In January this year a young man was arrested after police discovered that he was selling home-brewed beer from his three-storey shophouse in Nonthaburi. He is now on trial, and faces a possible six-month prison sentence. His arrest brought to light two conflicting forces in the world of brewing in Thailand. One is an explosion of interest in the craft beer movement among younger Thais, who want to replicate the rich, hoppy flavours and distinct characters of the beers coming out of US microbreweries in their own country, where for decades beer drinkers have been stuck with the standardized lagers produced by Thailand's two brewing giants, Boonrawd (Singha) and Thaibev (Chang).
The countervailing force is the 1950 Liquor Act, and a later Finance Ministry regulation, which requires all beer to be made by companies producing at least 100,000 liters a year. Despite that there are a number of beer-lovers defying the law by brewing in semi-secrecy, and others who have resigned themselves to making Thai craft beer overseas, and bringing it in, with a heavy additional import duties. So should the law be changed, and can a military government that worries about the moral hazard posed by alcohol be persuaded to open the door for craft beers?
We are bringing in some of the drivers of the craft beer revolution in Thailand to make their argument, and will be serving the FCCT's new selection of imported craft beers.
, co-founder of Beervana, one of the first importers of US craft beers to Thailand.
, a Thai craft beer enthusiast who helps run the Seri (Free) Beer campaign
, a professor at Rajamangala University of Technology and a consultant to alcohol producers.
Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand
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Patumwan, Bangkok 10330
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