Papa Tods – Thai Craft Beer Review

I’ve run into beers from Papa Tods Brewing a few times before and been finding them pretty decent. It’s a craft beer that can be found around Bangkok but it’s increasingly difficult to find these beers because of them being brewed without a license. If you’re not familiar with the illegal Thai craft beers then this is because it’s pretty much impossible for Thai craft beer brewers to get a license because of ridiculous requirements.

This time I actually had time to sit down and reflect over these beers a bit and write this review. The beers I had were Solomon City Newengland, NE Victoria, Lemon Witbier Plum, and a Stout with a name written in Cyrillic, Попойка (Popoika) which I could not figure out what meant.

Anyways, here are my thoughts on these unique Thai Craft Beers from Papa Tods.

Papa Tods – Solomon City Newengland – ABV 7%

Papa Tods Solomon City NEIPA

As can be seen from the picture this beer has a typical hazy NEIPA look. Smells heavy of hops and it might actually be dry-hopped, possibly with cryo hops. The same I could say about the flavour and there’s some hop burn to it, possibly a very fresh batch.

The aroma is quite simple but flavour is more complex with pineapple, tangerine and apricot flavours, it’s even a bit herbal. Balanced with a nice bitterness that is actually a lot more powerful than in most New England IPAs. It feels like the beer is a bit all over the place so it’s definitely a very interesting beer and not a very typical NEIPA.

Papa Tods – Victoria Single Hop – ABV 6.6%

Papa Tods Victoria Single Hop

Victoria single hop, tropical aroma compared to the Solomon City Newengland which smelled like hops and weed. This one is more true to the style as there are a lot of soft tropical notes in the aroma. Not much bitterness, medium mouthfeel and quite low on carbonation.

Papa Tods – Lemon Witbier Plum – ABV 5.8%

Papa Tods Lemon Witbier Plum

I was looking for a sour beer but I couldn’t find one at the craft beer bar in Bangkok I was at. This was a great second choice though as I wanted a fruity beer. I had drunk only Papa Tods for the whole evening and I was fairly satisfied with the beers I have had. I got very strong notes of wine in the aroma. Even the flavour is very much like a non-dry white wine although not sweet. Plum. A bit tart. A very odd experience but I quite enjoyed it.

Papa Tods – Попойка (Popoika)

Papa Tods Popoika Stout

Very light in the aroma, a bit of chocolate – a bit of coffee. The same applies to the flavour and because of the inoffensive nature of the beer the alcohol pushes through too much. Feels like artificial chocolate flavouring. The taste isn’t bad in itself but a bit unbalanced considering it is supposed to be a big beer at 8.5%, flavour-wise it’s not. A very light body and the flavours are way too weak. Supposedly it’s barrel-aged which surprised me quite a bit.

Conclusion

If you are looking for this specific Thai craft beer brewer you will have the biggest chance of finding some of the cans or bottles in Bangkok. It’s not very easy to find but it can be done if you ask around a bit. Of these beers, I probably liked the Solomon City the most although it was more bitter than a NEIPA should be. Anyways I enjoyed my few cans of this particular Thai craft beer and I can definitely recommend seeking them up.

The Fat Cow – Bang Wa Branch

I have been a regular customer to legendary Bangkok craft beer place Fat Cow at Lad Phrao almost since the beginning. It was in one way or another one of my local hangouts and I have always enjoyed going there for a drink or five. There was the short story of Fat Cow on the roof that quickly got sold but now there’s finally a second branch in Bang Wa. This place opened at the end of 2019 and I’ve been meaning to check it out for a long time.

I went there in February 2020 and the first impression was that there are many similarities between the original one at Lad Phrao. It only took me a few seconds to start seeing and feeling the difference though. Whereas Fat Cow Lad Phrao always has been beer oriented they eventually got really popular for their food. Fat Cow Bang Wa seems to be a bit more about the food than the beer but craft beer is still very much in focus. I was a bit confused in the beginning where to find the beer list. Eventually, and ironically, I found the tap list at the exact same place as it is in Fat Cow Lad Phrao, above the entrance.

When I visited they had 8 different beers on tap including the Fort Gypsy Moth from Eleventh Fort and Behemoth Brewing, beers from Hophog, TwoTwen, and Paul’s beer. A decent list and the first time I walked through the premises I couldn’t find a beer fridge like in the Lad Phrao branch. A little later I walked through the place again and I found a fridge filled with beers from several different brewers, including Happy New Beer and Papa Tods. I have no idea how I could have missed it in the beginning. Unfortunately, they do not really have any of the difficult-to-find beers anymore that Fat Cow Lad Phrao was famous for.

Fort Gypsy Moth Eleventh Fort and Behemoth Brewing

Fat Cow Bang Wa is located in a very deep shophouse as opposed to the small corner spot of Fat Cow Lad Phrao. This makes it a bit less intimate and perhaps also a bit less social. I went in the afternoon so not sure how the atmosphere would be later in the evening. The decor is still very similar to the Lad Phrao branch. The small bricks on the wall, wooden tables, and a very similar menu.

Although the Lad Phrao branch will always the one and only original Fat Cow, it’s nice to have a Fat Cow even in this part of town. It’s a very nice spot to have a few Thai craft beers if you’re in the Bang Wa area.

The beers I had at Fat Cow Bang Na were the Fort Gypsy Moth from Behemoth and Eleventh Fort and a double dry-hopped IPA from Maelameird.

Fort Gypsy Moth – Behemoth x Eleventh Fort

I thought I would be too slow to get my hands on this beer as it was already a few months since it was brewed when I finally found it. I wasn’t sure how big of a batch they had brewed so I thought there might have been a possibility I would never have gotten the chance to try it. I did manage to find it and at the same time, I got the chance to try out Fat Cow’s Bang Wa branch, the new branch of the legendary Bangkok craft beer place. Don’t forget to check our article of Fat Cow Lad Phrao as well.

This is the collaboration beer the blog Cambodian Craft Beers wrote about in the interview with Eleventh Fort. Eleventh Fort is a popular Thai craft beer brewer and Behemoth Brewing Company is from New Zealand.

The Fort Gypsy Moth is an IPA with an ABV of 6%. It pours clear golden. The aroma is passionfruit, pineapple and tangerine. It has low carbonation and the flavour is not intensely bitter but there is some bitterness to it. The flavour is of a random fruit cocktail with some pine. Not very highly carbonated, could use some more. Still, a pretty refreshing beer and I did definitely enjoy it. Get it while it lasts!