Alvin Lim, co-owner of Taps Beer Bar & Cicerone Program Certified Beer Server, shares some stories from behind the scenes of one of Malaysia’s first craft beer bars.
What do you do and how did you get into the industry?
I am a Cicerone Program Certified Beer Server and co-owner of Taps Beer Bar, a bar serving up to 200 types of craft beer in Malaysia. I’m the person who puts in the orders with the craft beer breweries which we are working with and also get in touch with new breweries, trying to convince them to send beers to Malaysia. We (a group of cousins) got into this industry because we wanted to open a bar but needed a fresh and different product. One of our cousins (also a partner in the business) lives in Melbourne and he has been drinking craft beer for a long time. He introduced us to craft beer and convinced us that this is the next step. And as they say, the rest is history.
Share with us an interesting story from behind the scenes.
Our bars would normally have 150 to 200 beers on tap and in bottles combined, hand selected spirits and wine. And still, there have been times when customers would walk in and have a look at the tap list and the bottle fridge and say, “Oh is that all you have?” and then walk out to another bar.
What’s the best/ worst part of your job?
Firstly, I get to drink all the craft beers in the world and secondly I get to share this experience and help grow the craft beer culture here in Malaysia!
What’s your favourite meal at Taps Beer Bar?
We do pretty awesome pizzas here at Taps Beer Bar and really good beer bites. So any of those paired with a craft beer would be my favourite meal.
What’s one of the craziest things you’ve seen behind the scenes?
This was not really behind the scenes. This happened at the bar, a regular customer (shall not be named) had 18 beers in 5 hours in a single seating. The average abv of the beers are around 7.5% and he was still conversing with us and still standing as if he did not drink at all! Crazy!
The perfect day off would be…
going to any bar, pub or restaurant and have craft beer readily available on their menu!
What do you do for fun?
Exercising is a key component to keeping healthy in an industry such as this. And it’s something that I do for fun! Football, running, cycling and sometimes tennis. Need to shed all that supper belly. I still believe that it isn’t the beer that gives you the belly. It’s the supper after the beer!
What’s your favourite food and beverage pairing?
Mine would be beer and a beer – it can be paired with almost anything and everything! But if given a choice? Local Malaysian food with craft beer of course!
What’s your view on the food and beverage scene in KL?
Kuala Lumpur is such a vibrant city! We have a very good mix of good local food and also international cuisine almost anywhere in our city. The drinking scene has also improved with the opening of so many cocktail bars and now slowly but surely the craft beer bars! There’s always something for everyone!