Like everywhere, craft beer is exploding in Bangkok. But there are some subtle nuances that cause beer lovers to scratch their heads. Why is it so expensive? What’s up with “illegal” beer? And where can I get more? We’ll answer that and more.
After a brief and elusive discussion of the infamous Thailand beach town Pattaya, we jump into the heart of the conversation: Beer in Thailand. Specifically, craft beer in Thailand. To make sure we cover things in an appropriate (read: true) way, we invited Brian Bartusch -- co-founder of Bangkok’s largest craft beer importer, Beervana -- on to the show to answer some key questions Evo -- our resident beer nerd -- had about the state of craft beer in Thailand. Together with a few other entrepreneurial importers, Beervana makes it easy for the visiting craft beer fan to not be forced to drink the standard Thai beers. Not that we’re dissing the local beers. But craft beer fans are going to find Chang, Leo, Singha, and locally-produced Heineken or Asahi rather lacking. Evo and Brian met up at Roadhouse BBQ. By way of example, they offer a half dozen quality craft beers on tap and a rather large selection of craft beer from all over the world. While you’ll probably find a wider selection back in America simply due to proximity to some other local breweries, you won’t be disappointed in the selection. But you probably will suffer a bit of a sticker shock. Imported craft beer in Thailand is more expensive than the same beer back home. Why? Well, two main reasons: The first is shipping. It’s a long way from here to there, and it has to be kept cold the entire journey. Then you layer in the import taxes and compliance fees, which are not trivial. Brian digs into it a little deeper on the show if you want more information. Just keep it in mind the next time you plop down ฿350 for a bottle you’d expect to pay $6 for back in The States. Other topics relevant to craft beer in Bangkok and beyond:
Find Brian at various craft beer events around Bangkok, or at Pijiu Bar, his newly opened craft beer bar in Bangkok’s Chinatown.
Bangkok, like every city, has more than one rat hanging around. We don’t want to alarm you, but the ones in Bangkok seem a little bolder than most. Can you guess where we put this little critter on the Love, Loathe, or Leave spectrum?
If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to listen via iTunes. Android users should be able get the show automatically through Google Play. But if you run into a snag, get in touch. We’ll help! Drop us a line or leave a review for us on iTunes or Google Play. Oh, and we have a Facebook page! You can even Tweet to the show @bangkokpodcast or us personally at @bkkgreg or @evoterra. We’ll see you next week on The Bangkok Podcast!