If you need an indication of just how much the craft beer scene has grown in the last five years, all you need to do is take a look at The Better Beer Festival, Malaysia’s biggest – and only – craft beer festival.
The first Better Beer Festival in 2012, held at Taps Beer Bar in Changkat Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur only drew about 200 people. Now, compare that to last October’s event at Publika Shopping Gallery which drew almost 3,500 craft beer lovers.
The festival returns this year on Oct 6 and 7 at White Box & The Square in Publika, and the organisers, craft beer distributors MyBeer, are expecting about 6,000 people to show up.
“We never expected such a big crowd last year,” says Alvin Lim, co-founder of MyBeer and Taps Beer Bar. “After the festival, we definitely saw more people getting interested in craft beer, and the participating local outlets saw more business as well.”
“We started The Better Beer Festival in 2012 as a celebration of craft beer in Malaysia. Every year, we made it a point to bring in more craft beers from more breweries… and this year is no different,” he adds.
With 250 different craft beers from 43 breweries compared to about 150 brands last year, this year’s event is going to see a much wider range of beers to sample. The beers come from all over the world, including the USA, Australia, England, Scotland, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam.
Scottish brewers Brewdog and Tempest Brewing will be sending representatives, as will Hawkers from Australia, Hitachino Nest from Japan, and Pasteur Street from Vietnam.
“We’re proud that two craft brewers from Thailand will also be coming, Sandport and Happy New Beer,” Lim says. “Craft brewers from Thailand tend to struggle to brew in their country because of the strict rules. Sandport actually brews in Taiwan, while Happy New Beer brews in Australia.”
Besides the breweries, local craft beer purveyors such as Paus Beer Bar, Gold Bar Beer Dining and Crafted Belgium Beers will also be returning. Other beer-centric activities include Meet-The-Brewers and Beer Appreciation sessions.
“The two Thai brewers will be talking about how difficult it is to brew beer in a country where it is illegal!” Lim says.
This year’s Better Beer Festival will have a range of specially-curated food and live music performances by Malaysian musicians. There will also be four mini events in September leading up to the festival proper, involving collaborations with four outlets – craft beer infused dishes with Glass Tartines & Tipples (16/9); a food, sake and craft beer pairing with Japanese outlet Tabe Tomo (20/9); a beer ice cream class with Ice Cream Bar; and a craft beer cocktail masterclass with Pahit Bar, who have even created a specially designed Rum Bubble Milk Tea for the Better Beer Festival.
There will also be a collaboration with Uber for its ‘Don’t Drink & Drive’ campaign launch at the festival, where attendees will get promo codes for their rides to and from the festival.
Entry to The Better Beer Festival 2017 is free. Tickets for Beer Appreciation Sessions are available here and at Taps Beer Bar outlets. For early birds, a minimum purchase of RM200 in beer vouchers will get you complimentary festival glasses.
For more information, visit their official website, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 011-2713 9279.