The famous local brands of beer in Thailand


The Best Thai Beer

Thailand, the paradise for travelers at home and abroad, is famous for some of the best and cheapest beer in Southeast Asia. Nothing is better than sunbathing in Koh Samui or Koh Phi Phi heat with a glass of iced Thai beer. Originally introduced by the Europeans, Thais have been brewing their own beer since 1933.

The big local brands of beer in Thailand: Singha, Leo and Chang, have got the largest market share. You can also find imported beer in restaurants, but the above three Thai beer is the favourite for locals and tourists.

There is really heated competition in Thai beer market and it’s quite common for you to find someone in a T-shirt promoting one of the big brands on the street. Beer lovers in Thailand just support what they are fond of, and they like arguing the slim differences between those brands.

Handmade beer is trying to gain a foothold in Thailand, but strict laws and severe penalties for home brewing are terminating the industry. In 2016, the law became even tougher on alcohol, a continuing trend since the change of regime in Thailand.


3 Top Thai Beer


Useful tip: Don't be surprised at a glass of ice served with your Thai beer. It's common in Thailand, particularly in the Southeast Asian heat. Local beer drinkers enjoy sharing large bottles while they don't keep cold long.

1. Singha

Derived from the Sanskrit word for ‘Lion’, Singha is the first beer in Thailand and probably the most well-known Thai beer outside of Thailand. Partnerships with Manchester United and Chelsea Football Clubs and the F1 Red Bull Team have contributed to boost its international fame, but equally its distinctive flavour and relatively high alcohol content also matter. Singha is featured by a strong malty flavour which makes it a ideal drinking companion with local food such as massaman curry. It goes well with salty and heavily seasoned dishes, but also happens to be the most drinkable Thai beer when had by itself too.

One thing you should know about Singha: it’s a pretty strong lager. While it’s been reduced from a sturdy 6% ABV to a slightly more common 5%, this is still stronger than the 3-4% lagers seen elsewhere in the world. Meanwhile, Singha is often a bit more expensive than the other two brands in Thailand. Maybe that's the reason travelers with limited budget will prefer Leo or Chang.

Singha is made by: Boon Rawd Brewery, Bangkok while its price in Thailand: at 7/11 - THB 50 (for 330 ml); at bars - THB 60-120.


Singha Beer


2. Beer Chang

Chang means "elephant" in Thai. As Singha’s biggest competitor, Chang beer is the best Thai beer for budget travelers in Thailand. It doesn’t have any extraordinary taste, aroma or colour that make it ‘stand out’, but its low price really attracts people to choose it over Singha. Chang is comparable to Singha in terms of strength, but it’s characterized by a much more traditional lager taste, similar to Tiger, Budweiser and Tsingdao. Not as thick as Singha, this loose watery beer is perfect for some refreshment on a shining day. This can also make it more refreshing than Singha when enjoying a particularly spicy dish, and probably also makes it more suitable to fish and other sea food, where you don’t want to overwhelmingly cover the flavour of the food with the flavour of the beer.

Many travelers even preferred Chang over others due to its previous high ABV percentage. After some quality control, the Chang Classic beer today has an ABV of 5.2 per cent. For some reason, we’ve found that a few restaurants only stock Chang in large bottles, and not Singha, so chances are that you’ll find yourself tasting it at some point even if you prefer Singha.

Chang is made by: Thai Beverages (ThaiBev), Bangkok while its price in Thailand: at 7/11 - THB 40 (for 330 ml); at bars - THB 50-100.


Beer Chang


3. Leo

Produced by the same parent company as Singha, Leo is a mid-range Thai beer popular among a lot of locals and tourists. With a fruity flavour which is not very extraordinary, Leo is well priced between Chang and Singha. It has an ABV of 5 per cent. Like Singha, Leo has the meaning of ‘lion’ and is just an inexpensive version of Singha. When Chang had the reputation of giving major hangovers, travelers turned to Leo for the promise of better quality.

Leo is made by Boon Rawd Brewery, Bangkok while its price in Thailand: at 7/11 - THB 45 (for 330 ml); at bars - THB 60-100 (INR 130 - INR 210 for 330 ml).


Leo Beer