11 Nov 2015
Lepak gets a whole new meaning at the laid-back Little Island Brewing Co at far-flung Changi Village. It’s a lot of things at once: a craft beer bar, a microbrewery and a smokehouse that churns out its own barbecued meats.
It was set up by four local entrepreneurs and fronted by Francis Khoo, 48, an investor-turned-F&B entrepreneur. It’s located next to Tekong Seafood zhi char eatery, and may just be the coolest thing in the east right now. Francis says the idea to set up the place came in the midst of a “mid-life crisis”. He went for a diving trip in Bali and met Steve Spinney, 60, the British master brewer and co-owner of Storm Beers, a brewery in Bali. He liked the brewery so much he decided to recreate a similar chill-out space in Singapore. Steve now serves as a brewing consultant at Little Island, flying in regularly from Bali to keep things up to scratch.
11 Nov 2015
The Look & Vibe
It looks like an old warehouse outside. But the massive interior is like a school cafeteria given a mod industrial facelift, which incidentally cost a cool $1.6 million. The 270 seater is filled with long communal wooden tables and beautiful copper tanks that store craft beers behind the card-operated beer taps.
The best part of the space might be its gorgeous seaside view if you dine al fresco. Lots of families here add to the warm, convivial vibe. It appears that the hipster craft beer geeks haven’t quite descended on this place yet, but that may change when the large microbrewery — long beset with problems trying to secure a brewing license — is finally up and running from November 21. There’s a fun payment system for the booze here: you add value to an EZ-Link-like card via credit card and tap it at the drinks station to get your goods. The beer is charged by the millilitre, and you pour it yourself. The system calculates how much you’ve poured and deducts it from your tab.
So you pay for what you drink, which can be as little or as much as you like. All the glasses here measure a pint (590ml), which works out to about $10-$18 per beer depending on the label.
11 Nov 2015
Because the house brews aren’t ready, we stick to the imported craft beers offered on tap. There's a rotating selection of about six. We like the approachable Soundwave by English brewery Siren Craft ($3.10 per 100ml; about $18 a pint), a mildly bitter and deliciously malty, light and dry beer. The Cockies Ocean Road Pale Ale ($1.80 per 100ml; about $10 a pint), from Melbourne brewery Barrabool Brewing is also good. It’s really easy to drink with its fruity, mildly spicy notes. When it’s up and running, the microbrewery will eventually offer seven types of English-style beers with malt imported from the UK.
11 Nov 2015
A handsome open kitchen and hybrid gas-electric smoker fuelled with jarrah and applewood produces meaty plates. Such as the 15 Hour Smoked Beef Brisket ($13.80 for 100g). While this is deliriously tender and melty in spots, it’s also dry and stringy in others. Moreover, it’s less smoke-kissed than we’d hoped. We prefer the fabulous Barbecue Pork Ribs (above, $26.50 for two racks). Smoked for 12 hours, the meat falls off the bone in soft, luscious chunks, and is smothered in a punchy, tangy barbecue sauce.
#01-01/02, 6 Changi Village, S509907. Tel: 6543-9100. Open daily except Mon. Tue-Fri noon-midnight; Sat-Sun 10am-midnight. Last orders at closing (drinks); at 10pm (food). http://www.libc.co/