The story of the microbrew revolution in Thailand is unfortunately quite a sad one. As the rest of the Asian world experienced a new dawn of interest in small-time craft beers about three years ago, Thailand was left in the dark due to asinine import duties assessed on imported brew.
People simply didn’t have access to the good stuff because of the high costs associated with importing it. Distributors only brought in the moneymaking big brands and skipped over the small guys. For a long time, Thailand has had such limited exposure to microbrews that the nation’s beer tasting palate hasn’t yet had the chance to evolve. While the wine bar craze came and went, the interest in beer has been steadily growing. Craft beer bars are popping up all over town, but the problem still remains: They only source their booze (which is good, don’t get me wrong) from a few distributors in Bangkok, so most end up having the same selection of Belgians and a few German brews. Oh yea, and you can buy some Australian suds at Villa market as well.
But what about the rest of the beer-producing world? Why skip over what they have to offer?
Well, it looks like things are about to change. Beervana, a “curator” of sorts has finally entered the Kingdom and vows to bring us some of the world’s most distinct microbrews.
Aaron Grieser and Brian Bartusch, two ambitious microbrew-loving Americans are the men behind the operation. The name? “My home town is actually nicknamed Beervana,” says Aaron Grieser. The place he’s referring to is truly the mecca of brewing beer: Oregon, in the Pacific Northwest of America.
Bangkok is in dire need of a few beer geeks to spearhead the revolution, and these guys plan to search the world and handpick the best beers to bring into Thailand. The beers will be available at 24 locations around Bangkok, starting with the debut of Rogue Ales at Brew Beers & Ciders in Thonglor on Oct. 3. Their first shipment also included Anderson Valley’s lineup, a brewery in Northern California. It looks like Bangkok’s beer scene is finally coming of age.
So, Beervana, if you’re listening, Coconuts would like to give you our wish list: Pliny The Elder by Russian River Brewing Company, Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout by North Coast Brewing Co., and Resurrection Dubbel from Brewer’s Art Baltimore. Kthxbye.