here in KL, the craft scene remained the same--3 bars and 2 bottle shop--though there's a new bar opening soon it seems.
what happened during the past 11 months? from a personal point of view--it has indeed been one Awesome year for myself and a few other beer geeks here in KL("leaps & bounds" just pop up)..
here's a few things/thoughts:-
went on a trip to few different places in Europe--though it's not entirely a "Beercation"--it's still has got major impact on "beer-me".
From first stop Brussels to last stop Paris--the varieties--the availability of craft beer not commonly found here in South East Asia was very pleasing to say the least.
Visiting Cantillon was a game changer--it transform perception and appreciation level for sour beers---and for better varieties of craft beer as a whole---*(the smell that cover your senses the moment you push open that door----just PRICELESS)
Attending CBC 2015(4th edition of CopenhagenBeerCelebration) is no doubt one of the highlights--obviously the beer selection was skull numbing(literally--as you starts drinking 10am til evening :)--but i guess the most awesome part of CBC is about people that comes in from far and wide--just for bloody beers(why FUSS?--it's only beers ;)---the pull power of awesome craft beer is beyond doubt.
Going out to explore beer scene other than your home city/your locals certainly helps---With that many awesome/above average/below average or lousy beers around--all in the same category as CRAFT BEER--the only way to elevate your palate/appreciation level of good beer is to TRY MORE VARIETIES--and if your local bars or bottle shop can't do much for your quest---going out for beer trip or awesome beer fest like CBC would be a better and faster way of progressing.
there's an old Chinese saying--"ta shan zhi shi, ke yi gong yu"它山之石，可以攻玉--literraly meaning stone from other mountain can be used to carve Jade---it's the old way of saying learning from other's experiences--i totally agree that seeing beers available in other cities or wht other geeks are drinking does help to whet your appetite and excites your palate to seek out for more awesome beers...that's one way of learning and improving
BEER EVENT OF THE YEAR
This is a kind of self-inflating title(well--half jokingly-half serious:)
What happened was(by pure coincidence)--a Geek from the states came to KL for work--with case full of awesome beers--and DONT know who to share with locally--so he went to social media--and we the local tasting group picked up the info and contacted.
The result---the most awesome ever 2 days tasting session Malaysia ever witness(imagine very fresh Pliny and Heady Topper here in bloody KL were sort of being left more than half because everyone so engrossed with the next next next beers in waiting?) (of course we did finished them off :)
Why is this"event of the year" you might ask--for a craft beer back water area like KL to see all those beers in 2 days is just beyond imagination--more importantly--it created some form of Milestone in the local craft beer movement--to say this is likely one of the best tasting event in ASIA would not be exaggerating.
This purely accidental "beer event of the year"--- though nothing more than a small group private tasting event--the fact that it happened in KL and might become an annual event--is pure example of if you want it badly enough--somehow "beer god" might grant your wishes one day...
LET'S FLY OUT
The idea of travelling for beers certainly is not for most drinkers.
But why not? if you love beer, like varieties and can't get certain beers you want--maybe travelling outside of your home city is a nice way to find some beers--and meet some new friends.
The tasting group i'm with has done so twice this year---once to Singapore and once to Bangkok--both for pre-arranged special tasting events--of course you can go bar hopping or bottle shop shopping when there too...
It's certainly a fun way to quicken your beer finding path--especially if you are a newbie--to have someone as an informal "beer guide"( instead of tour guide)--perhaps we could do a small group visiting Spore-Bangkok-Hong ong-Taiwan-Japan or Korea for beers....(or even Europe? --why not.)
Sent me a message--perhaps a total strangers newbie or geek group tour is workable and could be fun...:)