A former home brewer back in the US, Aaron Grieser missed the taste of independently brewed beer so much that he ditched his job as a corporate lawyer and, together with fellow craft beer lover Brian Bartusch, set up Beervana. This new importer promises to introduce Bangkok to the handmade American craft beers that are all the rage in the States.

What is craft beer?
I like to think that craft beer is art. It’s brewed by independent brewers, working on a small scale and making beer using natural ingredients, often sourced locally near the brewery. There are now nearly 2,000 breweries pumping out all manner of craft beers across America.

What makes craft beer so different?
No two craft beers are alike. Craft brewers sometimes use radical techniques to create their own novel and distinctive flavors. The difference between craft and commercial beers is like the difference between listening to your favorite band on your iPhone and standing in the front row at their concert. There’s just a much broader spectrum of flavor. Craft beer engages you in a way that’s more akin to single malts or wine—yet it’s much more down to earth.

How did you select the beers?
That’s the best part! We are curators. Our job is to travel the world and handpick the best, most exciting craft beers. It’s a dream job. We look for the best examples of each beer style, that are innovative and that evoke characteristics of the locality where they’re brewed. For example, Rogue’s Hazelnut Brown Ale is brewed with Oregon hazelnuts. We want people to realize that beer can be special and can be enjoyed in the same way as wine. We’re doing a big push around beer and food pairings. The first pairing dinner will be a pop up with Tim Butler from Eat Me at Opposite on Oct 12/13. We are also starting a craft beer club whose members will get the newest and most innovative beers delivered monthly to their doorsteps.

Was it hard to ship in the beers?
It’s a logistical labyrinth because we make sure our beers are temperature controlled at every step, from the brewery dock to the table here in Bangkok. Our beers are typically non-pasteurized and non-filtered, so they are a lot fresher, but also a lot more sensitive. But it’s completely worth it because it makes that much of a difference. Once people taste it, they’ll see.

Beervana will be launching their range of craft beers at Brew Beers & Ciders (Seenspace, Thonglor Soi 13, 02-185-2336) on Oct 3. They will then distribute to around twenty bars and restaurants in Bangkok. For more information, visit www.seekbeervana.com


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