Although Thailand and craft beer were once words which never featured in the same sentence, the times they are a-changin as Bob Dylan would say. Thais are waking up to the fact craft beer tastes a whole lot nicer than mass-produced Chang or Leo. Like Bangkok, Pattaya and other Thai towns, Chiang Mai now has several bars and pubs where craft beer is on the menu.
Most of the beers are imported and carry similar price tags to western countries. These bars also generally stock at least a few bottles of Thai craft beers produced by Thai brewers such as Stone Head and Sandport. Our recommendations for bars and pubs where premium quality craft beers are on the menu are detailed below.
THE BEER REPUBLIC
A popular watering hole in the trendy Nimmanhaemin area, the Beer Republic offers one of the best selections of craft and imported beers in Chiang Mai. German weissbier and Paulaner, Belgian fruit beers and Hoegaarden, and Old Speckled Hen from the UK are among the global tap and bottled beers available in this European style pub. As most of the beers are imported, they are not cheap. Opting for a taster of five or ten brews cuts prices. The Beer Republic is located on Nimmanhaemin Soi 11.
The Beer Republic: – Nimmanhaemin Rd., Soi 11, A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50000 | Open: 16:00-00:00 (Daily) | Tel: +66 53 216 568 | Facebook | Map
THE BEER LAB
The Beer Lab is another Nimmanhaemin favourite for craft beer connoisseurs. The management claim this beer bar has the biggest collection of global beers in Chiang Mai. On a typical day there are 17 or 18 beers on draught and another 200 bottled ones. Thailand’s Stone Head craft beers, IPAs and beers from locations as far apart as the US, Japan and Germany are guaranteed to excite the taste buds. The Beer Lab is open sided, large, on Nimmanhaemin Road itself and has steaks and various barbecued items on a food menu.
The Beer Lab: – Nimmanhaemin Rd., A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50000 | Open: 17.30-00:00 (Daily) | Tel: +66 97 997 4566 | Facebook | Map
THE NUMBER 1 BAR
This ambient bar is on Soi 1 off Loi Kroh Road. The premises resembles a European pub and features a polished wood bar and wall panels with lots of memorabilia spread around. The drinks list provides choices between draught Chang, Tiger, Stella Artois and Heineken. Thai beers and imported bottled beers from Belgium plus gourmet coffee round off the options for drinks.
The Number 1 Bar: – Soi 1, Loi Kroh Rd., A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50100 | Open: 15:00-00:00 (Daily) | Tel: +66 53 206 724 | Map
Despite the name, Beer Terminals is a single beer station with an air-conditioned indoor bar and an al fresco beer terrace. Paulaner, Leffe, Erdinger, and Hoegaarden White and Hoegaarden Rose are among the draughts served here. Beer snacks including smoked sausages, French fries and fresh veggies with a dip are the ideal accompaniment to the beers. Beer Terminals is in the Star Avenue Mall next to the Arcade Bus Station.
Beer Terminals: – T. Wat Ket, A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50000 | Open: (Tue-Sun) 00:00-12:00 and 18:00-00:00 / (Mon) 18:00-00:00 | Tel: +66 89 191 9909 | Map
NAMTON’S HOUSE BAR
Namton’s serves craft beers, ales, wheat beers, ciders and Nonthaburi Mead. There is not even one mass-produced beer or lager on the premises. The bar has 12 draught craft-beer taps. The draughts on offer vary from day to day, but typically include US pale ales and Japanese brews. Namton’s stocks a good range of bottled beers and has a food menu with the likes of home-cooked burritos and burgers on it. Stone, Sandport and Silom Beer are three of the Thai brewers represented. Namton’s is southeast of the city and down a small soi across from the Gymkhana Club junction.
Namton’s House Bar: 194 Chiang Mai-Lamphun Rd., T. Wat Ket, A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50000 | Open: 15:00-23:00 (Thu-Tue) | Tel: +66 86 911 1207 | Facebook | Map
THE CRAFT BEER FACTORY
The Craft Beer Factory is a part of and just across the road from the Riverside Bar and Restaurant. The Factory is spacious and comes with nice little touches like beer-keg barstools and lots of beer themed signs. There is a large terrace at the front of the building. A choice of US, European and Japanese craft beers is balanced by a selection of Thai beers and Beer Lao. The Craft Beer Factory is 200 metres south of the Ping River’s Nawarat Bridge.
Craft Beer Factory: #9-11, Charoenrat Rd., A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50100 | Open: 10:00-01:00 (Daily) | Tel: +66 53 243 239 | Website | Facebook | E-mail | Map
UGO BAR AND RESTAURANT
The Ugo is on Moon Muang Road and two minutes on foot from Thapae Gate. A refrigerator in the bar is packed full of the creations from Thailand’s growing number of craft beer brewers. The adventurous get to taste the imaginatively named Smiling Evil or a coconut cream beer. There are usually at least 20 different beers to choose from. The kitchen at Ugo is famed for its delicious dishes. The menu is as varied as the beer and includes khao soi curry noodle soup, pizzas, ravioli and burgers.
Ugo Bar and Restaurant: #47, Moon Muang Rd., A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50100 | Open: 10:00-01:00 (Daily) | Tel: +66 95 675 8826, +66 95 448 8475 | Website | Facebook | Map