There’s a new beer garden in town, and it might be in a place where you least expect it – above trendy new food court Xin Tekka Food Hall, located just on the outskirts of Little India.
Opened by 40-year old Jay Tan, perhaps what is most interesting about PintHouse is how it doesn’t specialise in craft beers or brewery standards, but instead, chooses to embrace them all. “Everyone has his or her own likes, and I don’t think there’s such a thing as a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ beer,” says Jay. “The best beer is the one each person enjoys best, and that’s why it’s important to just have products on hand that people enjoy.”
In terms of its location, PintHouse is relatively central and convenient, being located in the midst of backpack hotels, schools such as LaSalle, close enough to walk from Rochor MRT station, and with residences in the area, all of which ensure that the community it sees will be both robust and diverse. “PintHouse is driven by the belief of ‘Beer Together’ to build a strong community with consumers in mind through various curated experiences,” says Jay. “I hope this could eventually become an intimate space where people from all walks of life can meet to share experiences and create memories together, all through the love of beer.”
Perhaps to understand PintHouse better, it would be good to return to the origins of the idea and how Jay even came to open it. Previously in the automotive industry, Jay made a surprising mid-career change to join Archipelago Brewery for three years, where he discovered a love for craft beer and honed his knowledge of the beer trade.
“Back in 2017, a reservist mate told me there was an opening at Archipelago, because he knew that I was looking for a change,” says Jay. “Most of my friends would probably say that this was the job for me, because I liked drinking, whether it was Tiger beer or craft. Plus it was good for me, because the hours were more regular, and it was a good chance for me to spend more time at home with my wife and my daughter, who was a lot younger back then.”
“I wasn’t used to craft beer at first, but after a few weeks of experimenting, I realised wow, this was good stuff, and started going into it, studying it, and really have Archipelago to thank as a good platform to learn all about it with all the time I spent in the company and with the brewers,” he continues.
It’s curious then that Jay decided to go down the beer house route, as opposed to the brewer one. “There’s already plenty of home brewers out there, so I thought about being on the other side of the fence, to set up a stall and not a brewery,” Jay explains. “It gives me the opportunity to showcase all these interesting beers from both the local and international craft beer scene, and I’d be able to bring in plenty of other products, as opposed to being a brewery, where I’d just have a vested interest in pushing my own label.”
Besides the Tiger, Guinness and of course, Archipelago on tap, PintHouse’s selection of craft beer is impressive for a company that’s just starting out. Brands in the fridge range from Heretic Beer and Feral Brewing Company, to local brewers such as Rye & Pint and Sunbird Brewing Company, among plenty more. Jay doesn’t consider himself an expert on beers just yet, but does take pride and joy in making personal recommendations to guests based on his own likes and their palates.
“I’m not qualified to educate anyone about craft beer, but I can introduce people to new brews that I do like, such as Trappist beer,” says Jay. “Most beers have a story behind them, and I love sharing those stories. I suppose you could say that’s my way of educating people about craft beer, based on these stories and preferences!”
But regardless of one’s preferences, one is likely to find a beer and a space for yourself at PintHouse, as a cosy little hideout away from the madding crowd outside, complete with tasty hawker fare downstairs from next-gen hawkers and legacy brands, all of which could easily be paired with a pint. Not to mention, you’d even be doing your part for charity when you buy a beer, with part of PintHouse’s revenue this quarter going to the Make -A-Wish Foundation (Singapore) , with other non-profit organisations and causes to follow.
“Ultimately, it’s really about promoting an inclusive community, whether it’s the synergy between my beers and the hawkers downstairs, or welcoming customers regardless of their taste preferences or experiences with beer,” Jay concludes. “That’s why we have such a broad spectrum of beers available, not to mention how I’m hoping that in time, I’ll have more local beers both in the fridge and on tap to showcase.”
PintHouse is located at Tekka Place, on the Mezzanine Level of Xin Tekka Food Hall, 2 Serangoon Road, Singapore 218227. Pinthouse is currently offering an all-day Happy Hour of freshly tapped draught beers at 30% off, from $7 nett, and any 5 selected bottled beers are available at $30 nett. Find out more on their Facebook and Instagram