All brands of thai beer, which you can find on sale in Thailand, can be divided into two major groups: local brands and global brands. Here it should be noted that all the beer in Thailand produced in modern plants under strict control of western management, so the quality of any kind is at a high level, and the choice of thai beer depends more on the taste preferences of the individual. Personally, I really like thai beer (i mean local varieties), so I decided to describe the most common and popular brands that are most popular with tourists, and which I personally very like.
I think, to describe the world-famous brand of beer does not make sense, because the taste is almost always the same (in the airplane i usually must choose between Foster’s, Heineken and Carsberg), but in Thailand I drink only local varieties. Due to the fact that beer in thai language sounds like “beer” problems with acquisition usually not occurs. Cost of beer depends on the place of purchase and size of bottles (cans). In contrast to the volume of 0.5 liters that is widespread in Europe, in Thailand beer is produced in 0.33 l bottles. and 0.64 l. There are also beer bottles with a volume of 0.66 liters and 0.62 liters.
The price of a small bottle or can starts from 30-40 baht. It is more profitable to buy a large bottle, but not very big beer lovers often cannot alone overpower such a volume, especially since the local beer is strong enough. Also note that in Thailand you can buy beer in aluminum cans. However, their size is slightly different from the usual. Small cans of beer currently have a volume of 0.32 liters, and large – 0.49 liters. Another feature of Thailand is the absence of non-alcoholic and dark beers. At least I have not seen such varieties, although I really like to try new brands of Thai beer and i am regularly do it.
One of the most popular varieties of local beer called «Singha» (Thais say “Sing beer”, which means “Lion Beer”). This beer have a fortress of 5%. This is the main beer brand of the Thai concern Boon Rawd. On the white label stylistically figure of the Golden Lion, the top and contains the inscription Singha, made the same golden letters. Beer of the brand with a lower alcohol content – Singha Light with fortress 3.5%. Aforementioned brand of thai beer produced for over 80 years (since 1933) with using of local barley and German hops. This is the first Thai beer, which I tried, but I sometimes think it is slightly bitter, and sometimes – with a slightly sour aftertaste, so I drink it not very often, and only with beer snacks. However, the volume of consumption of beer in Thailand show that beer is very good, so I advise to be sure to try, especially since it costs only a little more expensive than other brands of thai beers.
The cost of Singha beer at Big-C and Tesco Lotus supermarkets (2019)
Bottle 0.32L = 37 THB
Canned 0.32L = 36 THB
Package 6 x 0.32L: = 208 THB
Bottle 0.63L = 62 THB
The second popular brand – Chang beer with two white elephants on the label, which is dominated by various shades of green color (depending on the variety). “Chang” means elephant, as you probably already know, especially if you read the article “Koh Chang” – Bounty Island in the Siam Gulf”. Brand there is a relatively recent (about 17 years) and was founded by beer company with a worldwide reputation – Carlsberg. Currently, the beer brand belongs to the Thai concern Thai Beverages. Classical Chang beer has 6.4% alcohol; Chang Draught contains 5% alcohol, and the weakest is the beer Chang light, which contains only 4.2% alcohol.
Personally, I like Chang light Thai beer most of all, as well as Chang Export, which also contains 5% alcohol. During my first trips to Thailand, the share of Chang beer (primarily Light and Export) accounted for at least 50% of the volume of all drunk Thai beer. And I usually preferred to take a few cans of such beer from Thailand home. Later, I began to like other Thai beers, but I still drink quite a few Chang beer in bars, where this beer is often draft.
Chang Beer Prices at Big-C and Tesco Lotus Supermarkets
Bottle 0.32L = 32 THB
Canned 0.32L = 32 THB
Package 6 x 0.32L: = 191 THB
Bottle 0.62L = 52 THB
2 cans x 0.49L = 91 THB
One of the cheapest brands of Thai beer, but little bit less popular and prevalent than the two described above, it is considered thai beer «Leo». Produced by concern Boon Rawd (like Singha beer). On the label with a predominance of red color depicts spotted leopard, and in the the center – three distinct large white letters forming the name of the beer «LEO». Interesting enough beer, which has a 3.5% percentage of alcohol. Beer Leo is not different pronounced taste. This thai beer is not bitter and not sour, so it’s perfect to quench your thirst. I personally after one bottle for a long time do not want to drink even a hot day in the sun.
Since I am a fan of these beers, I find this interesting brand. Especially because when meeting with the locals (thai girls) i call my name how Leo, showing this bottle. Had noticed that it turns much easier than called full my name (Leonid) that local persons remember and pronounce the difficult (and maybe they just lazy :)). Since 2017, this sort of Thai beer has become for me the most beloved and often used. I usually buy Leo beer in cartons with two cans or two bottles. As a rule, this is a more profitable option, which saves 8-10 THB.
LEO Beer Prices at Big-C and Tesco Lotus Supermarkets
Bottle 0.32L = 35 THB
Canned 0.32L = 35 THB
Package 6 x 0.32L: = 202 THB
Bottle 0.62L = 57 THB
Canned x 0.49L = 50 THB
Apparently, because thai peoples have a true love to large cats , and may as a tribute to tradition, the stores you can found and thai beer «Tiger», which miraculously translated as Tiger. Beer is easily distinguished by a bright blue label, which shows at the top of sneaking through the jungle tiger, and bottom – in large print orange is written the name of the brand – Tiger. In general, the Thai beer Tiger is a soft and perfectly refreshing, but in the aftertaste is slightly felt bitterness. The cost of this brand slightly more expensive than Leo, but cheaper Singha and Chang, although in some shops the price of beer Chang was identical. It is worth noting that if you already traveled to other countries of Southeast Asia, you could have tasted this beer in Vietnam, Laos, Singapore, etc. For example, my sister brought me this beer from Malaysia (made and bottled there). The beer brand belongs to the famous Heineken brewing company, so you can find this kind of beer in Europe.
Tiger Beer Prices at Big-C and Tesco Lotus Supermarkets
Bottle 0.32L = 34-35 THB
Canned 0.32L = 33-35 THB
Bottle 0.62L = 55-56 THB
San Miguel Light beer
I tried this beer only during the second long travel to Thailand, but I really liked its taste and for several years I have chosen this brand in situations where I want to quench my thirst. San Miguel Light beer is brewed in the Thai province of Pathum Thani by the Philippine San Miguel Corporation and in stores it is easy to distinguish by a transparent bottle with a white and blue label. Despite the word light in the name of beer, it is not low alcohol and contains 5% alcohol. In most cases, I buy this beer not in stores, but I order in Thai bars. And for this there is one reason: a special process of use. When you order San Miguel beer in a bar (and this is likely to be San Miguel Light beer), this beer will be served to you in an open bottle, on the neck of which 1/4 of green lime will lie.
Before drinking beer, you must either squeeze the lime juice into the bottle, or generally push this piece of lime inside the bottle. After that, the beer quenches thirst and refreshes. I think no other Thai beer is as refreshing as San Miguel Light cold beer with a slice of lime inside. But if you are a lover of varieties of beer with a pronounced taste, then San Miguel Light may not like you. San Miguel Light beer has almost no bitterness and taste of hops, so it is preferred by girls who work in bars in Pattaya or Phuket. There is also an opinion that this beer contains fewer calories, and that is why girls prefer to use this particular variety.
San Miguel Light beer prices at Big-C and Tesco Lotus supermarkets
Bottle 0.33L = 38-41 THB
Canned 0.33L = 39-40 THB
Bottle 0.64L = 70 THB
Phuket beer – original rice beer
In the name of this Thai beer you can see the name of the country’s largest island, but you can find Phuket beer not only in Phuket Island, but also in Bangkok, Pattaya and other resorts, although not in every store. As in the case of San Miguel Light beer, Phuket beer is made at the San Miguel factory in Pathum Thani province, north of Bangkok. On the green label of Phuket beer is a famouus tropical bird – toucan with a large beak, under which the name of the brand – PHUKET is written in large letters. For the manufacture of this beer is used German hop and a special sort of Thai rice – jasmine.
Phuket beer has a slightly sweet taste, and in the aftertaste you can feel the aroma of tropical fruits. Beer has an alcohol content of 5% and is made only from natural ingredients. For its taste, Phuket beer was awarded a gold medal at an international beer competition in Belgium and became the first Thai beer to receive such an award. Currently, the Thai company Tropical Beverage International exports Phuket beer around the world, so there is a chance to find this brand in other countries.
Cheers beer and Archa beer
Practically in every Thai store you can find Cheers beer in bottles and aluminum cans. This beer brand has been produced by Heineken in Thailand since 2005. In order not to compete with more premium beer brands from the same concern, Cheers beer is sold at one of the lowest prices in the country. As a rule, in popular chain stores you can buy a can of 0.49 liters for 47-49 THB, and a bottle of 0.63 liters for a similar price can be purchased on the Tesco Lotus network. Despite its low cost, Cheers beer is of high quality and has a good, slightly sweet taste. Sometimes I buy this beer for dinner when I eat spicy Thai food. Cheers beer is recommended to be consumed with ice or in very chilled form.
Archa beer has been produced since 2004 by Thai Beverages concern (the same as Chang beer). Initially, beer contained 5.4% alcohol, but 10 years after the release of the first bottle, the alcohol content was reduced to 5%. On the label of Archa beer you can see the head of a white horse. The logo of this beer is directly related to its name, because from the Thai language the word Archa is translated as “equestrian”. It was not by chance that I placed this beer brand together with Cheers beer, since they are in many ways similar. These are low-cost beers, but they taste quite good. Archa beer is even cheaper than Cheers beer. For example, you can buy a can of Archa beer at the Tesco Lotus supermarket for only 28 THB. Personally, I didn’t really like the slightly sour taste of this beer and I can recommend it only for travelers with small budget along with spicy dishes and only chilled.
Beer in Thailand: where to buy and how to drink
Due to the fact that the classic Thai beer has a sufficiently high content of alcohol and use it, you’ll not only for dinner, but often at the beach should be some caution, because in a hot climate, alcohol can affect the body very quickly. Buy thai beer can be almost anywhere, but most often it is done in chain stores SevenEleven and Family Mart. As a rule, you can find a beer at the far end of the hall, in the refrigerator. In supermarkets, Tesco Lotus, Big C and other large stores beer (and other alcoholic drinks) is cheaper at 8-12 thai baht for a large bottle, so if you take a lot – get substantial savings – enough to pay for city transport in Pattaya to this store and come back and save money.
But if you want to buy beer in the morning or in the afternoon in tourist places (Pattaya, Phuket, Koh Chang, Koh Samui, etc.), you can do this in most Family Mart stores and 7Eleven even if the time when the beer coolers when a ban on the sale of alcoholic beverages. At the same time, there are shops in which refrigerators with beer are closed with an opaque film and beer in such stores will not be sold to you. In such cases, just exit the store and go to the next one, which may be 50 meters away and in which you can easily buy beer at any time of the day.
Many locals prefer to add ice in beer so that it stays cold longer. Here it should be noted that the usual ice still melts quickly in a hot climate, so the beer becomes watery and loses its taste. A good way out of this situation – a special ice, which is characterized by an increased melting time and does not cost much more than usual. Buy this ice can be in the same 7/11. Another good way to keep the thai beer cold – the use of special holders, in which is inserted a bottle or can. These bottles-holders keep the temperature of thai beer because the bad skip warm air and heat from hands. And these beer holders – a great souvenir from Thailand, which can be used for other purposes at home or you can give to your friends like original thai souvenir.
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