I have a habit of having to taste-test every beer I encounter at least once. For some like Slovenia’s Laško, or Australia’s own Foster’s, once is more than enough. However every now and again on this noble quest I come across something great (or at least half decent). Something which requires several taste-tests, and inevitably results in a great night, some new friends whose names I can’t remember and a punishing hangover.
As we are currently in Thailand, here is my Thailand beer review in order from best to worst.
Due to the warm tropical climate, Thailand’s domestic market is pretty much a lager only zone. Everything is served ice cold and you really wouldn’t want it any other way.
Chang (6.4%) – Fast catching up to Singha in terms of popularity within Thailand is both Laura’s and my own beer of choice, Chang. Slightly stronger and more flavoursome than Singha it is a clear winner. Just be sure to buy small bottles or cans, or drink very fast. If you don’t, your beer is going to get warm before you finish it and let’s just say that warm Chang is bad Chang.
Singha (5%) – Pronounced “Sing” as the final syllable is silent (just saved you from looking even more like a stupid foreigner!), is Thailand’s oldest beer and probably it’s most well known. The name refers to the mythical lion pictured on the bottle. So far I’ve found it tends to be the most expensive as it is pitched as a premium beer. Taste wise it’s a pretty standard bland lager, however it goes down very smoothly which makes it a good session beer.
Cheers (5%) – This is not bad at all. Tastes like a Polish lager like Tyskie or Lech, drinkable. The can states that it won a gold medal at a Brussels World beer festival, I recognise this symbol also from a Polish lager can. Conspiracy?
Leo (5.5%) – The bottle says “Smooth and great taste”. I say “Not really”. Even the leopard on the bottle looks bored and unimpressed at the sheer thought of having to market this bland golden water. Either that or the artist based his drawing on a photo of a taxidermy leopard. It is on the cheaper end of the spectrum, so I guess it’s not all bad.
Archa (4.9%) – Nothing about this looks Thai, especially the horse on the can which looks like it’s owner lives in a caravan and “likes dags”. I’m not a fan, but Laura seemed to enjoy it. Bland.
Cheers X-tra (6.5%) – Strong, but not in a good way. Verging on ‘Special Brew’ taste, without it’s strength. Wasn’t able to finish this. Never again.
There are a couple more I’ve not had yet but they will have to wait till next time. I thankfully avoided buying SiamSato despite its appealing bottle, as a helpful person told me it is in fact a horrible rice wine despite being in a beer bottle and being sold with the beer at 7-11.