From the finest ingredients, the exotic burst of flavours, and the mere artistry that goes behind it, it’s no question why Singaporeans are beginning to develop a taste for locally-brewed craft beer. But did you know that there’s already been a group of dedicated brewers who have pioneered the craft beer industry back in the mid-90s?
The mastermind behind Specific Gravity Beverage Co (SGBC) is none other than Brewerkz founder, Devin Kimble, who is a renowned microbrewery pioneer in Asia. Having established Singapore’s longest-running craft brewery in 1997 and reviving the Hong Kong Beer Company in 2013, you can trust that Devin knows beer like the back of his hand.
SGBC was established in September 2020 to bring artisanal flavours to the Singapore market. Despite its short existence, the team has been hard at work—perfecting the craft for years before finally deciding to take the plunge in 2020 and introduce what modern-day Singapore craft beer should be.
Take a peek into how the local craft beer industry has shaped up over the years and how Specific Gravity Beverage Co is defining Singapore craft beer.
My name is Devin Otto Kimble—Managing Director of Specific Gravity Beverage Company and the co-founder of Brewerkz Restaurants & Microbreweries. At SGBevCo, we believe that beer should be special, but tasty and accessible at the same time. Our mission is to provide the best quality product at a reasonable price, specially crafted for SG by SG.
We started by asking ourselves why “our” beer in Singapore has to be a mass-produced lager that is just about the same as every other mass-produced lager anywhere in the world.
As one of the Singapore craft beer pioneers in the mid-90s, I’ve been in the Singapore craft beer scene for ages. But it seems like getting access to it requires special efforts, like paying an arm and a leg. Even then, many of the craft beers were not that well-made. That’s why our brewmaster, Kim Wong, and myself decided to do something to make better beer for Singapore.
We set out to make beers that are a bit bolder and different, but also drinkable enough that even your uncle or auntie wouldn’t mind having one (or two). We wanted to define what local, modern-day craft beer should be by using the finest malt, real hops, live yeast, and employing artisanal techniques with the same passion, skill, and devotion to quality that we’ve always shown since the early days of craft brewing in Singapore.
Probably the biggest highlight has been that no matter what adversity was thrown at us at the beginning, we’ve been able to overcome them. We also see more accounts take on our beers every week, which shows us that we are growing at a steady pace. So, it shows that the beers, along with our marketing, are being received very well.
The toughest challenge we’ve faced thus far was having to change our strategy as soon as we decided to launch the new brand. SGBevCo was conceived well over a year ago with a lot of research and marketing planning. But as soon as we started to get the ball rolling with marketing plans and product design, COVID-19 hit.
One good thing was that the Circuit Breaker was that it allowed us to shift our focus from on-premise sales to off-premise. However, we needed to be even more patient because the team couldn’t get together to work out beer recipes, discuss the ins and outs of our plans, and talk with our suppliers in person.
There is definitely room for growth in the future for craft beer. Right now in the US, craft beer is 14% of the overall beer market while it is more or less only 3% in Singapore. With all these new beer brands popping up in Southeast Asia, there is a thirst out there for better quality products and we feel that we fit that bill to a tee. We aren’t looking to compete with other craft beer brands already in the market. We just want to expand on that 3% because we believe that a rising tide lifts all boats when it comes to craft beer.
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Guy Kawasaki, the one-time tech evangelist for Apple, said at a conference I attended in Singapore that it is more important to get your product to market and improve it based on feedback from your customers rather than trying to perfect it in a vacuum. If you never get to market, you never will make any money.
Your idea is only part of the package. There are plenty of great concepts for products out there. But to sell anything, you have to get it to people and that takes attorneys, corporate secretaries, accountants, bankers, and loads of paperwork for your shareholders and the government.
You might make a great beer but if you don’t know how to get a license from the police, you can’t sell it in Singapore for instance. If you want to have a successful product, you have to build a successful business.
We want to get our beers into as many hands as possible, so from now until 30th April, if you enter in the coupon code “ASPIRE2021” give you a 25% discount on all purchases from www.sgbevco.com.
Brands like Specific Gravity Beverage Co aren’t just here to sell a product and make a sale. They are all about adding value to their respective industries and creating fresh, new experiences for their customers through innovative creations. With that in mind, such brands need to work with partners that share those same values and can help you elevate your business to the next level through modern solutions.
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