Over 70 beers under one roof (and excellent pub grub as well)
In a market overshadowed by Singha and Chang, the recently opened Beer Republic is offering Bangkok drinkers a slew of national and international beers, set within a warehouse-style space located on the ground floor of the Holiday Inn Hotel at Chidlom.
Upon entering, I immediately have a sense of the familiar; with big, flashy TV screens running football highlights and reliving the weekend’s best rugby plays. Comfy seating entices visitors to stay (I did), spectate (I did), and drink (of course). Adjacent to the bar, a deep-set restaurant rolls away into the distance; a vast space of scattered chairs and booth seating. There is also an extensive bar promoting unrecognizable pumps, however, consulting the beer menu reveals a litany of Belgian, German, Danish, and British usual suspects—Stella, Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier, Carlsberg, and BrewDog. In all, there is a selection of over 70 beers, catering to everyone from the “rookie to the connoisseur.”
For a genuinely productive and scholastic experience, I sample the recommended beer flight (B500), which consists of a colourful mingle of six yellow-to-auburn-to-dark ales and an education in Thai craft breweries. Yes, it’s a movement here, too! But here’s the interesting thing: Thai-brewed craft beers are, in fact, not brewed or bottled in Thailand at all—due to legal barriers.
Of the six beer flight selections sampled I go on to order two as full bottles. The clean and refreshing Mahanakhon White Ale (B230) from the Mahanakhon Microbrewery in Bangkok, is actually brewed by Cavalier Brewery in Victoria, Australia. Likewise, the Peak-a-Brew IPA (B300), a hazy darkish amber IPA that’s up there with the very best, is marketed by Bangkok Bootleg Brothers Brewing but is actually brewed in Holgate Brewhouse, also in Victoria, Australia.
Like the beer, food is a similar mingle of Thai and European classics with pairings available upon request. It’s pub grub, there’s no escaping that, but it’s mightily impressive stuff, with Sloane’s Barbecued Sausage Platter (B350) using locally sourced porkers from artisan butcher Sloane’s, while the Crispy Pork Knuckle (B380) is as dense as a heavyweight’s fist and served in true Munich beer hall-style, and dips and condiments all kitchen-fresh, made daily. But it’s the deliciously-sticky Pork Ribs (half B220/whole B400) that is the standout. Slow-cooked and slathered in a thick sauce, the meat is soft on the fork and falls from the bone. But nor does the kitchen stray too far from local favourites, offering an expansive selection of Thai classics, with the likes of Gai Khua Takrai (B240), and Som Tam (B190) made fresh.
A final and indulgent order of a Chocolate Chip Cookie on Skillet (B200) arrives warm and doughy throughout, with a generous dollop of vanilla ice cream. I spoon in the melting mix while sinking my pint of Mahanakhon and listening to soul revival movement Ample Soul (there’s live music every night of the week, with electric sets from local bands).
GF, Holiday Inn Bangkok
971 Phloen Chit Rd.
Tel: 02 656 0080
Open daily: 11:30am-1am