The view is of steely skyscrapers and neon signs, lush green trees, a colonial cricket pitch flanked by the squat old City Hall and Supreme Court, the super-modern Supertree Grove of Gardens by the Bay, cargo ships passing through the Strait, the three towers of Marina Bay Sands, and lots and lots of clear sky. It’s from up here on the 33rd floor, at LeVeL33, the highest urban brewery in the world, that you appreciate what a singular place Singapore is. It’s also a singular view from an urban brewery.
Visit To Level33, Singapore The World’s Highest Urban Brewery Photo Gallery
It’s brewing at the high-end, literally. It’s a smart cocktail bar with a smarter brewkit behind it, a gleaming, copper-covered, thousand-liter (8.5-barrel) brewhouse (the kind of copper that needs polishing thrice a week to remove grubby, greasy fingerprints). The brewhouse is a two-vessel mash kettle and lauter, capable of decoction mashing—a process used in the lager. There are typically six beers available: Blonde Lager, German-style Wheat, English-ish IPA, Irish-style Stout, House Porter (a blend of IPA and Stout made when it’s poured), and a seasonal special. They’re all served from tanks behind the bar. You’ll also see big tanks when you walk in from the elevator. These are the fermentation and conditioning tanks, and the beers you’ll be drinking next week.
The food is at the high-end of brewpub dining, with a beer snack menu of fancy finger food and many of the dishes using various beers as ingredients. And there’s a dedicated list of beer cocktails, which judiciously use the brews in clever ways, and is one of the better applications of cocktails I’ve tasted—it’s also a simple side-step to introduce an emerging nation of craft beer drinkers to come and play on our side. And that’s one important aspect of LeVeL33: this is primarily a cool rooftop bar and most first-time visitors come for the view. Because of this, the beers have to work for everyone, from that coktail crowd to the beer lovers. And they do because the beers are very good, very clean, and very well made.
The IPA was my favorite; it was a love letter to Kent hops. One gulp and I was sitting by the Thanet coast drinking a pint of Gadds No.3, which is one of the best compliments I can give a beer. Gadds brew in East Kent with a fanatic love of East Kent Golding hops and LeVeL33’s IPA, brewed in Southeast Asia, on the edge of the equator, is literally half a world away from Ramsgate, yet flavorwise they are next-door neighbors. It’s a glass of orangey, tangy, marmalade-y, floral hops, deeply set within the beer, with a nutty malt character in front of it.
The beers are all perfectly brewed in the clean, European style. They give you the feeling of getting into a bed of tightly made fresh sheets in a luxurious hotel. They’re not disruptive or destructive; instead, they’re classy and classic, and emblematic of smart, west-facing Singapore in general—and they do what they need to do in the best way. But even the most dedicated beer geek won’t be there dissecting the decoction mash; they’ll be looking out at the best view from an urban brewery anywhere in the world.
Whether you’re coming more for the beer or the view, you’ll definitely enjoy both at LeVeL33.
WHAT: LeVeL33 Brewery and Restaurant HOW: www.level3 3. com. sg
WHERE: 8 Marina Boulevard, Marina Bay Financial Center Tower 1, Singapore
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