Best Southeast Asian Beers
Southeast Asia is one of my favorite parts of the world, and one of the best ways to kick back and relax after a long day touring in the sun and humidity is to knock back a bottle or two of beer. Not just for tourists, locals throughout Southeast Asia love a fresh brew, either right off the draught or from a cold bottle. Either way, skip the expensive imports you can get at home and settle for one of these tasty brews easily found in restaurants and pubs.
Angkor Beer – Cambodia
If the image of Angkor Wat on the label didn’t make it obvious, Angkor Beer is the national beer of Cambodia. You’ll find crates of it everywhere you go, and its light and crisp taste is perfect after a day of climbing around on sun-baked ruins. Cambodians love a cold beer too, and Angkor is stocked in the many bars all around the country. Angkor is brewed in Sihanoukville and it is rumored you can tour the facility on Wednesdays, though this isn’t confirmed on their website.
Tiger Beer – Singapore
Tiger Beer was Singapore’s first locally brewed beer, and now it’s a massive brand that can be found in Asian restaurants across the world, especially the US and UK. Their marketing campaign, “Time for a Tiger,” hasn’t really changed over the years, and was so successful that Asia Pacific Breweries launched a anti-binge drinking initiative called Get Your Sexy Back. You can tour the brewery on weekdays, but prior reservations are required to get access to one of the four daily timeslots.
Chang Beer – Thailand
Chang Beer is now the largest selling beer in Thailand, though it is in constant battle with competitor Singha beer for the top spot. ‘Chang’ is the Thai word for elephant, which is why you’ll find two elephants on the label. You have to go to Thailand to experience the best Chang beer, which is actually different than what is exported. The local version uses rice in the production of it, whereas the export is a malt beer. I can’t think of anything better than a mound of pad thai with a Chang.
Bir Bintang – Indonesia
Bir Bintang, or ‘Star Beer,’ is the most popular and best selling beer in Indonesia. If you like Heineken, you’ll love Bir Bintang – many say they taste very similar and have nearly-identical labels, which is of course no surprise given that it is owned and manufactured by a Heineken subsidiary. Whether it’s on the beach in Bali or a poolside bar at your resource, this beer is the perfect way to end the day.
San Miguel – Philippines
San Miguel was first produced in Manila in 1890, and a hundred years later, this tasty brew propelled the company into one of the country’s few global conglomerates. The original brewery opened by royal grant from Spain and was named after a brewery in Barcelona, Spain. The company makes several styles of beer, one of my favorites being Red Horse Beer, an extra strong lager that goes down well longgansia (Philippine sausage) or pancit (stir-fried noodles). Philippinos love a beer and it’s the most commonly consumed alcoholic drink in the country.
This post is part of WanderFood Wednesday, a Blog Carnival held by Wanderlust & Lipstick. Check them out for a visual treat of tasty dishes, or take part in the carnival yourself. Additionally, do check out as well our latest offering, our new Issue 02 of the magazine!
Unearthing Asia is a travel zine focusing on Lifestyle, Culture and Attractions all over Asia. Don’t miss out on the best travel ideas and inspirations in the region of Asia, such as this list of top Vietnamese noodle treats. You can also check out some excellent cancun holiday information there.
About the Author. Andy Hayes. Andy Hayes is a freelance travel writer and photographer based in Edinburgh, Scotland. When not crossing the world to have his next Asian travel adventures, he is hitting the walking trails near home. To get in touch or see Andy’s other travelogues, visit his website, Sharing Travel Experiences.