A Life Engaged

A.L.E. Beer Review: Southeast Asia

 

beers

Beer seems to be something that most of the world has in common. On our travels, we are passing through some of the world’s largest cities as well as many one-horse towns. Even the one-horse towns have at least one bar with their own selection of favorite liquors and of course BEER! Throughout our travels I will write a beer review to highlight some of our favorite and unique beers of the regions.

While in SEA, we had the opportunity to try a few of the local beers. Unlike most western countries, the selection of beer is somewhat limited in SEA. Below is a quick outline of the beers I tried and what I thought about them. At the end, I will reveal my favorite of the beers listed.

Chang*

CHang Beer

While this is the first post exploring beers abroad, I am assuming that just about every region has their own version of the bargain beer. For the US, we have Keystone and the much superior Natural Light. Southeast Asia has Chang. The taste of Chang tastes a little flat with a lingering after taste. Overall, the beer is light with a very subtle sweet taste and is brewed with rice instead of malt. Chang is the beer of choice for budget conscious backpackers looking to get loaded. Many bars and restaurants in Thailand cater to this crowd and you can often find Chang on special.

Brewery: ThaiBev

Brew: Pale Lager

Origin: Thailand

ABV: 6%

Price:

  • 12 oz at 7-Eleven = $1.15 = $1.50 USD
  • 12 oz at a bar / restaurant = $1.50 – $2.00 USD

*This information is specific to Chang brewed for consumption in Thailand. Chang brewed for export has a different brewing process and ABV.

 

Leo

Leo Beer

If you are looking for a beer with a little more flavor and body, than Leo is a better beer for you. While only slightly more expensive than Chang, Leo offers more flavor and tastes more like a traditional lager. However, the slightly artificial taste can leave an unpleasant aftertaste. For a few extra thai baht, you can get a better product and are not seemingly ‘slumming it’ with the early twenties party-packers.

Brewery: Boon Rawd Brewery

Brew: Lager

Origin: Thailand

ABV: 5%

Price:

  • 12 oz at 7-Eleven = $1.25 – $1.75
  • 12 oz at a bar / restaurant = $2.00 – $2.50

 

Singha

Singha beer

Singha is another Thai beer which has historically been the most popular in Thailand. Singha has a light and crisp flavor and can taste a bit watery but does not have a bad aftertaste. Although drank less by tourists in the country, it can be found on special in many restaurants and bars in SEA. You can find Singha in Thai restaurants in the US and accompanies spicy food well.

Brewery: Boon Rawd Brewery

Brew: Pale Lager

Origin: Thailand

ABV: 5%

Price:

  • 12 oz at 7-Eleven = $1.25 – $1.75
  • 12 oz at a bar / restaurant = $2.00 – $2.50

 

Tiger

Tiger Beer

Tiger beer can be found for the same price as the previous two beers; however, it will typically be more expensive in it’s native country of Singapore. Tiger offers a good flavor and is by far the beer of choice in Singapore. Tiger is light bodied and reminds me of a less refreshing Bud Light. This can be classified as one of the best beers in SEA but does not live up to the hype.

Brewery: Asia Pacific Breweries Limited

Brew: Pale Lager

Origin: Singapore

ABV: 5%

Price:

  • 12 oz at 7-Eleven = $1.50 – $2.25
  • 12 oz at a bar / restaurant = $2.00 – $3.50

As you might have guessed, the beer we drank the most in SEA was the affordable Chang. Our favorite in terms of taste and enjoyment was Singha!

What are your favorite beers from Asia? We would love to hear from you!

 

Please note that the price estimates were given based on average costs in Thai and are meant as a relative measure between the beers.