Anybody who disputes those reports about Singapore being the most expensive city in the world (“got hawker food what!”) clearly doesn’t drink much beer: Thanks to our astronomical alcohol taxes, Singapore is one of the most expensive countries in the world to enjoy a pint of beer.
But here at MoneySmart, we’re determined to find the cheapest ways to enjoy some booze. If you’re done with balling (read: going broke) at teenybopper clubs and just want to chill over a beer or two, there are several hacks for enjoying cheap beer – you can call for alcohol delivery, pick up beer while doing the groceries or go duty-free shopping. For those who want the ambience of a nice bar, you can head to some of the more affordable watering holes.
Beer & Alcohol Delivery in Singapore
This is for those holding house parties (because you’re too lazy to fight the Friday night crowds).
Alcoholdelivery.com.sg is the most popular alcohol delivery in Singapore, and is known for its cheap prices and speedy delivery – all deliveries are done in 1 hour! (In fact, its logo looks a bit like FedEx, but with an alcohol bottle…) You can order cans, bottles, and even 5L – 30L kegs. The cans and bottles are priced similar to supermarkets, at $3+ to $7+ each. If you’ve a group of friends coming over you can consider the bigger kegs.
Currently, there’s only Brewerkz for the 5L kegs and they are around $100. Alcohol.sg has a similar range of beers for delivery, but the prices are slightly cheaper at $70+ for the Brewerkz 5L kegs. However, Alcohol Delivery offers free delivery for orders above $50, while Alcohol.sg’s free shipping minimum is $100.
That said, you can also order directly via Brewerkz, and the prices are actually cheaper when they have discounts. At time of writing, there were 5L beer kegs going as low as $50+. Do note that there’s a $25 delivery fee for orders under $300.
If you prefer craft brews, you can check out craftbeer.sg too.
Duty-free = Cheap beer!
Since alcohol is expensive because of the high taxes… Go duty-free shopping for it! Of course, you can only shop duty-free when you’re travelling, but since Singaporeans are some of the world’s most frequent travellers, that shouldn’t be an issue. The average Singaporean went on 5.2 overseas trips in the last 12 months (2017)!
That means you have ample reasons to stock up on duty free alcohol when passing through Changi Airport. You can to buy: 1L of wine, 1L of spirits and 1L of beer; 2L of wine and 1L of beer; or 1L of wine and 2L of beer. Max this out if you’ve an upcoming booze party.
Stock up on cheap beer 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 like Fairprice, Cold Storage and more. Beer prices are surprisingly affordable, especially if you either buy big bottles or big multi-can packs, and it’s certainly much, much cheaper than 7-11.
It usually costs about $40 to $80+ for a carton of 24 cans – that’s $1.70 to $3+ per can.
Cheap beer at kopitiams, hawker centres and food courts
Those beer-chugging uncles downstairs have got the right idea – kopitiams, hawker centres and food courts are the cheapest places to buy a drink in Singapore. You can even chit-chat with the friendly neighbourhood beer aunties if you like.
A big bottle of beer to costs under $10 at a typical hawker centre. In contrast, you can count yourself lucky if you manage to find a $10 pint (~500ml) at a bar.
The surroundings may be far from posh, but that also means no dress code: Feel free to party in shorts and flip flops!
Cheap bars in Singapore 2018
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. But there will always be some days when you feel like treating yourself to something a little nicer. Thankfully, heading to a bar doesn’t always mean a hole in your wallet – affordable bars with cheap beers DO exist.
Here’s a list of watering holes that offer cheap beer towers for under $60:
|Bar / Restaurant||Beer tower prices|
|Al Capone||$39nett per Heineken tower|
|Kanpai789||$40 per beer tower|
|88 Mustang||$55 per Paulaner Beer Tower|
|Stickies||$55 per beer tower
$35 per beer tower (6pm – 8pm)
$60 for 2 beer towers (6pm – 8pm)
|Quench! Bistro & Bar||$55 per Singha tower
$98 for 2 Singha towers
|Mad Nest||$55 per Hoegaarden tower|
(Fiv五 Izakaya, Fiv五 Oriental, Fiv五 Square, Fiv五 Tapas)
|$55 per Kronenbourg 1664 tower|
|Tachinomiya||$55 per Asahi Dry tower|
|Club July||$55 per Asahi Dry tower|
|OBar (Punggol, Serangoon)||$100 for 2 towers (Tiger Beer + Guinness Stout)|
(UE Square, Star Vista, Suntec City)
|$38 per Asahi Dry tower (sat – sun from 5pm)|
* Special find: 283 Cafe – A members-only bar with $38/tower deals!
283 Cafe is nestled right in the centre of Changi Road, and offers almost unbeatable beer prices of $36 per draft denmark beer tower, $38 per Tiger Beer tower, $48 per Heineken tower and $62 per Erdinger tower!
BUT in order to be allowed entry into the exclusive bar and enjoy these prices, you’ll need to apply to become a member by liking their Facebook page and emailing your full name, NRIC, address, emergency contact details and even a recognisable photo of yourself.
Nobody know what the approval criteria is, and the establishment says it has “the right to reject any applications without any reason provided”. Apply at your own risk!
Other bars to try
Although $40 – $50+ is already considered dirt cheap for beer towers, some get even cheaper during happy hour. There are several other bars that readers have recommended for cheap beer in Singapore, but do not have promotions or menus posted online. I couldn’t go down to get sloshed at all of them, but if you’re nearby, you can check them out.
- Red Dot @ Dempsey
- Café Iguana
- 1 Tyrwhitt Bistro & Bar
- Bistro 1855
- Legend Cafe
- Amber Nectar
- Bar Bar Black Sheep
- No5 Emerald Hill
- Mr Punch Public House
- Acid Bar
- Crazy Elephant
- The Jolly Roger
Lastly, you can actually 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. At Homebrew Co-op, a complete brewing kit costs $150 and can make 23L of beer. Hint: If you want to save money, you can buy supplies second hand on eBay or even Carousell.
Be warned though: Your first few batches might be weird-tasting at best (sewage water at worst). But once you get the hang of it, you’ll always be able to convince your friends to skip the bar and come over.
This article was first published in MoneySmart.