The spurt in the number of local craft breweries in Singapore over the past few years is seen in a positive light by Lion Brewery Co, which believes that it would help grow the market and introduce more people to locally produced beers.
“The best way for Singapore breweries to stand out from foreign counterparts is by not cutting any corners in the brewing processes and ensuring all products that get to market are of an exceptional standard.
“We can also leverage Singapore’s popularity as a tourist destination to build our reputation as the best beer-producer in Southeast Asia (SEA) and beyond. This is something that our company takes very seriously, but it will only work if everyone is committed to it,” Will Julius, co-founder of Lion Brewery Co, told FoodNavigator-Asia.
Four years since its launch, Lion Brewery Co now has its craft beers served at more than 150 F&B establishments in Singapore. The company has also gained a foothold in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Cambodia and the United Kingdom (UK).
It is also widely available in major supermarkets and e-commerce sites.
Furthermore, its flagship brewpub in the heart of Singapore’s Central Business District is home to over 20 taps of craft beers prepared on-site at the 500L microbrewery.
“As more consumers discover and appreciate the unique flavours and characteristics of craft beer, many industry players are also starting to see the value in having craft beer on tap and on their menus. In a way, we have managed to convert people from commercial beers to craft beers,” Julius added.
New flavours on the way
In addition to six core range of beers, Lion Brewery Co has crafted more than 70 seasonal varieties to date, all of which are focused on “sessionability” — strong-flavoured beers that are easy to drink.
“Product development is a continuous process for us. Our brewing team is given free rein to experiment with different ingredients and techniques to create special, high-quality beers. We will have a few exciting new releases in 2023, and we’ll be bringing back some favourites from our seasonal brews, such as Ong Lai Pineapple Sour, which was launched amid great fanfare last year,” Julius revealed.
In addition, Julius said that Singapore’s strategic location provides opportunities for the company to form partnerships with other businesses, and to create exclusive beers inspired by tourists from all over the world.
On occasion, Lion Brewery Co also offers guest taps of other local and international craft beers for customers to try a wider selection of booze.
Beyond the little red dot
Like many others, Lion Brewery Co had to contend with challenges brought on by the pandemic. Nevertheless, the company has seen a remarkable 216% growth in annual revenue since its first year of business.
“This growth has enabled us to build a business that not only makes quality beer, but is also committed to sustainability, a key tenet for us. We’re at a scale where we are able to switch to suppliers and partners that have the same ethos as us, and do things like reforestation programmes to offset our carbon footprint,” said Julius.
With the return of on-premise consumption and physical events in the post-pandemic era, the on-trade business is once again Lion Brewery Co’s dominant revenue stream.
While the company acknowledges that the world still needs time to “reset” itself, it has made grand plans for the year.
“Singapore is our home and largest market, but we are also experiencing significant growth in the UK, Hong Kong, and particularly Indonesia, where the craft beer scene is beginning to boom. I’m looking forward to seeing the potential the market has and what we can do there!
“2023 could be a big year for us, with additional markets coming onto the map. We are exploring various new grounds in the SEA region, and we are also in the midst of negotiations to bring Lion Brewery Co to the Middle East next year,” Julius shared.