Lion Brewery Co. On Creating S’pore’s First Carbon Negative Beer

If you love to drink beer, you would probably be complaining about the obvious choices available to you in Singapore.

From Tiger Beer to Corona to Heineken, mass produced beers generally have a monotonous flavor and are not very tasty. You might be drinking these beers just to taste like alcohol, not because you actually enjoy the taste and flavor.

Will Julius, an Indonesian-American entrepreneur, saw a gap in the Singapore market and decided to set up Lion Brewery Co, a craft beer business.

brasserie lion co.  craft beer
Image Credit: Lion Brewery Co

Having lived in London, Germany and Australia, Julius had been spoiled by the variety, choice and abundance of craft beers.

As a student in London, he lived 20 meters from a local bar that served delicious home-brewed beers, which made him fall in love with the concept of craft beer. Best of all, he offered discounts to students.

He then began a brief career as a football player in Germany, then moved to Melbourne to work in marketing for four years. When he moved to Singapore he met his co-founder Harry Renshaw, who is a passionate amateur brewer.

They then decided that they wanted to produce and sell beers that they would like to drink themselves.

Brewing for Singapore’s tropical climate

Craft beers taste better because they’re made with specific, hand-selected ingredients, and they’re only produced in smaller batches by master brewers who really love beer.

They’re brewed with specific flavors in mind, so you’ll hardly ever find two craft beers that look exactly the same. Craft beers also often vary seasonally, depending on the availability of ingredients at a particular time of year.

lion brewery craft beer
Image Credit: Lion Brewery Co

When Julius first moved to Singapore, he noticed that not only was there a lack of craft beer options in Singapore, but the ones available here were rather dense and not easy for heavy non-drinkers to consume. .

They tend to be of the India Pale Ale (IPA) variety, which is a style of hoppy beer in the broader lager category that has been prevalent in England since 1815 and has gained popularity around the world. Singapore IPA beers are generally very hoppy and contain over 6% alcohol.

According to Julius, his team has come up with a recipe for three flagship craft beers and eight seasonal beers that are perfect for serving in tropical room temperature. They have a lower alcohol content of about five percent or less, just like the variety of commercial beers.

On the one hand, the beers from Lion Brewery are crunchy, refreshing and easy to drink like commercial beers, but on the other hand, they are also tasty with lots of character due to the use of natural and premium ingredients. quality.

They have their own independent production facility in Singapore which is not attached to any macrobrewery. A Singapore brewer selected unique ingredients to brew distinctive beer flavors that have become their flagship products.

Straits Pale Ale is a crisp, single-hop pale ale with Citra in the bitter and dry hop stages for lychee and citrus notes, while Island Lager is a clean, German-inspired lager brewed with Hallertau Blanc hops for a slight aroma of elderberry and pine.

Finally, their New England Session IPA is a juicy, unfiltered, all-natural brew with full-blast flavors and a refreshing 4.8% alcohol content.

Hailing from a heritage of old London

Julius bought an old brand of black and white British craft beer called Lion Brewery and brought it back to life in Singapore, the Lion City.

It was such a fortuitous discovery. I am a history buff and as a fan of craft beer I have read the history and origin of craft beers and interesting breweries through the ages. Then I ran into Lion Brewery and I knew it had to be our label.

Will Julius, Founder and CEO of Lion Brewery Co

The history of the Lion Brewery dates back to 1836 in London, where it was originally founded on the bank of the Thames. For over a hundred years, the brewery has produced high quality beers that have been shipped across seas to all parts of the globe, including Southeast Asia.

When the brewery was demolished in 1949, the brewery’s two iconic lion statues were preserved at the request of King George VI.

They are still found in London today – one on the bank of the Thames opposite the Houses of Parliament and the other at the entrance to Twickenham Stadium, the home of English rugby.

beer barrel lion brewery
Image Credit: Lion Brewery Co

Since the creation of Lion Brewery in Singapore in December 2018, they have been developing and spreading very quickly.

Lion Brewery beers are available on their e-commerce platform, through distributors such as Cold Storage and FairPrice Finest, as well as over 150 bars, restaurants, hotels and retail partners across Singapore.

The locations that serve them are usually high-end venues that match the brand of their beers including 1880, Straits Clan, Foxtail, SG Taps, Cafe Gavroche, Goodluck Beerhouse, Orh Gao Taproom, Sixteen Ounces, American Taproom, Burn, Boulevard, among others.

When Covid-19 hit, they quickly adapted by moving more towards the B2C (business-to-consumer) path instead of selling to event and venue partners.

They also have expansion plans to enter new markets in Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and also UK.

Singapore’s only carbon negative pressure beer

Lion Brewery always seeks the best practices to make its products and operations environmentally friendly, without compromising the quality of its beer.

They are committed to going completely carbon negative. To do this, they partnered with GreenStepGroup to plant a tree in Indonesia for every pint of beer sold in their keg. For this year, they aim to plant 200 trees per month.

They calculated the total cost of carbon required to produce a keg or beer, and the carbon cost offset by planting and growing a tree. They found that a tree negates a keg’s life cycle carbon footprint, so it’s safe to say their draft beer is 100% carbon negative.

Carbon negative lion brewery
Image Credit: Lion Brewery Co

The growth and progress of each tree can be monitored using Green Steps Group’s proprietary “proof of planting” technology platform that combines geolocation, camera traps and multispectral satellite imagery.

A unique QR code links to the location, date and time of planting an individual tree and information about the local farmer. Each tree planted will be geolocated under Lion Brewery Co and the F&B partner location that purchased the keg.

Lion lovers enjoying their beers at home can also help with tree planting by adding just S $ 4 to any order placed on the online store’s checkout page.

Julius hopes this strategy will encourage partners to share their environmental contribution to their own customers, thereby spreading the trend and goodwill.

The goal of starting this business is to create interesting beers that reflect the passion and values ​​of our team and our customers. It’s not about mass-scaling beers at the lowest possible cost to maximize profits; it’s about creating something that others can appreciate and appreciate.

At the heart of our mission is the promotion of conscious and intentional living. We want our customers to choose our beer intentionally because they appreciate all the ingredients and the thoughtful process that goes into creating our product. We also want them to understand the carbon impact of their consumption and give them a chance to offset that.

Will Julius, Founder and CEO of Lion Brewery Co

Featured Image Credit: Lion Brewery Co

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Jothi Venkat

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