Yes--we used to kind of laughed off the "USA! USA!" notion when in cinema watching some big time Hollywood production.
Not so this time around.
It's the opposite sense of "USA! USA!" when it comes to craft beer.
Kjetil of Nogne O said early this year:- "USA leads the cultural revolution. Europe is catching on, but is copying a lot from the US. I guess brewers in Europe has not had time to find their own identity yet. Asia seems to have a hard time to decide whether to go for big brash beers, as in the US, or to stay disciplined and moderate(almost like classic German brewing)."
Perhaps not everyone would agree with the statement---but it just shows the prominence of US craft beer scene to the world of craft.
In ASIA-perhaps Tokyo is the city with the widest choices of craft beer--including the US brew.
As for South East Asia--Bangkok, KL, Spore---the wider choices would be the other side of causeway in SG.
We do have some good US beers coming into KL from time to time--but what the local scene really need is for more people to become craft beer bar/bottle shop operators---when demand is up supply would grow accordingly...
This week's column is a little chit chat with Alvin of Tapsbarkl--who did a west coast trip earlier this year--about some of the things he observed:-
"there are so many microbreweries in every single town and state in the USA. And because of that craft beer awareness level is very high."
"It’s very apparent when you have 2 bars next to each other and 1 serves craft beer and the other serves the usual budweiser stuff and the craft beer ones are always packed from afternoon onward even on weekdays."
" Everybody knows their craft beer and when you walk into a craft beer bar you are expected to know what beer you want and understand the basic styles of beer. The bar tenders don't have the time to stand there and explain to you and that is because the American market is way ahead."
"Inspiring yet humbling. Inspiring because i can see that craft beer is a huge huge market overseas and it makes me believe that there’s hope for Malaysia to be 30% of what they are! "
"But also humbling because Taps Beer Bar has not done justice to craft beer. Yes we might be the only ones doing it and we are enjoying it but we need to do more for local market and its a very very long way to go!"
#not included in published weekly column:-
PLACES U LIKE?
"Zeitgeist San Francisco is one bar that i will never forget because of the amount of taps they have and it’s just a very nice and cool place. Very underground grunge rock kinda place. No pretentious people and all very friendly. "
"The other place that i liked was rogue in Portland. Their restaurant served very good food to pair with their beers and the experience was very nice and warm. They have alot of flags hanging from the ceiling and the Malaysia flag is on the wall! heaehae so it was very cool!"BREWERY U LIKE?
"Lagunitas keep true to the craft beer image. Their brewpub is so relaxed and so underground. Nice beer garden, rustic interior and also their own little outdoor stage for indie rock bands to perform. But when they brought me to the back where they brew the beer and their warehousing, it was clean and modern. Very organized and their beers are well kept in proper conditions. "
"Hair of the Dog - Just a plain and simple brewery but with great big beers. Met the owner and founder of the brewery who until today still brews his own beer. He starts at 5am in the morning till 5pm then his apprentice comes in from 5pm to 5am.and its just the both of them in the brewery. They have a nice small restaurant in front which serves simple food but very nice atmosphere. Some of his rare bottles can only be consumed in the brewpub. You can’t do takeaway for special releases because its resold online."
NEXT WEEK--Tap take over---FFF version