Anyone who has been to Warpigs would know the place is known for 2 things:- BEER & American style BBQ meat indulgence.
Being a brewpub collaborated by Mikkeller & Three Floyds--it is only natural that there would be crazy tap takeover events from time to time or many other friendly brewers' beers on tap whenever one visit--some if not most were actually brewed inside the bar with Warpigs in-house brewers.
As part of the brewing area is in the open--where patrons can have a clear view of what's going on--it's a daily scene to see the brewers at work--be it the brewers from another brewery here for a collab or the 2 main in-house brewers of Warpigs--Kyle Walok and Lan-Xin.
刚在今年庆祝一周年，WARPIGS是由当世两大高手----丹麦MIKKELLER美国THREE FLOYDS联手打造的酿吧，除了美国特邀来的主厨打理美式烤肉，最让啤迷关注当然是啤酒。既是酿吧，除了内设酿酒设备，当然要有驻吧酿酒师，从开业至今，酿吧的两位主要酿酒师是来自美国的KYLE WALOK和来自新加坡的女酿酒师LAN-XIN。（是的，你没看错，是长堤另一边的新。加。坡。）
It's interesting that Lan-Xin is from Singapore--where home brew or small brew is either outlawed in certain South East Asia countries(for examples Thailand and Malaysia)--or still very much a minority game--though the scene in Singapore is fairly active--it is still quite fascinating to find someone from this part of the world working as brewer at one of the most well known brewpub in Europe.
SO how is it possible that someone from South East Asia where craft-brewing is still very much in it's infancy became a brewer at Warpigs?
Let's have a chat with Lan-Xin :-
Q: To become a brewer -- was it more of an ambition or sort of accidental path?
I was supposed to be an engineer and actually enrolled in college as one. But my heart wasn't in it. Food science/engineering was a compromise between my parents and I. It was a blessing in disguise as that later became the foundation of my brewing education.
Q: What triggers your interest? Or rather what were maybe some of the important moments that shape your interest on wanting to brew
The brewer I apprenticed with had assembled his own distillation still but brewing beer was his bread and butter. And I ended up enjoying the process of brewing more. And when I first started drinking non-macro brewed beers the flavors were incredible. Being a foodie too, that wasn’t something I could ignore.
Q: From Singapore to Europe --tell us what has it been so far. The road to being a brewer
It’s been a pretty incredible journey. After my apprenticeship, I returned to Singapore to work with Raymond Lee at iBrew. We brewed quite a lot on his home-brew set up. Most of the time it was trying to perfect pale ales and such but from time to time, we would try something crazy. Especially when his annual event, iBrew challenge, approached. It was a lot of fun :) After a year or so with Raymond, I made the choice to explore brewing as a career and moved to Berlin to attend the brewing school there. I was in Copenhagen visiting friends and was introduced to the Mikkeller bar on Viktorigade. And there’s been no turning back since.Q: Tell us the Warpigs experiences so far ? how you get in there anyway? :)
WarPigs is an incredible ride. I can't believe we just turned one, it seems like yesterday when we opened the doors with a bang. But when I look back at how far we've come, then maybe a year seems too short :)
I'm not going to lie, I think an incredible series of events happened in order for me to be where I am. How to get in...there's a very secret knock on a mysterious door :)
因为MIKKELLER和THREE FLYODS的关系，酿吧经常邀请很多不同品牌友好酿酒师来共同酿造啤酒，每个人都带来自身不同方式/酿法，可以跟业界高手们学习是美好的经验。至于SHAUN HILL，因为他的声望，酿酒前一天到正式当天都非常紧张，不过一旦开始酿酒後，发现有关他的传闻都只是源自SHAUN对酿造的高度热情投入，是难得的学习机会。
Q: there were many collaboration brew--including the recent one with Shaun Hill -- tell us something about that experience as well how was it like collaborating with some other brewers/ craft beer brand out there
It's a great honor to be the child of two very respected breweries. And as a result, we get to invite many of their fantastic friends to WarPigs to create something together. I think everyone has their unique methods of brewing so it's a wonderful learning experience talking shop with some of the best in the industry.
You ask about Shaun…there was much anticipation brewing with him because he has a reputation for being great at what he does. I was really nervous and anxious the day before and when brew day came, even more so. But as the day progressed, I recognised that the intensity that people described, to me, is a side product of his level of passion. It was exciting and very educational.
我喜欢较低度易喝啤酒（SESSION BEER）， 最近开始很“介意”啤酒和食物的配搭。
Q: What would be some of your personal favorite beer styles? If any
I’m a sucker for session beers :) And very recently, I find myself fascinated with fusing beer with food.
Q: Any moments you felt like needing to get away from beers or brewing for a while? What do you do?
I definitely have moments like that. Where I need to reset and return with a fresh eye and fresh palate, if you will. Then I drink with friends and anything goes!
Q: There's many people expressing all sorts of comments online nowadays about beers they tasted--those comments especially the not so nice ones--how do you treat them ?
Some of our beers fit into categories quite easily and the more experimental and crazy ones do not but we always have to find a 'home' for them. I think that's when things get tricky because then I think the beers get misunderstood.
Q: Do you have someone that's a role model in brewing? How has that influence what you do and perhaps your brewing philosophy?
Oh man, at the risk of sounding cheesy, once I discovered Mikkeller, I knew I had found where I wanted to be. I really appreciate their approach to beers, attention to design and packaging.
Mikkel's vision is boundary challenging and being a part of that is very cool.
Q: Tell us some of your “comfort drinks”?
I always default to dry hoppy beers and sours, usually alternating if possible. Otherwise, it'd be whiskey/whisky sours and gin and tonics.
Q: There are many aspiring home brewers here in Asia—some just doing it for fun—some hope to make something happen--tell us what is it like –the typical day/week of a full time brewer?
I'm guessing this will be different for different brewers...but the one guaranteed common ground is that cleaning is something I'm doing every day :)
Otherwise anything and everything is possible. Brewing, cleaning tanks, kegging, bottling, filling barrels and some mundane/unromantic things that I'll leave out :)
Q: Brewing awesome beer that geeks rave about---is it more about knowledge and experimenting? Or it’s more of individual talent thing?
Is this a trick question? ;) I think it is both. And passion.
Q: Has Asia—Singapore in particular—been calling you home? (for beer related projects)
I think home is always on the horizon. That's where most of my family is. But for now, I'm really enjoying where I am, on this fun and educational journey.
Q: In your own words-- explain to a newbie—what is craft beer—why should he or she give craft beer a try?No matter what your taste preferences or mood, I think craft beer has something to offer everyone and that's the great beauty of it.