Last week we took a stab at defining craft brewing and craft beers. Essentially, a craft beer is any beer brewed by a craft brewery. Craft breweries are usually smaller businesses with lower production but higher quality when compared with the macrobrewers e.g., Budweiser or Chang. Here in Thailand, we are seeing a boom in craft beer, with many popular brands from around the world available. As demand grows, so does the number of beers available.
With the rise in interest in craft beers, an interesting thing also tends to happen in many countries: Home brewing begins to take off. In fact, many of the world-famous craft beer brands actually got their start in the owner’s garages, as home breweries.
A brief look at home brewing here in Thailand
So, is this happening here in Thailand? Well, we know that there is a lot of interest in home brewing. By following local search trends for here in Thailand, we noticed that a number of users are searching for posts on how to brew beer, especially at home. This tells us that the interest is there, but there are four major stumbling blocks to brewing at home:
- Brewing of any alcohol in Thailand is illegal (shocker). The thing is, the fine for brewing your own beer – according to the Liquors Act of 1950 – is around THB 200. This outrageous fine is sure to deter even the most hardcore of brewers.
- Some ingredients are hard to find. Thailand is a tropical country, that means the primary ingredient of beer – malted barley – is fairly hard to find in quantities large enough to brew beer. That being said, it can still be found. It’s really the hops that can be tricky. Sure, you can import them but you will likely run into trouble with the customs and excise department.
- Some brewing tools are hard to find. The tools or equipment needed to brew beer is technically illegal to own here. That being said, you can find almost all of the tools you need here, only one or two like carboys and bottling equipment could be tricky.
- The environment isn’t great for brewing. As we stated above, Thailand is tropical. The heat here isn’t the best to brew beer in. That being said, you can still do it – you may just see a rise in your electrical bills however.
Of course, we are all law-abiding people here at WishBeer, so we would never break the law and actually brew our own beer. Like we mentioned above, there is lots of interest in the subject however. So, over the next few weeks we will be covering how to go about home brewing. We will start with gathering the materials, then look at the ingredients needed and finally look into the brewing process itself. As we are a company that sells beer, we would not want to risk incurring the potential wrath of the government, so to play it safe we won’t be covering where to find the equipment.
Don’t worry, we won’t leave you in the lurch. In fact, there are a number of excellent forums like Home Brew Thailand and even brewing forums like iBREW Singapore or Home Brew Asia that have a wealth of information and members who are more than willing to help impart their wisdom, and maybe even help find what you need.
So, stay tuned over the next few weeks for more articles about home brewing.
Wish of the week
Rogue Juniper Pale Ale
Rogue embodies the spirit of homebrewing – taking existing recipes, and playing around with them, often introducing ingredients that are deemed to be too crazy by the big boys. This American style Pale Ale is brewed like all other beers – only this one has juniper berries thrown in during the process. These berries, from a conifers tree, impart a dry almost smoky flavor to the beer. Interestingly enough, juniper berries are also one of the main flavoring ingredients in Dutch Gin. So, if you are up for something different give one of these a try – you may be impressed.