For those who grew up in the city, Beer Garden hardly needs any introduction. Since its inception in 2010, the laidback watering hole has been synonymous with core memories like one’s first beer upon coming-of-age, to post-college shindigs with close friends. The recently opened Beer Garden+ in SCBD Park builds on this legacy, while also introducing a refreshed concept to the well-loved establishment that reflects its maturing regulars.
Upon arrival, one would notice how massive the new place is. A short hallway immediately leads into the main hall, where a jumbo-sized menu of beers strikes an imposing presence above the bar. White walls and stone tiles pair tastefully with leatherbound sofas and wall-to-wall sliding glass doors that would soon open to the view of SCBD Park’s upcoming zoo.
But it’s upstairs, past the mezzanine and onto the second floor, where things take a different turn. Here, one would find a lounge, hued in red velvet tones, dedicated to servings of cocktails and by-the-bottle spirits for those not in the groove for beer.
For cocktails, expect cheeky names and risky, explorative concoctions that are in character with Beer Garden’s unabashed persona (credited to its reputation for lively parties). A case in point, there’s Curcuma+, a playful reference to the children’s supplement that features a combination of lemongrass sous-vide tequila, homemade spiced curcuma soda and lemon, producing a hate-it-or-love-it flavour that is strikingly reminiscent of an herbal drink. Alternatively, go for the shooters, the blue-hued Segelas Dua Bablas that packs a kick of absinthe.
A new look and offerings haven’t stripped away the fact that beers remain at the core of the experience. Find the Beer Garden classic, Supersized Beer, a one-litre glass of Bintang lager that still looks massive even within the expansive room; or join the local craft beer wave and sample the complex flavours of Bali-based Breman Brewery’s Gelap.
To complement the drinking experience, the menu is kept straightforward. The signature Nasi Gila (buttered egg rice with satay and a messy turf of meatball, beef sausage and chicken) and the Beer Garden+ exclusive Bebek Goreng Sambal Ijo BG+ (steamed rice and fried duck with green chilli sambal) taste true to how one would expect them to.
This unfussy, dependable quality has characterised Beer Garden’s establishments throughout the years, and Beer Garden+, for all its shiny new features, is not an exception. There’s a disarming comfort to be found here, longtime regulars quickly flock to the new place, some of whom are past their partying days and are looking for a quiet night of cocktails or whisky; while others are still ready to knock down a few shooters to the buzz of live music. Before you know it, you might be sharing your life story with a newly made acquaintance.