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Archipelago Ming – Beer for the Adventurous Only

A new surprise will be available only until February 2007 at Archipelago in the form of Archipelago Ming. Each craft beer from Archipelago is traditionally brewed by independent brewers fusing top-grade malts, hops (used to provide the bitterness in beers), and other ingredients. Specially designed to thrill your taste buds, these Asian fusion beers are an immaculate complement to Asian food.

UrbanWire embarked on a liquid diet and remained sober to review the new beers of Archipelago Brewery.

Archipelago Ming
Following the success of 3 other craft beers launched not long ago, Archipelago has yet again outdone itself by brewing Archipelago Ming ($9.80/ pint). This limited edition variant is available on tap at their flagship outlet at 79 Circular Road. Just like Archipelago’s Traveller’s Wheat, Straits Pale, and Trader’s Brown Ale, Archipelago Ming features an unusual Asian ingredient you’re more likely to find in Chinese soups than beers: the
gou ji zi (Wolfberry). According to Chinese beliefs, there are numerous medicinal qualities, such as improvement of eyesight and lowering blood pressure, linked to this red, wrinkled berry. However, I doubt most people would drink it solely for medicinal purposes.  

Crisp and refreshing, this beer easily goes down with the ladies. Fal Allen, the Brew Master of Archipelago Brewery, said, “I wanted some movement in the beer and to give it a range of flavors.”

The sweetness of the berries reaches you first, followed by the slightly bitter taste of the hops that settle evenly. Towards the end, you get the residual sweet taste of the malt in the beer. It’s as though the beer’s taken a roller coaster ride on your taste buds during that short span of time. To bring the experience up another notch, pair the Archipelago Ming with seafood, salads, and fish, and this match must have been made in beer heaven.

UrbanWire settled for more glasses of their permanent variants, such as the Archipelago’s Traveller’s Wheat, Straits Pale, and Trader’s Brown Ale.

Archipelago’s Traveller’s Wheat

The Archipelago’s Traveller’s Wheat ($9.80/pint) is a Belgian-style wheat beer with Thai accent lemon grass infused into the beer. The many flavors of the beer are accentuated at different times; you’d have to be a patient drinker for this one. Like savoring kueh lapis [a traditional Malay layered cake], you’d have to uncover the different ‘layers’ of flavor to cultivate a liking for the beer. This variant goes well with foods like satays [barbequed meat on skewers] or top shells.

Archipelago’s Traders’ Brown Ale
The smell of ginger rushes up your nostrils when you hold the glass up, and you’ll begin to wonder whether you’ve ordered Teh Halia [ginger tea]  instead. The Archipelago’s Traders’ Brown Ale ($9.80/pint) is a very interesting dark brew beer that contains gula melaka [Malacca brown sugar] an ingredient hardly known outside Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. It’s a tad bit too strong for ladies but the guys might take a liking to it because of its distinctive taste. This beer goes well with spicy food such as lamb, chicken masala and “especially with beef rendang [Malay style stewed beef]” said Fal.

Archipelago’s Straits Pale

This floral, citrus beer is modeled after the California Pale. This reporter enjoyed this beer the most out of the 3 because it’s just one of those beers you can enjoy at any time of the day, and it’s perfect for the hot and humid tropics. Archipelago’s Straits Pale ($9.80/pint) goes well with spring rolls and finger food.  Fal says plans are underway to work with other exotic Asian fruits like mangosteens and red dates. He even thought about including durians in the beers!

Archipelago Brewery proves that not all beers are born equal; theirs will definitely stand out in terms of taste, ingredients and novelty from the other beers available.

Suruchi Lohani
Suruchi Lohani
suruchi lohani is a content editor who love playing with words to make stories come alive. Besides editing the content she loves reading books and writing.


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