Lifestyle

I Drank On The Job To Find Out How RedMart's New Craft Beer Is Made

  • Vulcan Post takes a tour around Archipelago Brewery’s factory
  • We see what goes on behind the making of RedMart and Archipelago’s joint craft brew, CODE RED Lemongrass Pale Ale

In the middle of March this year, RedMart and Lazada completed their union, as the online supermarket migrated onto the ecommerce platform.

The same year Lazada had acquired RedMart in 2016, the online grocer also inked a partnership with Singapore’s “No. 1 craft brewery”, Archipelago Brewery, to be the exclusive online retailer for the Singapore Blonde Ale.

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Sharing a laugh over a (small) pint / Image Credit: RedMart

To take the relationship further, RedMart has launched CODE RED Lemongrass Pale Ale, its first-ever collaboration beer with Archipelago.

Vulcan Post was given the opportunity to have a look at what goes behind the brewing process at Archipelago Brewery – not to mention, have a taste of their fresh brew!

What’s Brewing, Doc?

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Members of the media gets to try milling malt / Image Credit: RedMart

First, barley malt is crushed and poured into a milling machine.

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Collecting malt that has been milled / Image Credit: RedMart

After the malt has been milled, they will be put into a mash lauter tun to be mashed and then lautered, a process that separates the mash into clear liquid wort and residual grain.

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Milled malt / Image Credit: Vulcan Post
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Archipelago’s brewer explaining to us the process / Image Credit: Vulcan Post
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A brewer pouring in the malt into the tun / Image Credit: Vulcan Post

The lautered mixture will then be moved to the brew kettle next to the tun to boil.

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All the ingredients that go into making the CODE RED Lemongrass Pale Ale / Image Credit: Vulcan Post

Hops, which add to the flavours and aroma of the beer, will be added into the boiling process. The more variety of hops added, the more complex flavour of beer you’ll get.

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The big, metal vat is where the fresh beer’s at / Image Credit: RedMart

Once the wort is extracted, yeast will be added to begin the fermentation process and condition the beer, sharpening the flavours before it coagulates and sinks to the bottom of the cone.

After a filtration process, the beer is sent to the bright beer storage where it waits to be packaged.

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Unfiltered, carbonated fresh beer / Image Credit: Vulcan Post

At different points of the tour, we were given a small glass to taste the beer at its different stages of brewing.

We first tried unfiltered, carbonated beer fresh from the vat. Before we put our lips to the glass, we were given a beer appreciation tip to swirl it.

Archipelago’s senior brewer explained that the unfiltered beer looks a little cloudy as there is still some yeast residue in it.

It tasted like any light beer in the market but much fresher – and I’m now convinced that everyone should now drink beer straight from the brewery in all its freshness.

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Pale ale that’s still fermenting / Image Credit: Vulcan Post

Then we had a sip of pale ale that’s still fermenting; it’s flatter because it has not been carbonated yet, and has a slightly airy, yeasty taste.

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Pale ale that’s almost ready to be bottled / Image Credit: Vulcan Post

Finally, we tasted a sample of a finished pale ale that is ready to be filtered and packaged. The liquid amber is much clearer than the previous one, and it tastes lighter, less yeasty, more malty, and slightly sweet with just a hint of bitterness.

Code: Red-y For The Heat

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The Tiger Tavern / Image Credit: Vulcan Post

When the tour ended, we headed to the Tiger Tavern to enjoy the CODE RED.

According to RedMart, the limited edition craft beer is infused with lemongrass and jasmine flavours and should leave a “crisp aftertaste” as its moderate bitterness is balanced out with a light body.

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Image Credit: Vulcan Post

The CODE RED was served to us chilled, and at first taste, it was so refreshing that I felt a little bit more energised after the tour around the warm brewery.

As I took more sips of the light pale ale, the lemongrass taste became increasingly stronger, but not to the extent of overpowering the jasmine aroma – which makes this beverage so easy to drink.

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We got first taste of RedMart’s private label product, Crispy Salted Egg Cereal, set to launch in August / Image Credit: Vulcan Post

Because of its lightness and clear taste, the CODE RED is best paired with hearty and savoury local delights like black pepper crab, sambal stingray, salted egg yolk prawn, and perfectly grilled satay.

Just imagine digging in to a tze char feast at Chomp Chomp Food Centre with your friends and washing down each bite with a gulp of refreshing CODE RED… pretty shiok, in my opinion.

The CODE RED is not too bitter, which is great for a light drink in the day too, and the flavours complements spicy and citrusy foods.

Part of our tasting experience comes with trying a base pale ale and mixing three different flavours to get a feel of what the production process is like.

A Thirst To Quench

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Media sharing session / Image Credit: Vulcan Post

It took the RedMart and Archipelago teams six months and two rounds of product development to perfect the recipe, choosing the neutral-tasting pale ale as the base so the jasmine and lemongrass flavours can stand out.

Going by the positive response they’ve had so far, RedMart revealed that they may produce more CODE RED in the future and make it a mainstay in its catalogue.

Singapore has seen a growing demand for craft beer options in recent years, and there are more than 20 craft beer bars in the market, RedMart shared in a statement.

RedMart and Archipelago Brewery hope to explore releasing an expanded range of collaboration brews in the future, including ales, lagers, pilsners, stouts and porters.

The CODE RED Lemongrass Pale Ale is RedMart’s answer to this demand, as it expands its offering of global craft and mainstream beer brands with this Singapore-centric product.

The CODE RED has a 4.5% alcohol percentage and there are only a limited quantity of 7,200 bottles produced which are sold in 4-packs that cost $20.80, available exclusively on RedMart.

Alice Canty, Senior Category Manager for Beer, Wine & Spirits at RedMart, said, “RedMart is a tech company at heart, and we wanted this to come across in the branding for CODE RED. The name is a nod to RedMart’s tech roots and celebrates the brand’s iconic red logo colour.”

“We felt the unique but subtle lemongrass and jasmine notes are a great differentiator from current offerings in the craft beer market, and more importantly a celebration of Singapore flavour.”

Featured Image Credit: RedMart

VP Goes To is a series where we take you to the latest events and coolest spaces for an exclusive inside look. Know a place or event we should check out? Leave a comment here or send the suggestion to our Facebook page.

 

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