Beer in Thailand

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Singha beer

Brewing beer in Thailand began in 1933 with the granting of a brewing license to 57-year-old Phraya Bhirom Bhakdi, born Boon Rawd Sreshthaputra.[1] His company, Boon Rawd Brewery, produces Thailand's oldest and best-known lager, Singha (pronounced "sing"). Singha is sold in Thailand in standard (5 percent ABV), light (3.5 percent ABV), and draught versions.[2]

Singha largest competitor is Chang beer, made by Thai Beverages. Chang is noted globally for its sponsorship of Liverpool's Everton football club, as its name and logo have appeared on the team uniform since 2004.

The Thai Asia Pacific Brewery (TAPB) at its Nonthaburi plant brews Heineken (since 1995), Tiger, Cheers, and Cheers X-Tra (6.5 percent ABV). It is the Thailand importer of Guinness and Kilkenny.[3]

Boon Rawd Brewery also makes Leo, a standard lager (5 percent ABV). In addition, Thai Beverages sells Archa, a mass-market, non-premium lager. Boon Rawd Brewery also sold a global brand called Mittweida, but this was replaced by a beer brewed in partnership with InBev, Kloster. It also sells a 6.5 percent lager called Thai Beer.

Other locally brewed Thai beers are Phuket Beer and Siam, both in Pathum Thani Province. Siam Beer exports Bangkok Beer abroad, but does not sell it in Thailand. Phuket Beer and Federbräu are the only Thai beers brewed in accordance with the German purification law, the Reinheitsgebot. Phuket Lager received the first gold medal ever for a beer from Thailand at the 2006 Monde Selection Awards.[4]

Klassik beer is another local beer brewed in Pathum Thani Province.

Although foreign beers are popular in Thailand, the government protects its domestic breweries by the imposition of import duties up to 60 percent.[5] In addition, all imported beer must bear an import sticker on the bottle cap. As a result, Thai brewers have entered into partnerships with Western brewers, such as Carlsberg's former partnership with Thai Beverages (since abrogated).


The beer market in Thailand in 2015 was expected to grow 3 to 4 percent to 180 billion baht.[6] Singha Corporation is the market leader with a 72 percent share of the market. Thai Beverage has a 24 percent share, and Heineken 4 percent.[6] Thai Asia Pacific Brewery and San Miguel (Thailand) Ltd. were reported to have market shares of 5 percent and 1 percent respectively in 2013.[7]

Craft beer[edit]

Two types of licenses are available in Thailand for would-be beer producers. Thailand's 1950 Liquor Act states that beer can only be made in a factory making more than 1,000,000 litres per year or in a brewpub producing at least 100,000 litres per year for sale on-site with no bottling permitted. Brewpub beers cannot be sold off-premises.[8] The finance ministry in 2000 ruled that, for either type of producer to be legal, they must be a limited company with capital of at least 10 million baht.[5] The maximum penalty for "home brewing" under the 1950 Liquor Act used to be 200 baht for making it and 5,000 baht for selling it. A new law passed by the National Legislative Assembly in December 2016 raised the maximum penalty for illegal production to 100,000 baht or a prison sentence of six months, or both. The maximum fine for selling illegal beer was raised to 50,000 baht.[9] To sell craft beers off-premises, one small brewer explained, "We have two choices: Either hire an overseas factory to make it or build a factory abroad on our own,..." and import it.[5]

Meanwhile, military-controlled ASEAN neighbour Myanmar, in January 2017, got its first craft beer microbrewery, Burbrit. Its name is derived from "Burma" and "Britain", in recognition of British influence on Burma's brewing history.[10]

Thai industrial breweries[edit]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "About us". History. Boon Rawd Brewery Co., Ltd. Retrieved 2015-02-01. 
  2. ^ "Beer and Alcohol Products". Singha Corporation Co., Ltd. Retrieved 26 May 2015. 
  3. ^ "Background". Thai Asia Pacific Brewery. Archived from the original on 18 April 2014. Retrieved 26 May 2015. 
  4. ^ "Phuket Beer Asian beer brand" (PDF). Phuket Magazine. Retrieved 16 Mar 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c Itthipongmaetee, Chayanit (22 January 2017). "THAI CRAFT BEER'S NEW STRATEGY: KEEP BREWING UNTIL LAW CATCHES UP". Khaosod English. Retrieved 24 January 2017. 
  6. ^ a b Rungfapaisarn, Kwanchai (2015-05-25). "High household debt takes the fizz out of beer market". The Nation. Retrieved 26 May 2015. 
  7. ^ "Beer in Thailand". Archived from the original on 15 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-23. 
  8. ^ "Craft support for craft beer" (Editorial). Bangkok Post. 4 February 2017. Retrieved 4 February 2017. 
  9. ^ "Boutique brewer faces jail". Bangkok Post. 22 January 2017. Retrieved 24 January 2017. 
  10. ^ Corbin, Luke (1 February 2017). "Brewing anew in Burma". New Mandala. Retrieved 11 February 2017. 
  11. ^ "About TROPBEVCO". Tropical Beverage Company. Retrieved 23 March 2016. 
  12. ^ "San Miguel Brewery Thailand". San Miguel Brewery Thailand LTD. Retrieved 23 March 2016. 

External links[edit]