The Beer Thread

Restaurants, food, beverage, hawkers, and local markets and suppliers. This is the place for discussion on Hua Hin's culinary options.
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Sabai Jai
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Re: The Beer Thread

Post by Sabai Jai » Thu Aug 23, 2018 9:28 pm

Regarding Thai bottled beers: I was told recently that Chang was a "Chemical" beer i.e. it is not Brewed / fermented but is basically; water, flavouring, alcohol and gas - does anyone know if there is any truth in this please? I've been thinking about the commonly found bottled beers recently Singha, Leo, Chang, Heineken, Archer etc. - anyone know if these are beers in the traditional sense, in that they are actual beer - fermented barley malt, hops and water..

I've been working as a Volunteer at some of the CAMRA beer festivals in London this summer which has made me more thoughtful as to what I'm drinking - However, looking forward to being back in Hua Hin from mid-October and a Glass of very cold Thai beer usually goes down very well.

Regards Sabai Jai

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Re: The Beer Thread

Post by oakdale160 » Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:49 pm

I have been to the Heineken brewery that is outside BKK and there, for sure, the beer is brewed the traditional way and on the tour, they said, again and again, that the process is identical to that in the Netherlands and that they have to send samples back home for analysis frequently.

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Re: The Beer Thread

Post by buksida » Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:57 pm

Chang certainly tastes chemical - especially when you compare it to some of the brews you get at those UK festivals!
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Re: The Beer Thread

Post by centermid7 » Fri Aug 24, 2018 12:14 am

IF , , , "a Glass of very cold Thai beer usually goes down very well " then what are you worried about?

You didn't think you were going to get an objective opinion here did you ?

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Re: The Beer Thread

Post by handdrummer » Fri Aug 24, 2018 5:34 am

objective and opinion do not belong in the same sentence. At least, that's my objective opinion.

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Re: The Beer Thread

Post by Ural_4320 » Thu Sep 27, 2018 1:54 am

I have had Chang beer two days ago when a colleague went back from Thailand and brought me this as a gift (he knows I "collect" beers from all over the world, it's like a hobby to me:))) . It did taste bad, but I thought it was "just" because it was mistreated in the long flight and travel! Thanks in advance, I will know that I should not buy it:))

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Re: The Beer Thread

Post by le_raconteur » Sun Sep 30, 2018 4:27 am

Sabai Jai wrote:
Thu Aug 23, 2018 9:28 pm
Regarding Thai bottled beers: I was told recently that Chang was a "Chemical" beer i.e. it is not Brewed / fermented but is basically; water, flavouring, alcohol and gas - does anyone know if there is any truth in this please? I've been thinking about the commonly found bottled beers recently Singha, Leo, Chang, Heineken, Archer etc. - anyone know if these are beers in the traditional sense, in that they are actual beer - fermented barley malt, hops and water..

I've been working as a Volunteer at some of the CAMRA beer festivals in London this summer which has made me more thoughtful as to what I'm drinking - However, looking forward to being back in Hua Hin from mid-October and a Glass of very cold Thai beer usually goes down very well.

Regards Sabai Jai
Despite what it tastes like It's highly unlikely that Chang is a "chemical" beer. I'm not sure there is such a thing. It wouldn't even be able to be sold in the EU if that was the case.

Most of the other beers you mention are indeed beer but not beer in the traditional sense, to my way of thinking at least, in that they aren't made with 100% malted barley in the mashbill. They are known as adjunct lagers because adjuncts, such as rice and corn are added to the mash to reduce costs. Although certain adjuncts, corn for instance, are sometimes used by brewers to raise alcohol level without affecting taste, body and colour to a high degree. This is why Asahi, made with rice, is such a spectacularly horrible beer.

I believe Singha is made with 100% malted barley and its style is usually considered a "Euro pale lager" because of this.

There are some concoctions on the market which are made in a similar way though. Somersby cider (not real cider) made by Carlsberg is made with concentrated apple syrup, sugar, flavourings, alcohol and water. Whether or not fermentation occurs i don't know.

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Re: The Beer Thread

Post by le_raconteur » Sun Sep 30, 2018 4:45 am

caller wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:25 pm
Pleng wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:07 pm
caller wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:07 pm
Other Thai / Cambodian low volume micro brewery beers are now widely available.
Are any of them brewed locally? Or are all of them brewed abroad an imported?
I'm no expert, but it's my understanding the corporate interests of Singha and Chang are protected by law and the tax imposed on small independents, so some have crossed the border to brew their beer then import it back in. Happy to be corrected on that.

As for the craft beer nonsense, the UK had it right initially, when such places were known as micro brewery's. There were three near me where I lived in West Berkshire, one just two villages along and if you visited to buy a bottle or three, the guy brewing had to stop what he was doing to come and serve you.
Actually craft/micro breweries are banned in Thailand. The Liquors Act passed in 1950 outlawed Thai people from brewing and selling beer which means Thais are liable to a B200 fine for brewing beer and a B5000 fine and 6 months in jail for selling it.

Cambodia is an obvious choice and gypsy brewing is quite common these days anyway. I recently met the owner and Brewer of Maha Nakhon Brewery who was telling me about it. He brews all of his beer in Cambodia. His Belgian white ale is pretty good.

In the UK virtually all beer would qualify as "craft beer" by any definition but breweries in the UK tend to stay away from the term. To United Kingdomers craft beer is just beer. The same goes for Belgians and Germans although the Germans do produce quite a few nasty lagers. Very few macro lagers are made in the UK but unfortunately quite a few are imported.

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Re: The Beer Thread

Post by buksida » Sun Sep 30, 2018 11:36 am

Chemical or not, Thai beer gives you a hangover unlike anything you'd get in the west so there must be some nasty shit in it. Additionally it is stored in boxes in the tropical heat for months so what stops it 'going off' if not chemical preservatives?
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Re: The Beer Thread

Post by caller » Sun Sep 30, 2018 12:49 pm

le_raconteur wrote:
Sun Sep 30, 2018 4:45 am
Actually craft/micro breweries are banned in Thailand. The Liquors Act passed in 1950 outlawed Thai people from brewing and selling beer which means Thais are liable to a B200 fine for brewing beer and a B5000 fine and 6 months in jail for selling it.
Brew houses aren't illegal in Thailand, as long as the product is only sold on the premises and not available for consumption elsewhere. There's such a place in Korat.

At the end of the day, the current law is designed to protect the establishment, which Singha and Chang are very much part of. On the other hand, the Generals aren't doing much to shut the illegal breweries down, at least this side of the election, despite the fact they must know where brewed and how distributed.

The first time I personally became aware of the term 'craft beer' was in respect of the Meantime Brewing Company in Greenwich, London (inevitably). I just assumed it was used to try and justify the then staggering cost of the beer they produced, which was nice enough, but not worth the premium they were charging.
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Re: The Beer Thread

Post by HHTel » Sun Sep 30, 2018 2:43 pm

Actually craft/micro breweries are banned in Thailand. The Liquors Act passed in 1950 outlawed Thai people from brewing and selling beer which means Thais are liable to a B200 fine for brewing beer and a B5000 fine and 6 months in jail for selling it.
You're absolutely correct in the above law. However, in recent years there have been craft beer exhibitions, openly advertised. I've not heard of anyone being taken to task using this law.

I think it's enforced the same as 3 on a bike and will at some point be repealed.

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Re: The Beer Thread

Post by STEVE G » Sun Sep 30, 2018 10:26 pm

buksida wrote:
Sun Sep 30, 2018 11:36 am
Chemical or not, Thai beer gives you a hangover unlike anything you'd get in the west so there must be some nasty shit in it. Additionally it is stored in boxes in the tropical heat for months so what stops it 'going off' if not chemical preservatives?
Alcohol is what stops it going 'off', that's why Chang used to be 6.4% and there are plenty of strong beers on the Continent that will give you hangovers to compare with Thai beers, I've drank most of them over the years and suffered accordingly!

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Re: The Beer Thread

Post by oakdale160 » Sun Sep 30, 2018 10:37 pm

One of my favorite 'Brew pubs" stories and this is from before WW2--A pub in the English Midlands made its own beer and it was judged to be very weak. A customer asked the publican what were the ingredients in the beer. He said Malted Barley, Yeast and Hops--Then he added, oh sorry I forgot the Water.--No you didn't replied the customer.

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Re: The Beer Thread

Post by STEVE G » Sun Sep 30, 2018 10:53 pm

oakdale160 wrote:
Sun Sep 30, 2018 10:37 pm
One of my favorite 'Brew pubs" stories and this is from before WW2--A pub in the English Midlands made its own beer and it was judged to be very weak. A customer asked the publican what were the ingredients in the beer. He said Malted Barley, Yeast and Hops--Then he added, oh sorry I forgot the Water.--No you didn't replied the customer.
Yes, I'm from the Midlands and some of the traditional ales were very weak, about 3.5%, that's why people like the coal miners used to be able to drink 8 pints every night and still get up the next morning and go down the pit again.

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Re: The Beer Thread

Post by Bamboo Grove » Sun Sep 30, 2018 11:24 pm

I'm off to a tour of Baltic states in mid October. The beer scene looks very interesting, particularly in Lithuania. Looking forward to that.
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