If you enjoy drinking beer, you’ll probably complain about the obvious options you have in Singapore.
From tiger beer to the crown to Heineken, mass-produced beers tend to have a monotonous, unpleasant taste. You may drink these beers just to get alcohol and not because you really appreciate the taste and flavor.
Will Julius, an American-Indonesian businessman, saw a gap in the Singapore market and decided to start Lion Brewery Co., a craft beer company.
Having lived in London, Germany and Australia, Julius had indulged in the variety, choices and abundance of craft beer options out there.
When he was a student in London, he lived 20 meters from a local bar that served delicious homemade beers, which made him fall in love with the concept of craft beer. The cherry on top was that it offered discounts to students.
He later began a brief career as a football player in Germany and then moved to Melbourne to work for four years in marketing. When he moved to Singapore, he met his co-founder Harry Renshaw, who is an avid homemade brewer.
Then they decided they wanted to produce and sell beers that they would like to drink themselves.
Beer for Singapore’s tropical climate
Craft beers taste better because they are made with specific ingredients selected by hand and are only produced in smaller batches by master brewers who really love beer.
They are brewed with specific flavors in mind, so you’ll almost never find two craft beers exactly the same. Craft beers also often vary according to the season, depending on the availability of ingredients at a particular time of year.
When Julius first moved to Singapore, he realized that not only are there craft beer options in Singapore, but the ones available here are quite dense and not easy to consume for low-intensity drinkers.
They are usually of the India Pale Ale (IPA) variety, which is a style of hop beer within the broadest category of pale ale widespread in England since 1815 and which grew in popularity worldwide. IPA beers in Singapore tend to be very salty and have an alcohol content of over six per cent.
According to Julius, his team has perfected a recipe for three flagship craft beers and eight seasonal beers that are perfect for serving at room temperature. They have a lower alcohol content of about five percent or less, as does the variety of commercial beers.
On the one hand, Lion Brewery beers are crisp, refreshing and easy to drink like commercial beers, but on the other hand, they are also tasty with a lot of character due to the use of natural and top quality ingredients. .
They have their own independent production facilities in Singapore that are not connected to any brewery. An in-house master brewer from Singapore selected unique ingredients to craft distinctive beer flavors that became his star products.
The Straits Pale Ale is a crispy pale ale, with simple Citra lumens, both in the bitter and dry phases, for lychee and citrus notes, while Lager Island is a clean German-inspired beer made with hops. Hallertau Blanc for a light aroma of elderflower and pine.
Finally, their New England Session IPA is a juicy, unfiltered, all-natural drink with flavors at full blast with a refreshing 4.8% alcohol content.
Coming from an old London heritage
Julius bought an old black and white British craft beer label called Lion Brewery and brought it back to life in Singapore, the city of lions.
It was such a serendipitous find. I am a history buff and as a craft beer aficionado, I read about the history and origin of craft beers and interesting breweries through the ages. Then I met Lion Brewery and I knew it had to be our label.
Will Julius, founder and CEO of Lion Brewery Co.
The history of the Lion Brewery dates back to 1836 in London, where it was originally founded on the banks of the River Thames. For more than a hundred years, the brewery produced high-quality beers that were shipped across the seas to all parts of the world, including Southeast Asia.
When the brewery was demolished in 1949, the two iconic lion statues were preserved at the request of King George VI.
They can still be found in London today: one on the banks of the Thames, in front of the Houses of Parliament, and the other at the entrance to Twickenham Stadium, the home of English rugby.
Since the creation of Lion Brewery in Singapore in December 2018, they have been growing and expanding very rapidly.
Lion Brewery beers are available on its e-commerce platform, through distributors such as Cold Storage and FairPrice Finest, as well as more than 150 non-market bars, restaurants, hotels and retail partners in Singapore.
The locations they serve are usually top quality places that match the brand of their beers, such as 1880, Straits Clan, Foxtail, SG Taps, Cafe Gavroche, Goodluck Beerhouse, Orh Gao Taproom, Sixteen Ounces, American Taproom, Burn , Boulevard, among others.
When Covid-19 arrived, they quickly adapted by focusing more on the B2C (business-to-consumer) route rather than selling to event and site partners.
They also have expansion plans to enter new markets in Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and also the UK.
The only carbon-negative keg beer in Singapore
Lion Brewery is always looking for best practices to make its products and operations environmentally friendly, without compromising the quality of its beer.
They have committed to being totally carbon negative. To do so, they have related GreenStepGroup to plant a tree in Indonesia for every pint of beer sold in its barrel. For this year, they plan to plant 200 trees a month.
They calculated all the cost of carbon needed to produce a barrel or beer and the cost of carbon was offset by planting and cultivating a tree. They found that a tree would deny the carbon footprint of a barrel’s life cycle, so it is safe to say that its barrel beer is 100% carbon negative.
The growth and progress of each tree can be monitored through Green Steps Group’s proprietary “plant test” technology platform that combines geotagging, camera traps and multispectral satellite imagery.
A unique QR code links to the location, date and time of planting a tree and information about the local farmer. All planted trees will be geotagged under Lion Brewery Co and the associated F&B premises that purchased the barrel.
Lion lovers enjoying their beers at home can also help sponsor tree planting by adding just $ 4 to any order placed on the e-store’s purchase page.
Julius hopes this strategy will encourage partners to share their environmental contribution to their own customers, thus spreading the trend and goodwill.
The point of launching this company is to create interesting beers that reflect the passion and values of our team and our customers. It’s not about massively scaling beers at the lowest possible cost to maximize profits; it’s about creating something that others can appreciate and enjoy.
The center of our mission is to promote a conscious and intentional life. We want our customers to choose our beer intentionally because they appreciate all the ingredients and the thoughtful process involved in creating our product. We also want them to understand the carbon impact of their consumption and give them the opportunity to offset it.
Will Julius, founder and CEO of Lion Brewery Co.
Featured Image Credit: Lion Brewery Co.