Medfac Outing – Asia Pacific Breweries Trip 2007

Recently, there was the annual APB trip to the birthplace of Tiger Beer, world-acclaimed beer that’s won the Gold medal in the European Style Pilsener category of the 2004 World Beer Cup.

J. thought that it’d be his last chance to enjoy such a trip and made sure that after a tutorial that ended at 1850hrs at SGH (the chartered buses were supposed to leave NUS at 1800hrs), he took a cab down to APB which is located near the Tuas checkpoint in the west.

Before going any further about the event itself. Let’s rate the quality of Tiger Beer.

  • Draft at the APB pub – Awesome
  • Draft at any other bar – Alright
  • Can from supermarket – Almost average
  • Can in the army – Atrocious

Drafts usually taste better than cans, so that’s fairly expected. A can of Tiger Beer in the army comes marked with “For military use only. Not for resale.” So here’s what some of J.’s friends speculate – they take the crappiest batches of Tiger Beer and sell them on the cheap to the military. Army guys aren’t exactly beer connoisseurs.

Back to the event!

Surprisingly, when J. arrived the folks were only just about entering. The following is usually what happens for a medfac outing to APB.

  1. Meeting at Science Foyer (LT28)

    People from hospitals all over Singapore congregate at the place where the M2s regularly have their lectures. Despite it unfairly favouring the pre-clinical students and students posted to National University Hospital, it’s still the place that’s nearest to APB. Who would meet up at Changi General Hospital, ya?

  2. Long, sober ride along Ayer Rajar Expressway

    This is only noteworthy because of its contrast with the beer-ridden drive ride back along the AYE. Note the cheerful, sober talking and the lack of non-sober drinking and sayings of “I love you, man!”

  3. Alighting at APB and changing of passes

    Everyone gets off and mills around some more while individuals slowly exchange an identification card with visible photo (e.g. driving license, IC) for a security pass at the security booth

  4. Tour

    Depending on the individual, this might be the most interesting part of the trip. One gets to learn about, firstly, the history of brewing in Singapore, the brands of beer that APB brews (including Anchor, Heineken). There’s a tour of the place itself where one learns more about the process of brewing. The malt, the hops, the giant vats. It’s pretty interesting.

    People who have gone through the tour once (or twice, like J.) may opt to move directly to the pub near the entrance.
    “Who’s been here before, raise your hands?” -some M2s, all M5s, all M4s raise their hands- “Okay, those of you can go straight to the pub. First drink must be Tiger!”

    Don’t be like one or two of the first-timer M2s who opted to skip the tour only when they found out that those that had could go directly to the pub. That was pitifully obvious. And they’re losing out on a good thing.

  5. Beer and Photo-taking

    Cheers to Final MBBS! Photo-taking for class album. This should be done prior to drinking as people who are passed out on the floor aren’t able to participate in group photos very well and almost nobody looks good drunk.

    From the time one arrives to 8.30pm or so, only Tiger beer and Heineken are served. At 8.30pm, some cans of Erdinger, Kilkenny, Guiness stout, Corona Extra, Baron’s strong brew are made available. J. thinks that Erdinger dark beer tastes awesome, Corona Extra is insipid, Baron’s strong brew is pretty good.

    The Heineken and Tiger drafts and really good.

  6. Entertainment
  7. There’s table soccer (lacking one stick), a pool table (S$1 per game), karaoke (screen in the middle of the pub with microphones provided by the bar) and general socialising.

  8. Last call

    Happens at around 9.30pm. Soon after, the bar closes, the buses arrive and it’s time to bring the reverie to a close. The barkeeps are thanked, people are retrieved from their prayers to the toilet bowls. A group picture (with everyone looking at least slightly tipsy) is taken.

    People at this point will forget to exchange their security passes for their cards, their handphones, their cameras.

  9. Return trip along AYE to NUS

    The bus driver is usually thinking, “Please don’t puke on my bus. Please don’t puke on my bus. Please don’t puke on my bus.”
    Somebody pukes on the bus. If the bus driver is lucky, either the chap himself or one of his friends has obtained a plastic bag to contain the vomitus.

    People, tired out from the depressant effects of beer and the exertion of ridiculous activities in a pub, start to doze off. Overenthusiastic, disinhibited gentlemen make loud calls for fellow compatriots to visit Zouk immediately after.

Hurray! And that marks the end of another [successful] trip. Good times.

Quote from J.’s friend to J. – “You’re my true friend. All the other guys are trying to get me drunk, but not you.”
J. was trying to get him drunk.

Remember, doctors are not drunkards. Doctors are not drunkards. Doctors are not… Well, it’s actually true, since there’s no easily accessible beer on campus (banned) and in hospitals (phew).

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