BREW Beer and Ciders entered the brew house scene full of swagger by claiming they behold the “Largest Selection of Beers and Ciders in Thailand”. We were at the front door of BREW to see Chris Foo’s face light up before he could even finish the sentence. Foo, the manager and owner of BREW, a new beer house in SeenSpace on Thong Lor Soi 13, becomes expressive when talking about Bangkokians’ nascent appreciation and knowledge of good beer. Also the founder of HOBS in the fashionable Penny’s Balcony arcade across from J Avenue Thong Lor and a consultant for Beer Vault at the Four Points by Sheraton, it’s likely no one in Bangkok knows more about setting up an imported beer venue than this crazy dude.
“In the past three years you can really see the popularity of quality beer houses has come on with the number sprouting up,” said Foo. “The aim of this place is to educate people about good beer so they can have a place to go and enjoy crafted brews in Bangkok.”
Indeed, there is a wall chart that compares and contrasts all the varieties of beer and cider. And the interior of BREW is meant to look like a back room of a brewery, with exposed piping and copper pipeline draft tower. The only thing missing is an actual microbrewery, a proposition Foo ventures is only a matter of time, which is of course the only thing keeping customers from enjoying an artisanal beer that isn’t priced at 260 thanks to Thailand’s prohibitive import tax on alcohol. Yingluck Shinawatra, we hope you are listening as this is your chance to make things right by helping out us poor beer drinkers.
Though BREW has only been open one week, it is already attracting attention due to their exhaustive list of over 100 Brewdogs and Cidars. KohSpot sampled the Maredsous dark (260 baht++), an 8% alcohol by volume brew from Belgian monks that was a little sweet and chocolaty, not as bitter as a Guinness. Yearning for something a bit more bitter, next stop was the Rodenbach (240 baht++), which claims dark and tingling on the menu, a mix of young and dark ales aged in oak. This wasn’t really bitter, but then KohSpot should have known a Belgian red when we came across it. After all, the owner’s expertise is in Belgian imports and the menu leans heavily in that direction.
Perhaps most exciting for KohSpot is Foo’s promise that by September he will source two India Pale Ales, long our weak spot, featuring Dogfish and Dundee. If there is a failing, it is that BREW’s only been open a week and already it needs more space. While it shares outdoor space with Ash Sutton’s Clouds, the inside is quite a cramped space, and that’s before Foo tries to shoehorn a microbrewery somewhere in there. BREW also expects to have an operating kitchen inside sometime soon. Sounds like a party.
If you’re a beer enthusiast, you really owe it to yourself to try this place at least once.
Location: 1st floor, SeenSpace Thong Lor Soi 13, just past the Korean restaurant on the right.
Mass transit: BTS Thong Lor
Hours: 5 pm-midnight daily
Website: www.brewbkk.com (pending) or www.facebook.com/brewbkk