by Chona Castro
Cheers!, Skol!, Prost! or whatever your local toast is, enjoy!
Believe it or not, the earliest recorded beer recipe for beer was estimated to have been 4300 B.C., scripted on a Babylonian clay tablet!.
From century to century, from nation to nation, many different brews have been invented, right up to the present day where there is an unspoken contest as to WHO (nation or brewery) produces the best beer?.
In Thailand alone, there is a friendly rivalry within the beer market. The oldest beer in Thailand is the Singha beer (lager) brewed by Boon Rawd Brewery since 1933-34.It used to be the most popular local beer in Thailand and is considered “classy” as the brand is available in high end restaurants in Thailand.The beer is light and is a perfect compliment to any Spicy Thai Food Dish. The name Singha literally translates to “lion”. The founder, Bhirom Bhakdi learnt his trade from Bavarian brewers. The beer was named as such for the mythical lion it represents that which has force, stability and grace.
In Thailand, if you don’t specify the beer that you prefer, you will usually automatically be given a Singha.
Beer Chang is probably the best selling beer in Thailand today. With a 6.4% proof at 630 millimeters (21 US fluid oz) this beer packs a wallop! This is the beer for the working class. Just a few bottles and you’ll be in la-la land. This beer is not commonly found in “upmarket” restaurants.
Leo beer is brewed by the makers of Singha beer, is cheap and at 5.5% proof, this beer directly targets the Chang beer drinkers.
Heineken beer is an international brand but is now also being brewed in Thailand in partnership with Thai Asia Pacific Brewers. Heineken is typically more expensive than the Thai beers, but is popular due to its brand marketing.
San Miguel Pale Pilsen is another foreign brand by San Miguel Brewery that has manufacturing operations in Thailand. The Red Horse brand made by SMB would render you senseless with its high alcohol content.
Every year from October to December, is the Thai Beer Festival. It is very much like Oktoberfest where different breweries showcase their best beers. The festival is three-month long and all over Bangkok, exotic Thai Street Foods are sold to compliment the different beers sold.
Wherever you are in Thailand, you are NEVER more than a few feet away from a delicious, refreshing Thai Beer, enjoy it!!