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Drinks in Thailand, local Beers, & Brews

Drinks in Thailand Page 2, Thai Whisky

Beer

Beer is a bit of an upmarket drink in Thailand, with the price of a small bottle hovering between 50 and 100 Baht in most pubs, bars and restaurants. Thais like their lagers with relatively  high alcohol content (around 6%), as it is designed to be drunk with ice, so the beer in Thailand may  pack more of a punch than you are used to.

Local brews: For many years the only locally brewed beer was Singha (pronounced just Sing) but it has lost market to cheaper and stronger Chang. Both are pretty strong though, but for those who prefer something a bit lighter, both local brands have introduced low-alcohol versions of  their beers. Singha Light comes in at 3.5%, Chang Draught is 5% and Chang Light is 4.2%. There are also some cheaper local beers which are rarely found outside of shops and supermarkets - Leo and Archa being among the most popular.

Premium brands: The two most popular premium brands are Heineken and Tiger, but San Miguel, Federbrau and other Asian beers such as the Japanese Asahi are also fairly commonplace. The premium beers tend to be a bit weaker than the full-strength local beers, and are about 10-20% more expensive.

Imported beers: Most upmarket pubs in touristy areas will have at least a couple of imported beers available along with the usual local brands, either on draught, in bottles or both. Belgian and German beers can often be found, as well as Irish stouts and ales such as Guinness, British bitters such as John Smiths and the light Mexican beer Corona is gaining in popularity.

Regional favourite Beer Lao has also started to make an appearance in bars and pubs around the country. All imported beers (with the exception of  Beer Lao) are very expensive though, being about twice the price of  locally  brewed beers.

Other non-beers: The usual range of  - alcopops -  is available in Thailand, with Bacardi Breezer enjoying the lion's share of the market. Spy wine cooler is also popular. Cider is harder to find, although some pubs have started to stock Magners and Bulmers.

'Imported drinks

Imported liquors, wines and beers are widely available but prohibitively priced for the average Thai. A shot of any brand-name liquor is at least 100 Baht, a pint of Guinness will set you back at least 200 Baht and, thanks to an inexplicable 340% tax, even the cheapest bottle of wine will set you back over 500 Baht. Note that, in cheaper bars (especially the go-go kind), the content of that familiar bottle of Jack Daniel's may be something entirely  different.  My favourite wine cost’s 500 Baht in Foodland - Mateus Rose.

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