Amid the bubbling saga between F&B representatives and public officials, who recently extended alcohol sales restrictions, there might be light at the end of the tunnel. At least for craft beer bars.
Barely a week after alcohol sellers and brewers poured kegs of spoiled beer down the drain
outside the Department of Disease Control, a coalition of craft beer sellers has taken matters into its own hands, submitting a detailed proposal for how some of the city’s bars can safely get back to business.
The Craft Beer Association has proposed a series of measures that include two-drink limits, seating restrictions of an hour and a half per customer, and a ban on group activities like dancing, singing, and making toasts. And, of course, no sharing glasses. (For the full proposal, see the flyer below.)
Association leaders emphasized that these measures were developed specifically for craft beer bars and might not cover cocktail bars or pubs. However, the group hopes that, pending official approval, other bars will be able to use this proposal as a blueprint that can be adapted to better suit their needs.
“Our ultimate goal is for this country to grow and develop its own drinking culture that can inspire and attract new drinkers. We felt the need to come together and form this association in order to represent ourselves, our ideals, and our hopes and dreams for elevating the drinking culture here in Thailand. Instead we’ve been faced with court summons,” said association member Artid Sivahansaphan.
“Due to the many concerns shown by the Ministry of Public Health, we felt it was our duty to assist and help guide protocols in hopes that this would allow craft beer bars to reopen again soon.”
Alcohol sales inside bars and restaurants have been banned in Bangkok and many neighboring provinces since Jan 5, as a Covid-19 outbreak started to sweep across central Thailand.
According to Craft Beer Association leader Achirawas Wannasrisawas, more than 300 venues and 5,000 individuals in the metro Bangkok area affected by the bans are losing an estimated B150 million per month. Other estimates suggest that the ban could cost the Thai economy up to B9 billion in total.