In a hot, tropical country like Thailand, nothing beats the heat like a big pint of cold brew. The challenge here is keeping your beer cold without watering it down with too much ice and finding the beer that suits your taste. Read about the different types of locally brewed Thai beer by checking out our selection below.
Sporting a red, white, and gold label with a leopard with a powerful gaze, the Leo was born during the time of the Asian financial crisis when the Boon Rawd Brewery, which also manufactures the world-renowned Singha Beer decided that creating a cheaper option would be better than lowering the price of their flagship brew. Probably the best budget beer Thailand has to offer, the Leo has a light and crisp taste that is reminiscent of its posh counterpart. With a price that equals the Chang at 45 Baht per 630-mL bottle from 7-11 and up to 100 Baht at higher-end bars and clubs, the Leo has a 5% ABV that would probably mean a longer night out without the threat of being trampled by the Changover the next day. Of course, if you are looking for something much stronger, then go for the power of the Leo Super which has 6.5% ABV and a much stronger taste.
The Singha can be identified by the white label with a golden mythical lion from Hindu folklore. Named after this powerful beast, Singha, which is pronounced with a silent h, is the Sanskrit word for lion. Thailand’s most popular beer that has been around since the 1930s, it is a clean and crisp pale lager with 5% ABV. As it is the most expensive among the three popular beers in Thailand 50 Baht for a 630-mL bottle at 7-11 and up to 120 Baht for a 330-mL bottle at upscale establishments, this is probably what you will be having during your first day when your travel budget is at its peak.
PHUKET LAGER BEER
Once known as the Phuket Island Beer, this lesser known brand has a heady mix of tangy and fruity flavors that appeals to its region. Although it is distributed internationally, it may not be as easy to find as the other beers. Brewed with premium German hops and Thai jasmine rice, it may be worth searching for it if you have gotten tired of the usual Thai beers and are looking for something new. Look for the only Thai beer with a tame animal on it – a bird with an island vibe.
As strong as the two elephants that appear on its green, gold, and white label, Chang’s ABV ranges from 5.2% for the Chang Classic in a green bottle and 6.4% for the Chang in the brown bottle. It’s also been rumoured that it can go as high as 10% making each drink a game of Russian roulette. The cheapest among the 3 most popular beers, around 45 Baht for a 630-mL bottle at 7-11, it is the preferred brand of budget travelers and those nearing the end of their gap year holiday. With its intense flavour, you might even be able to make a bottle last longer by watering it down with the ice cubes that come with every serving of beer. Just beware of the power of Changover! You may not recall how many beers you’ve had, but you will definitely feel like an elephant has sat on you the next day.
THAI AMARIT BANGKOK
Only found in Bangkok, you might need a local to help you find this mildly sweet beer with a bitter after taste. With a label with big green bold letters that sets itself apart from other Thai beers as it is the only one with no animal on it.
If we missed a new brand, do let us know by commenting below.