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.

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!

Outlaw Brewing – West Coast IPA – Thai Craft Beers

Outlaw Brewing West Coast IPA

As the name states, his beer is Outlaw’s take on the West Coast IPA. It has been widely available in supermarkets in Thailand for the past few months, as has Outlaw’s Gateway and Showdown IPA. I picked this one up at the mall Bang Kae for 109 baht, a steal in comparison to other beers of similar quality.

A west coast IPA is a style that is usually quite hoppy, has a relative bitterness to back it up, and usually isn’t very sweet. Outlaw’s West Coast IPA pours a golden colour. It has a very creamy mouthfeel. I get a lot of Mango which makes the beer feel a bit sweet. Apart from that, there’s plenty of tropical fruit that is usually the case with this style of beer.

While it doesn’t need it, I couldn’t help to think that some more carbonation would have been very interesting to see in this beer. Outlaw Brewing has previously been brewing at Kingdom Breweries in Cambodia, but I think this version of the West Coast IPA is brewed in Vietnam.

Outlaw Brewing is a Thai craft beer brewer based in Loei. It’s run by a Canadian and his wife. If you are interested in reading more about them I have previously written articles like the review of the Mosaic IPA, something about their first craft beer bar in Loei, and their second branch in Khon Kaen.

ABV: 6%
IBU: 40
Outlaw Brewing’s Facebook Page

Outlaw Brewing – Mosaic IPA Can – Thai Craft Beer Review

Mosaic IPA Can Thai Craft Beer

Outlaw Brewing has, without a doubt, been making its mark on the Thai craft beer scene with their great beers. Recently they have also tried to make their beers more easily available (read “not so outlaw”) to the craft beer lovers of Thailand.

Mosaic IPA – Short Story

Initially, this beer started selling at Family Mart. It sold for only 99 baht a can, which is to date the most affordable Thai Craft Beer, except Bannok’s two beers, Kiss me Deadly & Honey Bomb. Outlaw’s time on the Family Mart shelves was unfortunately short-lived and the Mosaic IPA disappeared from the shelves after the first order.

The brewer Mike, however, continued to work hard and shortly thereafter managed to get a few of his beers stocked at places like Makro, Villa Market and Tops Market. Currently, you can find the Mosaic IPA, Gateway IPA, and the Showdown IPA at these locations.

Closeup Mosaic IPA Outlaw Brewing

Tasting Notes

The Mosaic IPA is a single malt hop brewed with the, you guessed right, Mosaic Hop. The first thing I realized when I poured the beer was that the beer must be quite heavily dry-hopped because I didn’t even have my nose close to the glass and I could feel the peculiar aroma of the mosaic hop. Mango and Pineapple is especially prevalent in this one.

I proceeded with drinking the beer and initially recognized an intense sweetness. Another thing I realised was the lack of carbonation, which to me was a bit of a surprise. The flavours are in line with the aroma and there’s a substantial bitterness to round off the sweetness and the drinking experience. It leaves a nice bitter aftertaste which was very appreciated. Medium body, amber in colour.

It’s fantastic to start seeing great Thai Craft Beer being readily available at a bit more affordable prices. This will surely not be the last craft beer we’ll see in stores like Makro, and we hope this trend will explode as a case of over-carbonated Chang bottles.

This is a write-up about the can, not the bottled version that has been around for a longer time.

ABV: 6,5%
IBU:
50
Brewed by:
 Phnom Penh Brewery (Can), Kingdom Breweries (Bottle)
Also won the Chairman’s Selection in 2018 Asia Beer Championship

Sivilai Lager – Thai Craft Beer Profile

Thai Craft Pilsner Sivilai Thai Craft Beer

Finally, there’s a proper Craft Lager available in Bangkok. There are a few people that have made the attempt to bring craft beer to the masses, Bannok Beer has unfortunately not been up to par, and Outlaw has done a good attempt of getting the beers out there, but seem to face some struggles.

Sivilai is the answer for so many craft beer lovers that like Lagers, but hate the stuff from the gigantic commercial breweries. It’s the first Lager made to represent the constantly changing, cosmopolitan tastes of Bangkok and the rest of Thailand.sivilai-thai-craft-pilsner-3

The malt bill consists of premium Pilsner malt and no adjuncts or additives are used. The simple malt bill brings a refreshment seldom seen in commercial lagers in the country, or elsewhere.

For hops, they have used popular varieties like American Simcoe and Australian Mosaic, which brings notes of tropical fruits, pine and citrus forward. In the picture below you can find the different hops used and their flavour profiles.

It’s without a doubt a bold new venture for Thai beer to be trying to fill the gap between commercial and craft beers with this much attention to detail. According to the people behind Sivilai the beer is, “as playful, innovative, and explosively flavorful as the city that inspires it”.sivilai-thai-craft-pilsner-1

The cool thing about Lagers, which is also why they are difficult to brew, is that there is nowhere to hide. It’s one of the most popular beer styles in the world, but it’s also a style where every mistake shows very easily. It also uses a totally different yeast strain to ales, and precision, technique and purity of the ingredients is crucial. If you manage to brew this beer perfectly, it is one of the best beer experiences to be had.

Distribution will begin at modern trade outlets such as Central, Tops, Gourmet Market,  Villa Market, Foodland, Makro, as well as bars across the city. Retail price is set for 69 baht / can. Extending into convenience stores 7/11 and Family Mart in the following months.

List of Craft Beer Bars in Bangkok

Yo! This list is still under construction. We decided to make two different lists for beers within Bangkok and craft beer bars outside of Bangkok, that’s how big the craft beer scene in Thailand is right now, isn’t that fantastic? Maybe in the future, we will still have to divide this article into articles like craft beer in Isaan and craft beer in Northern Thailand, but for now, these two are enough. This list tries to gather all the craft beer bars in Bangkok into the same place, it will take some time to finish it, but we’re doing our best to make it as comprehensive as possible.

Craft beer bars marked with * indicate that they are also brewing their own beer.

A

aBeer Home Bar Ratchada

B

BaanBangkok

Baan Dok Kaew House

Bottles of Beer

Brewski

C

Changwon Express*

Chit Beer*

Craft Intersect

D

Daddy G’s smoke & brew*

Dogstep

G

Garden 52 Craft Beer and Bistro

Group B Bar

H

Hair of the Dog

Hoppy Hrs. by Craftpital

M

Mad Moa

P

Pink Tender Restaurant & Catering

PintR2 CRAFT

S

Splash Craft Beer

T

Taproom

The Three Musketbeers

W

Where Do WE Go

Where Is My Beer? – Craft Beer & Beertails

Wishbeer

Y

Yolo Craft Beer Bar

123

127 Craft Bottles

Stone Head – Hazelnut Stout – Thai Craft Beer Reviews

Stone Head Hazelnut Stout

The label on the bottle readsGreat Things Take Time“, the guys from Stone Head seems to be needing some more time with their Hazelnut Chocolate Stout. Not a very impressive work at all.

There’s a small head to the beer when poured which disappears very quickly. The aroma is so faint that I could hardly get any sense at all what they are trying to achieve.

When I took my first sip of the beer I thought to myself, “Have they mistakenly dropped a bunch of limes in their fermentation tank?”. A weird sour taste took me aback like there’s no tomorrow. What the hell have they been trying to do?

After a few more sips I kind of got used to the sour flavour, but it was still no pleasure to the palate. I start feeling some chocolate flavours but it´s all overpowered by the sour taste. Slight hint of hazelnut but there’s no depth to the flavours and they disappear as fast as the beer went down my throat.

The hazelnut chocolate stout has a medium body and could be quite easily drinkable if the taste was better. Although I’ve had way worse beers, I see no particular reason why anyone would prefer this stout over others.

Stone Head

Stone Head is a Thai Craft Beer brand that operates their own brewery in Koh Kong, Cambodia. Like many other Thai Craft Brewers, they escaped the country to pursue their passion and with the intent of selling their beer legally in their home country. As you might know, brewing beer is illegal in Thailand and getting the necessary licenses to do so is near to impossible. Currently, their brewery in Cambodia has the capacity to produce around 3000 litres a day. One of their passion is also to include traditional Thai ingredients to their beer.

You can read more about these Thai Craft Beer Brewers and their beers at:
https://stonehead.beer

Happy New Beer – Pilsner – Thai Craft Beer

Happy New Beer Pilsner Thai Craft Beer

Got Happy New Beer’s pilsner at The Fat Cow on Ladphrao Road.

First, I need to say that the beer looks fantastic. It pours with an impressive frothy head and it looks a bit hazy like many Pilsners do. I do, however, like my Pilsners crisp, and while Happy New Beer’s pilsner is smooth, it lacks the crispiness of the Czech-style pilsner I normally like. That should mean it’s definitely made in the way the Dutch make their pilsners.

The mouthfeel of this Thai pilsner is a bit heavier than usual. It feels like they have overdone the hopping because it is very hop-heavy for a pilsner. The same applies to the aroma. Happy New Beer is otherwise one of the best Thai Craft Beers on the market, but their pilsner is a bit of a letdown. Having said that, pilsner is not an easy style to brew. It seems like they have made the hops more important than the pilsner malts that should be the main focus in this kind of beer.

If you’re interested in their other beers you can check out the Grapefruit New England IPA.

Happy New Beer is one of the Thai Craft Beers that is brewed abroad. While most Thai Beers are brewed in Asia, this brewer actually brews this beer in Australia (the 500ml cans are brewed in the US). They also operate a bar in Khao Yai called E.A.T. At Khao Yai.

Beer Profile:
Name: Happy New Pilsner
Brewer: Happy New Beer
Brewed in: USA
Style: Pilsner
ABV: 5.0%
IBU: N/A

 

Sandport Beer – Wheat Boom – Thai Craft Beer Review

Sandport Beer Wheat Boom Thai Craft Beer

Wheat Boom White Ale from Sandport beer is brewed with the classic Pilsner malt, in addition to Wheat and Carapils. To create a smooth beer also Oat flakes are used in the brewing process. It’s a balanced Wheat beer that is also using kaffir lime leaves and coriander seeds.

Beer Profile:
Name: Wheat Boom
Brewer: Sandport Beer
Brewed in: Kingdom Breweries, Cambodia
Style: White Ale
ABV: 5.4%
IBU: N/A
Flavour profile: Tropical, Citrus, Floral

Who is Sandport Beer?
Sandport is a Thai Craft Beer Brewer that has been around since 2014. Their team consists of 12 passionate brewers, and they also have a bar in Bangkok called The Fellowship of Beer by Sandport, where you can try their different brews.

Don’t forget to check out our review of Sandport Beer’s Bang Bang IPA.

Sandport Beer – Bang Bang IPA – Thai Craft Beer Review

Sandport Beer Bang Bang IPA Thai Craft Beer

Bang Bang IPA is a classic IPA by Thai Craft Brewer Sandport Beer. This is the flagship IPA of these brewers, and the hops used in the beer are Columbus, Amarillo, Mosaic, and Cascade. This mixture of hops results in a flavour and aroma that is typical of a tropical American style India Pale Ale.

The Bang Bang IPA won a bronze medal for Best IPA at Australia International Beer Award 2017.

Beer Profile:
Name: Bang Bang IPA
Brewer: Sandport Beer
Brewed in: Kingdom Breweries, Cambodia
Style: India Pale Ale
ABV: 6%
IBU: 53
Flavour Profile: Tropical, Citrus, Floral

Who is Sandport Beer?
Sandport Beer is one of the original Thai Craft Beer brewers and they have been brewing since 2014. There’s a total of 12 brewers brewing for Sandport, most of their beers are brewed at Kingdom Breweries in Cambodia. They also have a bar in Lak Si district of Bangkok, the bar is called Fellowship of Beer by Sandport.

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sandportbeer/