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Beer Reviews

Brewlander Where The Birds Don’t Lay Eggs, West Coast IPA, 7.5% ABV


For a country that's synonymous with being small - the 20th smallest in the world in fact - you'll amusingly often hear Singaporeans throw in a backhanded quip or two about having to go to either the east or the west of the island.

Whenever someone has to travel to the side they're not at, you'll often hear something to the effect of "wah! I need to bring my passport", suggesting that it were equivalent to crossing over some sort of state borders. And then within the local Chinese dialect, you'll hear the phrase "鸟不生蛋" (which is read as niǎo  shēng dàn in phonetics) and translates to mean somewhere being so obscure that even birds don't lay eggs there.

I thought it was very cute that Singapore's own Brewlander, perhaps the most established craft brewer in the country, had thought to use that saying as a pun on the West Coast IPA style that this beer was brewed in.


If you're in the East, definitely worth checking out!  


So much so that I travelled all the way to the east to grab a half pint of it - and if we're really talking distance, Brewlander's brewery is in the west, meaning that this beer had travelled from west to east, and so did I for this review.

It was also a good chance to check out a real community taproom called Locality - what a lovely name, and run by a very smiley bartender, Dennis - and so I made my journey to the east (there's also an oft used local joke about having to "journey to the west" which also happens to be a popular Chinese mythical tale of the same name - as you can see, there are many jokes about having to travel coast to coast here).



For some reason, despite how small Singapore is, the other side of the island still somehow feels far. I've rationalised that it's because for locals, going from coast to coast is about 45 minutes by car or about an hour and a half by train - it's far but not impossibly far. So we still somehow find ourselves on occasion - think a housewarming or running some errands - having to make the trip, which then feels impossibly burdensome. It's far, but not far enough to not have to make the trip.

Yet as someone who lives in the West, which seems to get the most public disdain for being far, I'd just like to say that MOST birds lay eggs in the West, because that's where our country's only bird park resides.

So there.

Time for the beer!

Brewlander Where The Birds Don’t Lay Eggs, West Coast IPA, 7.5% ABV - Review


Tasting Note

Color: Amber 

Aroma: This has pretty strong aromas of dark honey, black tea, as well as brighter scent of light grassiness in the backdrop. It’s aromas are rather bountiful and hefty, with a good mix of slightly darker, sweeter notes contrast again something that is brighter, more bitter, also awfully reminiscent of the the devil’s lettuce.

Taste: Just as it’s aromas, it feels heft and thicker, with more along the same lines of sweeter dark honey and skunkier, danker fresh cut grass. Also some passionfruit. As time goes on it tilts more towards the dank side, with more bitterness coming through.

Finish: Mostly a continuation of before but this time with a more apparent but still fairly gentle drying sensation. Here the bitter fresh cut grass is more forward, with only a backbone of the dark honey. It’s a clean finish, but a lingering bitterness that just almost gets nippy.


My Thoughts

For someone that isn’t into bitter beers, I actually enjoyed this a lot mostly because of how flavour packed it was, with a thicker flavour as a result of that dark honey. 

That heftiness made the grassiness go much easier on me - and to that end, the tight balance it ran between sweet and bitter notes was something that I thought was really well done.
It’s bold and big, and yet balanced, but also kudos for it so distinctly embodying that single flavour pair of honey sweet - grassy bitter. It just perfectly expresses it from start to finish and for that I find it so distinctive and enjoyable. If you’d ask me for such a flavour, I’d have no close seconds but to point you to this expression.

Solid brew!