Made in Cambodia
The brewer: CEO Panitan “Fang” Tongsiri trained himself through YouTube and Google, a process that began in 2015 and concluded with the unveiling of Bannok Beer’s first batch last October.
The beer: Kiss Me Deadly (ABV 5%) is a crystal wheat beer that has lychee in the mix, while Honey Bomb (ABV 5%) makes a good session IPA thanks to the sweet aroma. The brews are both easy-drinking but with subtle complexities.
What’s next: Fang’s plan to launch another four craft beers this year may seem ambitious, but it pales beside his mission to begin construction of a legal craft beer brewery in Thailand later this year (breweries are currently required to produce at least 10 million liters per year to be legal). Fang’s also spreading the gospel of brewing across the country’s provinces.
The brewers: These two engineers-turned-brewers want their identities kept secret. We do know that they met in university, and having exhausted themselves on foreign craft beers, decided to try their hands at making their own using home kits. We also know that their labels are the talk of beer-geek circles.
The beer: Last September welcomed their black IPA (ABV 8%). Their second label is a more traditional IPA (ABV 6.9%), and was just launched at the end of February.
What’s next: The mystery men have a plan to bring in two more labels by the end of this year.
Taopiphop Ale Project
The brewers: This guy made headlines in Jan 2017 when he was arrested for brewing craft beer at home under a rarely-enforced law. He then opened his own bar in Feb, Taopiphop Bar Project, before legally releasing his own beer, Hurtster, in May.
The beer: Hurtster, a saison (Belgian farmhouse ale, ABV of 4.9%) is smooth, mellow and inspiredby Tao’s “heartbroken hipster” period.
What’s next: A brewery in Vietnam. But Tao’s also occupied with his other love, sa toh (Thai fermented rice rum), which he wants to bring to mainstream drinkers.
Available at Bad Taste Cafe, Taopiphop Bar Project, Ba Tao (a weekend pop-up bar on the rooftop of Cho Why). B170. www.fb.com/taoaleproject
Made in Australia
The brewers: Champ Vongsawat, Petch Boonchoochuay and Manak Narula are long-time friends. Petch owns Khao Yai’s Cheese Maker and Caroline Cheese, Champ owns Khao Yai restaurant Thongbuak and Sukhumvit Soi 16’s Pizzazo Bistro, and Manak comes from a textile business family. Champ, the master brewer, learned his skills with a course in Melbourne.
The beer: There’s a label to match each founder’s beer profile: the Mr Galactic porter, the Island Hopper lager and Peak A Brew, an IPA.
What’s next: In the making this year will be an IPL (India Pale Lager) and a pale ale. This March, look out for the limited edition New England IPA on tap at Beer Republic, Mash and Changwon Express, among others.
The brewers: Again, a collaboration of three friends: Thitiwat “Tui” Suwannalak, Chumporn “Hnon” Sangvilert and Anis “Ned” Lamjaikla. You might recognize Tui and Ned as the owners of Ekkamai’s favorite cafe, The Counting Sheep Corner. Tui brewed his first batch a decade ago in Australia but, in his own words, “it sucked so badly.” He’s since fine-tuned his craft and now turns out refreshing, easy-drinking beers.
The beer: The pilsner ABV 4.5% and amber ABV 5% are both light-bodied, smooth and refreshing. For you connoisseurs, the amber’s a little more complicated. The batches are small because the brewers don’t use preservatives.
What’s next: No big plans at the moment except to make sure that these two labels stay consistent in quality and strong in the market first.
Available at The Counting Sheep Corner, Studio Lam, Viva Thonglor and Wishbeer for B160-220. www.fb.com/dirtyforty