Croman, a relative newcomer to the Thai craft beer brewer’s circle, makes pair of premium brews that pay homage to Railay Beach and Phi Phi Island
The craze for craft beer in Thailand is huge, with most brewers setting up shop in Bangkok—where the action is. However, some decidedly fine brews are also being produced in more remote corners of the Kingdom. In Krabi, a small independent label that goes by the name of Croman Beer recently arrived on the scene, and already they’ve established a name for themselves with two premium craft brews that namecheck two of the province’s most famous tourist haunts.
I first came across their product while dining at Lae Lay Grill, a well-known restaurant in Ao Nang situated high on a hill with a sunset-certified panoramic vista overlooking the bay. Noticing a table top card menu advertising a pair humble home brews, our group decided to try one of each. The citrus and lemony Railay Weisse (4.5% ABV) is a yellowy-golden German style wheat beer that pours with a thick white foam, releasing fruity aromas but still delivering a refreshing malty beer taste. By contrast the amber hued Phi Phi IPA (5.5% ABV) combines the hoppy taste of an IPA with pleasant tropical fruit aromas and a hint of Pale Ale sweetness. It’s also not an overly hop-heavy IPA, which for some is a pleasant change from current trends.
The men behind Croman Beer are Patipat ‘Tong’ Kannarong and Jiramit ‘Joe’ Gaysorn, who began selling their homebrew back in January of 2017. Since then they’ve refined both the taste and the labelling, and the slick packaging now features comical cavemen carrying beer barrels, bottles, and/or hops and barley. These primitive pitch men are a nod to the prehistoric cave paintings and other ancient relics (including humanoid bones) found in certain parts of Krabi province. Meanwhile, the decision to name the brews after two of the region’s best loved tourist destinations has proven to be a great marketing ploy. The beer is currently available at more than 300 outlets in southern Thailand—mainly Krabi, Phuket, and Phang Nga—as well as select locations in Bangkok. By Bruce Scott