Wineweek 114: My Bangkok

It is the last day of our trip, and it feels like an end of an era. Well at least an end to a year. Tomorrow we make a long journey back to Stockholm, and on Tuesday I will already be back at the office. It stings a little bit less, as I know we will be flying comfortably in business class. But still the traveling has grown on me, and tomorrow already feels like something significantly different. Continue reading “Wineweek 114: My Bangkok”

Mikkeller Around the World

We have this weird habit: everywhere we travel, we always end up visiting a Mikkeller-bar. Unplanned. It’s an odd habit, especially when we travel in Asia, as it is something available in Stockholm and all over the Nordics. However, there is something fun about “collecting” the locations. There is usually only one Mikkeller bar in a city (with the exception of Copenhagen). Mikkeller is a Danish brewery making a wide range of delicious craft beers. The founders, former math teacher Mikkel Borg Bjergsø and journalist Kristian Klarup Keller started experimenting with hops in their own kitchens, now Mikkeller is exporting their products to 50 countries all over the world. Mikkeller is internationally acclaimed as one of the most innovative and cutting edge brewers in the world. We really like the beers, even the non-alcoholic ones. Continue reading “Mikkeller Around the World”

Craft Beer Craze at Casa Lapin BKK

There is something about the warm weather that makes me crave two things: spicy food and beer. Many seem to agree with me, as beer is extremely popular in Thailand – could you imagine red wine in 35 degrees Celsius? The local beer market is protected with high taxes on export products, so other  products than Singha and Chang have a high-ish price tag. However, the Thai capital has still developed a taste for craft beers from around the world, and many new spots have opened that serve a wide range. I am sure it’s mainly the expats and tourists but there is enough of them. One of our favorite cafes, Casa Lapin has opened Tap Room, a restaurant and craft beer bar serving a wide range of international products from tap.  Continue reading “Craft Beer Craze at Casa Lapin BKK”

At the Bottl3.5shop

If you are wondering if I have been writing this post while tired, the answer is no; Bottl3.5hop is actually the name of the store I intend to write about. Or perhaps I should say I am writing about a phenomena, which is the rapid increase demand for low alcohol drinks, especially beer. There are small shops popping up in hipster parts of town specializing in small brewery beers that fit under the state controlled limit of 3.5%. These shops slash bars are great places to find interesting local products that are often too small scale to make it to the big players shelves, like peach beer (yuk). I am not kidding about the peach beer, but would like to emphasize that most of the selection is actually not as “special”, but rather something that I would consider excellent low alcohol alternatives to be enjoyed with food during the week or why not weekend. Continue reading “At the Bottl3.5shop”

Beer Tasting in the Sun

With the lack of good wine while in Thailand we decided to do a tasting of the local beer selection as well as adding two regional (Asian) beers in the same category.

The line up was as follows:
– Archa (Thai)
– Asahi (Japanese)
– Chang Export (Thai)
– Leo (Thai)
– Phuket (Thai)
– Singha light (Thai)
– Tiger (Singaporean)

The beers are all in the category of light lagers so nothing exciting or unexpected. All except for the Phuket were in cans (the Phuket in a green bottle).

Archa
The color is pale, on the verge of looking like a white wine. The nose has almost nothing in it, faint aroma of grain aroma is virtually non-existent. It has a very faint smell of grain, corn and rice . The taste is pretty sweet, a mix of corn and rice with almost no bitterness and short finish.

Asahi
The color of the Asahi pours as clear golden. The palate is dry and crisp. Dry malt, hint of grass as well as a little citrus hop are apparent in the flavor. Dry finish, light body to the beer. While a light lager it did not have any unpleasant metal flavor or sweetness to it.

Chang Export
The color was almost golden with small white head. Grain and malt in the nose. The taste was slightly sweet, but hints of grass but a slight metallic taste as well. Drinkable while ice cold but not a good beer.

Leo
Pale golden color with a nice white head. The aroma had some sweetness to it but also citrus and grain. Flavor is weak but there are hints of metal and citrus but also a bit weird dry cardboard flavor.

Phuket
The color is light golden with a fairly thick head. Aroma has hints of dry malt, cardboard but also something vaguely artificial reminding me of some cleaning liquid. Taste is mildly bitter. Somewhat sweet, hints of artificial spices and vague notes of malt.

Singha light
Nose has light hint of grain and grassy hops with a whiff of herbal character. Pours clear and a very pale yellow with a small white head. Flavor has a very light grain and grassy hop note. Lightly bitter in the after taste, very light and and while a bit bland beer still very refreshing.

Tiger
Color is clear golden with creamy white head. Aroma has makt, grains and hint if grass but all fairly weak. The flavor is slightly sweet and maly. Low in bitterness but still rather unpleasant and sharp.

None of these beers really rank high on a list of our favourites beers in the greater context, but when it is warm and humid it can be great to just have a very cold lager. Also the assortment here is not all that exciting but it does beat the wine selection.

We will not be rating any of these 0-5 as they would actually all under normal circumstances rate fairly poorly but instead we just made an rank between them. So here goes:
1. Asahi
2. Singa Light
3. Tiger
4. Leo
5. Chang Export
6. Archa
7. Phuket

All of these beers benefit form being drunk very cold as they mainly serve to refresh. Will not have any of these until next holiday in a hot country (or if there is an extreme heatwave in the Nordics) but if you find yourself on holiday in Asia you can consult this ranking to find our top pick!