Quinn Lea learns about beers with a difference — craft beer
BEER is more than just lager. Just like wine, there are many varieties. And if you feel like getting to know them better, head for a craft beer bar such as Taps Beer Bar in Kuala Lumpur.
Craft beer is produced in limited amounts by a small-sized brewery. Often, craft beer is available on tap, which means it tastes fresher than those in bottles.
During a recent visit to Taps Beer Bar, I had a revelation about this drink. I’m beginning to see the “classier” side of beer. Previously, my impression of beer had never been good. Now, I’ve come to realise that beer is an acquired taste.
I never knew about chocolate beer. As I sipped it, the porter-style beer tasted quite heavy and bitter. Its aftertaste was pronounced and the bitterness of this dark-coloured beer seems to pull you back for more. Weird but intriguing.
Chocolate beer is just one of the lesser-known beers. Two of Taps Beer Bar’s owners, Aaron and Alvin Lim, say that other than lager, Malaysians are not exposed to any other varieties of beer such as smoked, porter, single hop and golden ale.
“We lack choices when it comes to good beer. That is why we introduced the outlet so that people can discover different types of beer in the market. They can join the craft beer revolution,” says Aaron.
Although beer is generally associated with guys in this country, Aaron believes that women can develop a liking for it.
“There are plenty of choices. A woman may prefer a more subtle taste, so she can opt for beers with fruity notes.”
Taps Beer Bar serves its beverages based on a rotating tap system — the types of beer available are changed constantly. It carries beer from Australia, United Kingdom, Scotland, New Zealand, United States, Norway and Denmark.
“Very few outlets offer craft beer, and even fewer offer craft beer on tap. I’d go even further to say that we are the only ones in Malaysia to offer a rotating tap concept. We hope to make craft beer readily available here,” says Alvin.
With this rotating tap concept, the outlet showcases about 14 types of beer at a time. Only small quantities of the beer are brought into the country.
“Chances are, what you drink on the tap today, may not be available when you come back in two weeks. If your favourite beer on tap is no longer available, we have similar beer, which the beer ambassadors and bartenders will recommend,” added Alvin.
By changing the taps regularly, the freshness of the beer is ensured. The beer at Taps Beer Bar is tastier than the ones available at convenience stores, and the aromas and their flavours are unique too.
For those who prefer to take away beer, check out the few selections in bottled beer.
The bar also serves small meals such as pizzas (beef rendang, anchovies with egg yolk and sambal ikan bilis), nachos grande, crispy soft shell crab and ikan bilis with chillies and onions. The pizza rendang is a winner.
The industrial design of the outlet suits the ambience of a beer establishment.
Cousins Aaron and Alvin run the place with family members Milli Lim, Brian Chong and Adrian Chong. Located at No. 1 Jalan Nagasari, Off Jalan Raja Chulan in Kuala Lumpur, Taps Beer Bar is worth a visit by beer lovers.