British heritage craft brewery, Lion Brewery Co, has re-launched in Singapore after a 70-year slumber, with a time-honoured passion for exceptional beers designed for the tropical climate, and a new focus on clean living and sustainable practices.
The original Lion Brewery Co dates back to London in 1836, where it shipped well hopped ales – made to be transported and consumed in hot weather – to trading posts around the world. This was the inception of what we now call “IPA” (India Pale Ale) as the hops are naturally antibacterical and strong in flavour to ensure great tasting beer even after the long journey.
When the brewery was damaged by fire and closed in 1949, the iconic lion statues were preserved at the request of King George VI. They can still be found today outside the British Houses of Parliament and at the entrance of the world renowned Twickenham Stadium, home of English rugby.
“Our ancestors in London and Singapore would have been drinking Lion Brewery Co’s IPA throughout the Victorian era” explains British-born, Harry Renshaw. “It was the brewery’s history, along with the unusual connection between our birth and current homes, that compelled us to resurrect the brand. And what better place to do so than in Singapore, the “lion city” itself.”
Co-founders Harry Renshaw and Will Julius began by brewing in their kitchens. Faced with commercial lagers, or overpriced and often very strong craft beers available in the market, they were intent on creating a delicious and easy drinking beer with the very finest ingredients.
“After many trials and tests on our ever-patient friends and family, our final product was met with such an enthusiastic response that we decided to release it for the rest of the market to enjoy” says Renshaw. “We decided that our first beer would be named Straits Pale Ale, reflecting the tropical hop profile and crisp, “sessionable” quality, specially designed for the hot, humid climate of Southeast Asia.”
Subscribing to the era of healthy living, Straits Pale Ale is unpasteurized to preserve the flavor, healthy yeasts and enzymes, and has a moderate alcohol content. It is made with all natural ingredients, and uses cold chain logistics to ensure the highest quality, freshest beer.
Lion Brewery Co is also a fervent supporter of sustainable practices. They have moved to paper labels on their bottles and have invested in 100% compostable cups for their events.
“We realise these efforts are a drop in the ocean, and we are constantly on the look out for new ways to improve”, says Renshaw. “We hope to trailblaze these practices away from our own unique selling proposition towards it being the norm for similar businesses and events”.
Today, Lion’s Straits Pale Ale is available in over 50 bars across Singapore, and is soon to be joined by a sibling, Island Lager, launching in June 2019.