Experiential Learning at its Finest…

NUS MBA students make a trip to Asia Pacific Breweries, also known as the Tiger Brewery, after the legendary Tiger Beer.

One Monday afternoon, I along with 39 other lucky individuals boarded a bus in high spirits despite the grim rainy weather. Our destination: Asia Pacific Breweries where the legendary Tiger Beer is manufactured.

After a quick journey to Jurong where the brewery is located, we quickly went through the registration procedure before meeting Keen, our tour guide for the afternoon, at the main lobby. Stepping into the main lobby was an experience unto itself – you could tell right off the bat that this company takes its brewing heritage very seriously and is also quite proud of it. The lobby was a monument to Tiger Beer and its parent company, with murals showing its history and evolution through the years. Displays of old advertisements and beer packaging also adorned the walls. And off to one side was the doorway leading to any beer lover’s idea of paradise – a beer tavern serving ice cold beers from the tap.

But as with all good things in life, a little patience was required from all of us thirsty individuals. Keen led us out of the lobby and onto an outdoor walkway that led to the manufacturing area located in a separate section of the compound. He enthusiastically took us through a tour of the brewing and packaging facilities where we got to see the mechanized and automated processes that transformed disparate elements such as malt, hops, and yeast into the beverage celebrated worldwide called beer. The pièce de résistance of the whole procedure, in my opinion, was seeing beer being bottled and canned. The packaging area was deafeningly loud, but the view was awe-inspiring as we literally saw hundreds of bottles and cans being filled with beer and then sealed in just a matter of seconds. The machines could process up to 10,000 bottles and 6,000 cans of beer per minute!

Before we knew it, the tour was almost done. We left the processing facilities and went back to the lobby where we began our tour, and we were shown the various beer brands that Asia Pacific Breweries manufactures and/or distributes aside from Tiger Beer (e.g., Heineken, Barons and Anchor). After a quick group photo, it was then a mad dash to the tavern where we were treated to an hour of free-flowing beer sampling!

The Tiger Beer experience at the tavern was certainly the best that anyone had ever had. It was served the way beer ought to be served – ice cold, fresh and crisp. The taste was incredible that I could almost imagine that there are pipes leading straight from the factory and into the tap at the tavern, ready to dish out beer to eager consumers!

Apart from Tiger Beer, we were also treated to other well-known brands such as Kilkenny and Heineken. Everyone had a great time sampling the different types of beer and discussing the merits of each one. However, everything must come to an end and so it was for the brewery tour as well. Sixty minutes passed seemingly like the blink of an eye, and soon we found ourselves boarding the bus to head back to NUS, our minds full of newfound knowledge and our stomachs sloshing with the litres of beer that we had consumed.

Jennifer Non
Class of 2011