Not long after I moved to Thailand's capital city in late 2010, I discovered something I hadn't counted on: a beer scene on the rise. With each week that went by, another European import (and even the occasional microbrew) would turn up on a menu or tap list somewhere. For a beer advocate like me, this was good news. Last summer, Beer Connoisseur published a feature story I wrote on the growing number of brewpubs and trendy beer bars in Bangkok. In it I mention Tawandang German Brewery and Est. 33 by Singha, two businesses that have since opened new branches at Siam Discovery Center and The Nine on Rama 9 Road.
"Built to be the "ultimate lifestyle design district" with dozens of showrooms peddling fine furniture, expensive kitchen and bath products, luxury house ware, and modern home entertainment accessories, CDC [the Crystal Design Center] has surprisingly emerged as an oasis for beer buffs as well. Restaurants soon followed interior design companies to this shopping complex, and then at the beginning of the year, Est. 33 was joined by the Aston Gastro Bar and Beerology. These specialty bars aren't trying to compete with the typical Thai beer garden crowded with tin tables and taste-alike beer; they're aiming to attract tastemakers. In a city where a bottle of Chang is usually about 70 Thai baht of $2.30, they charge closer to $8 for a bottle of Tripel Karmeliet."