What’s the Craft Beer Capital of Thailand?

What’s the Craft Beer Capital of Thailand?

This is a guest post by Annie Kraft.

Bangkok.

That’s not a sophomoric joke; I’m being serious. This past December, I visited my best friend in Bangkok, Thailand. Seeing that I already have trouble going two days in Chicago without enjoying a craft beer, I figured this was a great opportunity to explore the beer culture on the other side of the planet.

Out of all of the local watering holes I visited (and there were plenty), The 14th Barrel stood out the most; it is a refuge for both locals and tourists looking beyond Singha, Chang, and Leo — the mass produced lagers commonly found throughout the city.

First Impressions

Located west of the city’s Chao Phraya River, The 14th Barrel is conveniently situated in the Khlong San district of Bangkok, a tourist-friendly area near the downtown district. For those of you who are familiar with the area, it’s a short walk from the BTS ("Sky Train"), located at 99 Soi Charoen Nakhon 14. In Bangkok, a "Soi" is a side street.

Atmosphere and Staff

beer-magnets

Some Thai craft beer decorations.

In all honesty, the The 14th Barrel would not appear out of place in most of Chicago’s neighborhoods. It’s a cozy space, decked out in quirky beer paraphernalia and littered with plenty of board games available for guests to play — something you see a lot of in our fair city. To top it all off, it had a bicycle and a turntable on display, which made me nostalgic for some of my favorite Chicago dives.

Instead of the standard line of draft beers on tap, The 14th Barrel is home to a vast fridge full of various bottled brews. Unlike many of the other beer bars I visited, this one featured a wide selection of local craft beers, which is unique given the limitations on the micro brewing industry in Thailand.

Similar to popular brewpubs in the States, The 14th Barrel offers a food menu, complete with appetizers and entrees. From what I learned, the owners have solid restaurant experience, so we weren’t too surprised when the food was outstanding.

The Brewskis

ipaBeat Brewing's AGO-GO IPA is a 5.7% ABV American IPA. Fragrant, citrusy, and hoppy, it was exactly what this Midwestern girl craved in a foreign land. Although this was the first beer I tasted, it was easily the best Thai beer I consumed.

 

 

pug-ipaWhat the PUG Citra Bomb IPA is a 6.2% ABV IPA. This one was a bit heavy on the citrus for my liking.

 

 

 

circusCircus the Animal Trainer is a 5.6% India Pale Weizen. A hoppier version of the traditional German style beer, this combination was refreshing, even though it reminded me a bit of champagne.

 

 

Final Word

Based on all of my research of Bangkok’s craft beer scene, the 14th Barrel was the vastly superior establishment. Most of the other places I visited only carried beers from the West Coast of the United States and Australia.

Bangkok travelers in need of a local fix — look no further than The 14th Barrel.

Fun Links

  • As police in Thailand crack down on illegal brewing, some of the nation’s top brewers have teamed up on a project to make the craft beer environment safer for brewers and drinkers alike.

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