Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Epic Search for IPA

I have a confession to make- Eric and I are beer snobs. Which is funny considering that we spent many an hour during the beginning of our relationship drinking $1 pints of Coors Light and solving all of the world's problems. Now that we are older, and wiser we've come to the realization that the saying "Life's too short to drink crappy beer" is all too true.

Luckily, we lived in Wisconsin- one of the best states for great micro and craft breweries. We could go to almost any restaurant and they would have at least 10 different beers on tap, and these would be good beers not just Miller or Budweiser. The grocery stores were filled with beer not only from Wisconsin, but from all over the United States. Plus, in our city there was a home brew supply store where Eric could get supplies to brew his own beer.

* Wisconsin- Home of the World's Largest Six Pack!
 * Photo courtesy of World Largest Roadside Attractions- an awesome site!

Of course not all of the beer we liked was cheep, many a family gathering was filled with light hearted teasing from our relatives who couldn't understand why anyone would pay $12 for a six pack of beer. We in turn complemented them on their choice of beer flavored water. 

More often than not, our go-to beer would be an IPA or India Pale Ale. For those of you who haven't tried this drink of the gods, I weep for you. It has an intense hop flavor due to the extreme amount of hops used in the brewing process. It is definitely an acquired taste, but once you are hooked all other beers pale in comparison. ( Did you see what I did there?)

Flash forward to our arrival in Bangkok. During our preparations for moving overseas I spent many hours reading expat blogs and forums- so I knew that finding IPA beer in Bangkok would be difficult. I just never realized just how difficult it would be.

Our first place to look for IPA was at the usual place people go to look for beer- local bars. After some searching on the interwebs we were able to find two bars that might carry IPA. Our first stop was at "The Londoner Brew Pub", a bar on Sukhumvit Soi 23. The Londoner actually brews it's own beer at the pub and one of the beers is a Cream Bitter, which we thought might be somewhat similar to an IPA since hops have a bitter taste. Boy were we wrong. The beer itself was pretty good, but it was absolutely nothing like an IPA. So that was strike one.

Our next attempt was at a bar called "The Office" which is located off of Sukhumvit Soi 33. We read on a couple of expat blogs and forums that they carry an IPA. This interesting excursion did not lead to an IPA beer ( the forums mistakenly called a Pale Ale beer IPA- completely different beers, people) it did lead to us experiencing something that I knew existed in Bangkok, but had yet to see for myself. 

When you walk into "The Office" the first thing you see is a long bar. Instead of the usual selection of booze and beer you find behind most bars, this one had a selection of scantily clad women wearing numbers. The actual bar with all of the alcohol was shoved into the corner out of the way. So while we were drinking our Pale Ales we could watch beautiful Thai women do exciting things, like text on their phones and talk to each other. Of course, we did go at 6:00 in the evening, so I am sure it is much more exciting later at night. 

So that was strike two.

Strike three came when we attempted to find IPA in the grocery stores. Bangkok actually has quite a few grocery stores that cater to expats and carry a wide selection of imported goods we can't live without- like Doritos and salsa. We searched high and low, asking everyone we met if they knew of a place to buy IPA beer, but our search came up empty.

We did find Boone's Farm though. Notice the anti-theft devices
Stay tuned for the thrilling ( I swear it will be thrilling) conclusion to our Epic Search for an IPA...


  1. The first time I saw Boone's Farm with the anti-theft devices on them, I laughed out loud and then drug my wife over to see for herself.

    They import that, yet I can't find a Newcastle Brown Ale anywhere in this city! Ahh, the joys of living here..

    Twitter: two10eleven

  2. Brook, I heard a rumor that there is Newcastle Brown Ale at Roadhouse Barbecue on Rama IV. I have yet to verify.