The "largest craft brewery in Thailand" could be mere months away from opening. 

Bangkok is one step closer to a project that could revolutionize the city's craft beer scene. 

Back in March, we reported that a collective of the country’s leading brewers—including Nonthaburi’s Chit Beer and Deva hops farm, Pattaya’s Wizard Brewery, Red Stone Brewery from Phatthalung, Kitten Beer in Prathumthani and Mickleheim Brewery from Bangkok—were teaming up to launch a craft beer cooperation called Mitr Sam Phan (friendship) Brewery.

Situated in Nonthaburi, what the team calls the "largest craft brewery in Thailand" is anticipated to allow up to 10 aspiring beer-makers at any one time to practice their craft legally and let the public taste the results. This would give craft brewers a safe environment in which to perfect their product before going the expensive route of bottling their beer abroad for import back into Thailand—one of the few ways Thai craft brewers can currently operate legally.

This week, the Excise Department granted the team a license to build a brewpub, one of two licenses they require to make this dream a reality. The second license, allowing them to legally operate as a brewpub, is expected in around a month's time when the department comes to take a look the hopefully-completed venue.  

“I’m pretty confident we'll get the second license, as we have been doing everything correctly," says Wichit Saiklao of Nonthaburi’s Chit Beer. "If we were to not get it, I don't see why they [the Excise Department] would have allowed us to build the brewpub in the first place."

Assuming the license is granted, Wichit says the brewpub could be fully operational almost immediately, dependent only on the arrival of certain equipment from abroad. 

Brewpubs are nothing new to Thailand. Tawandang on Rama 3 Road has been brewing up its own lagers since 1999, which it serves nightly along with kitsch cabaret acts and German pork knuckle. The Londoner has also served up three of its own beers in the bar's various guises over the past 20 years. Mitr Sam Phan, however, hopes to take the brewpub format and sell it to drinkers who are more interested in esoteric hops blends than dodgy comedy shows or live sports.

In related good news, the brothers from Deva hops farm, Nattachai and Teerapat Ungsriwong, the brains behind Devanom IPA, which was named Thailand’s best IPA at the 2016 Beercamp: Fightclub competition, have launched a new project called Nonthaburi Brewing Company. Legally registered with a fermented alcohol license, the company has started producing mead and cider available in limited qualities. 

Check out the progress of Mitr Sam Phan Brewery below:


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