Thai politician-turned-brewer challenges “Big Beer” 2023

Thai artisanal beer is illegal. You might discover some, but it’s likely craft beer revolutionaries’ illicit brew.

Bangkok’s rolling markets sell clandestine bottles of hand-labeled artisan beers, but uploading a photo of one may get you arrested.

ThaiBev, which makes Chang beer, and Boon Rawd Brewery, which makes Singha and Leo, control 90% to 95% of the Thai beer market.

The government and rules restrict “small homegrown operators from entering the fray,” according to Channel News Asia.

Thai law requires beer factories to produce 10 million liters per year, or 30,000 bottles, which is intimidating for novice brewers.

Thai legislation requires new breweries to have US$300,000 in upfront cash, which is unattainable for most starting companies in that country.

The government worries about revenue and cleanliness.

When just a few huge beer brands dominate a country that also prevents smaller rivals from entering the market, you have to question about its political leadership and who’s taking who out to lunch.

Thai brewer-turned-politician Taopiphop Limjittrakorn wants to remove the alcohol duopoly.

Limjittrakorn told Reuters that his party’s election success may allow him to break up Boon Rawd Brewery and ThaiBev’s duopoly.

According to Drinks Business, Limjittrakorn, who was imprisoned for unlawful brewing, has achieved a deal with coalition partners to “abolish monopolies and promote fair competition in all industries, such as alcoholic beverages”.

Limjittrakorn called the progressive alcohol bill a political enterprise. Since we’re no longer the opposition, I’m convening all stakeholders to make this policy happen easily. We govern.”

Limjittrakorn also said he wanted to drink nice beer.

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