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How to Find Cheap Beer in Singapore

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Joanne Poh

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Anybody who disputes those reports about Singapore being the most expensive city in the world (“got hawker food what!”) clearly doesn’t drink beer much.

Because Singapore is one of the most expensive countries in the world to enjoy a pint of beer, thanks to our astronomical alcohol taxes. A chart put together by Deutsche Bank puts us right at the top when it comes to the cost of a pint of beer in a neighbourhood bar, second only to Oslo.

Cost of beer - MoneySmart

So do we have to choose between becoming teetotallers and being financially solvent? Here are some tips for enjoying (relatively) cheap beer.

 

Drink at kopitiams, hawker centres and food courts

Kopitiams, hawker centres and food courts offer the cheapest ways to eat out in Singapore. So thank God for Tiger Beer ladies.

There is a reason so many uncles spend all their time drinking with their kakis at hawker centres. A big bottle of beer to share costs about $6 to $7 at a typical hawker centre. At that price, you usually can’t even get a small 33ml bottle at a bar.

Your surroundings may be far from posh, but that also means you can party in the Singaporean uniform of shorts and flip flops.

 

Buy at duty free

Singaporeans are some of the world’s most frequent travellers, and the average Singaporean has been on 5.2 overseas trips in the last 12 months.

That means you have ample reasons to stock up on duty free alcohol when passing through Changi Airport. You can to buy a litre of spirits, a litre or wines and a litre of beer, 2 litres of wines and a litre of beer, OR a litre of wines and two litres of beer. Max this out if you drink/entertain frequently.

 

Buy at supermarkets

Not going overseas but still need some cheap beer as your contribution to that gathering at your friend’s place? Then you’ll have to turn to local supermarkets. Beer prices are surprisingly affordable, especially if you either buy big bottles or big multi-can packs, and certainly much, much cheaper than 7-11.

 

Buy online or at specialty liquor shops

Looking for a craft brew that will elevate your party beyond a Tiger Beer binge fest? Then check out liquor stores both online and off.

Try Craftbeer.sg for a unique brew, or Alcohaul if you want to save a bit of money on your beer by buying a keg or large case.

 

Research happy hours and find relatively cheap bars

While it’s always, always going to be more expensive to drink in a proper bar, no matter how humble, than to drink at a kopitiam or BYOB, some bars are less expensive than others.

We’ve done the work for you and compiled several lists of affordable watering bars in Singapore. Here are 8 CBD bars with happy hour deals for harried office people and 17 happy hour deals that go beyond 9pm.

 

Brew your own beer

Whether brewing your own beer actually saves you money is debatable in cities where beer is relatively cheap. But in Singapore, where beer prices are heart attack-inducing, the potential for savings is great.

There are numerous retailers or beer brewing kits in Singapore, including ibrew, Homebrew Co-op and Beer Can Lah. Hint: of you want to save money, you can buy supplies second hand on eBay or even Carousell.

Your first few batches might be weird-tasting at best, sewage water at first, but once you get the hang of it you’ll always be able to convince your friends to skip the bar and come over.

Do you have any tips for getting cheap beer? Tell us in the comments!

Image credits: Business Insider

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Joanne Poh

In my previous life, I was a property lawyer who spent most of my time struggling to get out of bed or stuck in peak hour traffic. These days, as a freelance commercial writer, I work in bed, on the beach, in parks and at cafes, all while being really frugal. I like helping other people save money so they can stop living lives they don't like.