In recent years, craft beer has grown in popularity in Malaysia. But how does normal beer differ from craft beer? Well, craft beers are typically produced by small independent breweries. With a focus on quality ingredients and flavours, you will find that craft beers have a richer flavour profile and greater alcohol concentration.
When you walk into a place selling craft beer, you will be bombarded with cans and bottles of beer in colourful and artsy designs with unique names that immediately draw your attention. But this also means you get confused on what beer to try (especially if you are as clueless about beer as me).
Before we go any further, here are some things you should know:
1. Lager VS Ale: Lagers (pronounced laa-guh) taste light and a little malty. Beers such as Heineken and Carlsberg are lagers. They are a great entry point to anyone who is new at drinking beer. Ales, on the other hand, are richer and more full-flavored such as stouts, Indian Pale Ales (IPAs) and pale ales.
2. Hops: A common term that you would hear to describe beer – hops is a type of plant that is the source of the bitterness, aroma, and flavour you get in beer. Beers that are described as “hoppy” are the ones that have a bitter flavour or the ones with fruity, floral aromas. While dark beers such as porters and stouts are dominated by the taste of malt.
3. ABV (Alcohol by volume): ABV is the standard measure of how much alcohol is contained in a certain volume of alcoholic beverage. The higher the percentage, the more alcohol the drink contains.
4. Craft beer types: When it comes to craft beer, there are a few more terms you should know. Indian Pale Ales (IPAs) are a type of amber-coloured ale that can be bitter, citrusy, floral, herbal, or piney in its taste. They are also generally higher in alcohol content. Pale ales have a lower alcohol volume with a taste balanced between hoppy and malty. Pilsners are lagers with additional hops, which give them more flavour. Originated from Czech Republic, Czech pilsners are dark with higher bitterness while German pilsners are pale gold in colour with a crisp flavour.
These are just some of the more common types of craft beers but there are more out there as breweries get more creative. So don’t be afraid to try any new fancy craft beer that you come across! Without further ado, here are 7 places in Klang Valley to enjoy some craft beer.
1. Eco Wine
A wine, beer and spirits store that also operates as a bar, drop by to quench your thirst with a can or bottle of craft beer whenever you are in the Kuchai Lama area. Open from 12pm onwards, you can enjoy a glass of cooling beer along with Western and Asian dishes or snack on some bar bites and skewers. Other than craft beer, they also sell a wide selection of premium wine and alcohol that you could pick up to enjoy at home.
Address: 12A, Jalan 10, 116B, Jalan Kuchai Maju 11, Kuchai Entrepreneurs Park, 58200 Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: 12:00pm – 11:30pm (Daily)
Contact no: +6012-323 3018
If you have heard of craft beer before, then you probably have heard of Paus too. Named Paus which is the Malay word that stands for ‘whale’ – they are named so because in craft beer terminology, a craft beer whale is considered a unique trophy beer. As such, it is their quest to search and offer the best from the sea of craft beer out there. They have also curated a food menu to pair with the beers they offer, ensuring the perfect combination. I remember visiting this hidden bar a few years back and found it a cosy place to hang out with friends.
Address: 42A (1st Floor), Persiaraan Zaaba, Taman Tun Dr. Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: 5pm – 12am (Closed on Sundays)
Contact no: +603-7731 8006
A charming rooftop bar in Seri Kembangan, brace yourself if you want to reach this hidden bar. You will have to climb up three flights of narrow spiral staircase which might not be an easy task for those with fear of heights. But we’ll do anything for good craft beer and a pretty sunset, right? Once you conquer your fear, you will find a large selection of craft beer from all around the world including some pretty cool ones from Estonia and Norway awaiting you.
Address: 1502A, Jalan Besar, Kampung Baru Seri Kembangan, 43300 Seri Kembangan, Selangor
Opening hours: 6:30pm – 12am (Closed on Mondays)
Contact no: +6017-642 1588
Located at the lower ground floor of Isetan The Japan Store, Takumi Craft Bar specialises in Japanese craft beers, whiskies, wines and spirits. Offered on draught at the bar, you can also try their craft beers through the tasting set that offers three kinds of beer. If you are looking for a bite to accompany your drink, choose from their canned delicacies such as wine-steamed mussels and lemon peppered oysters. Alternatively, you can also walk around the store’s market to find sashimi or Japanese sweet potatoes.
Address: Isetan The Japan Store, Lower Ground Floor, Lot 10, 50 Jalan Sultan Ismail 50250 Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: 11am – 9pm (Daily)
Contact no: +603-2141 7777
5. Farmer’s Bar
With several outlets in Klang Valley, Farmer’s Bar is a craft beer specialist that opened back in 2018. The branch that in located in Subang Parade features an unexpected oasis of trees and space that you wouldn’t imagine in a mall. The branch at Kota Damansara makes a great place for those with pets as they are pet-friendly both indoors and outdoors. With a spacious garden that has an open concept, patrons are allowed to enjoy picnics and potlucks. And when it comes to craft beer, they offer 300 to 400 types of craft beer! They also regularly rotate the craft beers that they have on tap which means more fresh varieties to try.
Address: Puchong, Subang Parade, Kota Damansara
Opening hours: 2pm – 12am (Daily)
Puchong (+603-9548 0665)
Subang Parade (+603-8605 8154)
Kota Damansara (+6011-6278 1060)
Head over to Gavel if you ever find yourself in the heart of KL – just look for a bight yellow restaurant along Jalan Yap Ah Shak. Bringing back old school nostalgic vibes, you will find comforting Western dishes on their menu and a respectable selection of craft beers. We would recommend the Sunday Roast as it is a crowd favourite. With a warm and cosy setting and interesting murals on the walls, it makes a great place to hang out with family or friends despite being in the centre of a bustling city.
Address: 20, Jalan Yap Ah Shak, Chow Kit, 50300 Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: 12pm – 10pm (Tues-Sat), 12pm – 6pm (Sun)
Contact no: +6012-209 7950
An unassuming café located at one of downtown KL’s backstreets, you will be delighted to find simple Asian comfort food that is sure to fulfil your appetite. It may not be very spacious, but the owners have made it a comfortable environment with souvenirs that got from their travels. It is probably the least likely place for you to find alcohol, but they do serve a selection of craft beers including some from Taiwan.
Address: 138, Jalan Choo Cheng Khay, Kampung Attap, 50460 Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: 12pm – 6pm (Sun-Tues), 10am – 10pm (Fri), 12pm – 12am (Sat)
Contact no: +6016-258 0815
Alcoholic drinks not up your alley? How about plant-based milk? Here are 7 places other than the supermarket to find plant-based milk to suit your dietary needs!
Like this article? Then you might also like: