Good Beer Hunting

Sightlines — Duo Launch Hop Farm in Bangkok, Thailand

Brothers Nattachai “Ob” and Teerapat “Art” Ungsriwong have launched Thailand’s first hop farm at their Deva Farm & Café business in Bangkok. The farm so far grows 26 varieties, the majority of which originally hail from the Pacific Northwest. The brothers are also the brains behind the Devamon brewery whose IPA was recently a winner in a local competition.

Craft Beer, which was once an almost wholly American movement, has become one of the most universal communities in the world. This is yet another sign that Craft Beer has become truly global.

It will be interesting to see how hops, which need freezing winters in order to germinate, will fare in Thailand’s hot and humid climate. What will be even more interesting is how this terroir affects the flavor, aroma and bitterness compounds that these varieties produce. Could the characteristic grapefruit in Cascade become more like Papaya, for example?

It will take at least three years for this crop to produce a viable harvest for beer production but when it does, will be see a resulting boom in Thai hopped beers in the same way we’ve seen with hops from Australia and New Zealand? And what does this mean for Thai Craft Beer and its potential import and export market?  

— Matthew Curtis