The organizers of a highly anticipated beer festival set to blend brewing and politics, were looking for a new venue today after their host pulled out due to political reasons.
The inaugural Beer People Festival was looking for a new 3,000sqm space after The Street Ratchada shopping mall announced last night that it would no longer host the event because its reputation could be damaged.
“The shopping center is concerned that it may cause the public to develop the misconception that the shopping center supports political parties and is not neutral, which may bring about protests or political rallies and may cause disturbance to others in the shopping center or may affect the image of the shopping center in the future,” it said in a statement.
It continued to say that it canceled the event to reduce “the risk of political impact” and reserved the right not to be responsible for any of the event’s expenses. The mall did not say whether it had been asked or pressured to withdraw support.
The festival was expected to both celebrate homebrewing and advocate for reforms against the laws that effectively ban it. Last year, a popular opposition bill to decriminalize brewing was narrowly defeated after Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha intervened to float a watered-down compromise measure.
Organized by the four-year-old Prachachon Beer (“Beer People”) community founded by Thanakorn “Benz” Tuamsa-ngaim, the event was expected to host more than 200 craft beer labels from around the country and offer tastes of locally made liquors.
Prachachon Beer said that it will announce the new location by Monday.
The mall hopes it would be given the opportunity to hold its space for other activities in the future.

This article originally appeared with our media partner, Coconuts Bangkok.