowing that flavours such as plum, honey or marshmallows are being experimented with in craft beers. Conceived by the same team behind microbrewery-pub Little Island Brewing Co. at Changi Village, Alchemist Beer Lab at the hip and trendy South Beach development features 16 beer infusion towers as well as tapas-style food to go along with them.
The interior is intimate, classy and well-ventilated. Copper gold furnishings and a designer communal table coupled with the high ceiling gives the place a more posh feel than your regular pub. It could be hard to locate if you're walking in from the street, but the place is actually very near Exit F of Esplanade MRT, in the South Beach basement 1.
I had fun trying the Obama (pictured on right most), which was stout infused with marshmallow, vanilla pod and mint leaves. It was like a savoury-sweet dessert drink. The other two ale-based infusions were also great - my favourite of the trio was Honey Trap made with Gosnell's London Mead was used in one of them! I think honey-infused beer is a great idea. They are similar in colour anyway.
Here's their food/drinks menu, which you can click to view in a larger size. Prices are SUPER good given the location if you go before 7pm for the beers! Plus according to their Facebook there's freeflow of beers on tap for just S$48 from 5pm to 8pm every day. What's not to love?
Executive Chef John Edwards' snacks and evening tapas menu is something that goes very well with beer, as you can see! The set lunch option is also super wallet-friendly. If for some reason the Facebook office's kitchen/pantry is shut, people working there can go to Alchemist instead :P
The charcuterie/cheese platter (S$18 for small, $28 big) is probably super easy to just munch on if you're there after work, but have dinner elsewhere. Items are pretty standard. I did enjoy the smoked duck liver parfait with calvados jelly, sourdough petals, green apple and roselle jam (S$18) pictured below as it was really smooth textured! 4/5
We tried some slow-cooked pork cheeks (S$16) with sweet and sour red cabbage, crispy pig’s ear (!!!) and cabernet syrup. I am however not a big fan of pork cheeks as I find it too soft and rich (how much of a first world problem is that?). My dining companions enjoyed it though. 3/5
I liked the Sticky Thai Chicken Wings (S$9 for 3) with honey, coriander and nam jim dressing, mainly because it is simple, and hits the spot. Nothing too fancy about some sticky wings! 4/5
Then there's some duck fat chips (S$12) with chipotle salt, preserved lemon aioli since all animals must be represented. I was surprised that these big huge chunks (not even wedges?) came out! That helped to spread out the duck fat more, I suppose. You could smell the fragrance of the potatoes. Unfortunately, it didn't really taste that amazing as it was surprising bland. 2/5
The opposite of bland would be the Falafel (S$15) which had smoked eggplant, paprika yoghurt, pickled red onions, mint and black olive oil. I realise that falafel is somewhat an acquired taste. People either like it or they don't. I wonder which ingredient is the divisive one! I suspect it might be the mint + paprika combi. Anyway I found these fried little balls quite tasty though nothing out of the ordinary! Could easily pop a few. 3.5/5
Then, the strangely alcoholic Gold band snapper ceviche (S$16) as it is made with with tequila, lime and hot sauce jelly. Pretty nouveau combination - never had ceviche marinated with alcohol before (tiger's milk yes). The tequila taste is quite strong as well, though not offensive. I for one though found this dish a bit too 'feminine' to go with the beers. Give me an empanada instead! 2/5
The Mushroom & Truffle Croquette (S$17) was super yummy! It's really difficult to find good fried mushrooms, so when we had them it's like, yaaaaas. So delicious. Triumphs the falafel because of how juicy they are on the inside, yet crispy and crunchy outside. 4/5
Last but not least, there was some really delicious Smoked Wagyu Brisket Tortilla (S$18) to be had. My only gripe was that it was a bit 'leaky' by the time we got to it - dripping all over the place is not date-friendly. I do like the soft shell tortillas and the filling though, which is flavoured just right. Not too overpowering nor bland. Probably my favourite of the night. 4/5
Lovely place for some experimental beers and grub, each standing on their own. I particularly recommend heading here for conversations with co-workers, dates, friends as you can always keep both that and the drinks flowing at a good pace and price. Get the wings, croquette or tortillas to keep the stomach happy!
Alchemist Beer Lab
South Beach Avenue, 26 Beach Road, #B1-16, Singapore 189768
Mondays to Thursdays 12pm to 12am; Fri 12pm-1am; Sat 4pm-1am
Closed on Sundays
Thanks to Bless Inc and Alchemy Beer Lab for the invite!