Is Thai Beer Thai Food?

Thailand favorite beer, beer Singha in a beer mug.Not sure about that but I don’t think I’ve ever posted anything on here about Thai beer before.

Back in the states I pretty much just drank Corona Light and had a squirter of lemon juice to tang it up. The taste is very light, and if the bottles haven’t been sitting out in the sun before they make it to the bar or restaurant the beer is very clean tasting. I’ve had sewer water Coronas too – but that’s for another article.

Thai beer is strong stuff. Typical alcohol in Thai beer is 5.5% – 7%. Typical beer in the USA has 2.2 to 3.5%. Thais drink their beer with ice – as it mellows the flavor – and keeps it ice cold. Both of these are appreciated… it’s often over 90 degrees F at night in Bangkok, so one gets used to ice in their beer after a while. I finally did about 2 years into my stay. Waitresses add it to the mug anyway – without asking, figuring ‘everyone loves ice in their beer’.

One big problem with getting beer in Thailand is that it’s hit or miss. Though it is made right here in the country, there are not (I haven’t seen any) refrigerated trucks to transport the beer. That means the beer you’re about to drink might have been sitting in a hot – and I mean HOT truck for a day, or a few days, before it made it to the Thai restaurant or bar where you’re going to drink it. Some of it is good. Some is downright horrible.

Eventually I think nearly everyone gets used to the beer though. I’ve given up finding great beer in the country, just due to the refrigeration issue. Thai beer is a little harsh anyway. That extra alcohol has the effect of turning beer into somewhat of an industrial pain remover or something. When I first arrived in Thailand I wasn’t too keen on the beer. I never used the word ‘keen’ either. Thailand changes you. Now I really enjoy one of the Thai beers that at first I didn’t enjoy at all. Beer Leo. This is one of the cheapest beers at 35 baht 50 Thai baht (prices change over the years!) per big bottle – about two twelve-ouncers. If I drink one I’m fine for a couple hours.

Here are some of the Thai beers and what I think of them:

Singha – the national beer it appears. Expats like this one. It’s a little more expensive than the others. It has a decent taste – with ice.

Chang – means elephant. A harsh beer you must have with ice. I had Chang draught (draft) before and it was VERY good. In bottles or cans it’s not so great. Highest alcohol content. Thais prefer this one.

Beer Leo – pretty good. I still need ice for it.

Beerlao in a glass.Beer Lao – awesome. Comes in two varieties – pale and dark. No ice needed or recommended. Both are my favorite beers of all time. Yes, this comes from Laos and I have it when I run across the border to renew my Thai visa. Highly recommended. Sometimes in Thailand the beer has been overheated and it tastes horrible. Best to get right across the border at Chong Mek as there is a Beer Lao brewery just a few kilometers from there. Awesome beer!

If you see Thai beer in a Thai restaurant in the states or wherever you are in the world – give it a try and let us know what you think!


(Photo credits: Singha Beer – user, AndyLawson; Beer Lao – user, Asia Edit. Thanks much!)

Thai Iced Coffee! Gafe Yen! (Thai food)

Thai Iced Coffee! Gafe Yen! A Thai food favorite

Gafe Yen means “Coffee – Cold” but we call it “Thai Iced Coffee”.
When I first got to Thailand I drank the coffee from the shops. I avoided Thai Coffee since I hadn’t tried coffee from a different country that I ever liked except Canada… which is same as USA coffee. I had tried Korean and Cuban coffee before and they aren’t that great.

When I went to Laos I tried their coffee which was EXCELLENT! They have lattes and others that were really nice.

Thai coffee – iced Thai coffee is a real favorite of the Thais. There are special stores that make it and usually there is only one or 2 favorite places among the people of the whole town so they sell a LOT of Thai Iced Coffee. In Thailand they sell it in a baggie. A clear plastic baggie and they give you a straw that you can use. There are handles on the baggie. The coffee is STRONG and SWEET. It also has a lot of ice so it’s very cold. I enjoy it – but if I had a chance I’d be drinking Starbucks or something similar! I’m American and I’ve never lost the craving…


1/2 cup of dried roasted ground Thai coffee
5 cups of boiling water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Half & Half cream or 1 cup Evaporated Milk (Thais use this)
small ice cubes (preferred)


Add boiling water to coffee grounds.
Add sugar and drain coffee through a screen or strainer.
Add the cream / milk and leave to cool.

Pour over ice cubes and top with more half and half.

Put it into a plastic bag for the more authentic experience!


Sawasdee Ka - Joy

Thai Food E-Books!

Sawasdee Ka!

Revising Joy’s Ebooks now – ready in a few weeks!

If you don’t know what an e-book is, it’s simply a Word file with photos and nice formatting converted into an Adobe PDF format that you can read on your computer, PDA, phone, or maybe even your watch. It makes the files easy to read on electronic readers too – you may have heard about Microsoft’s and Amazon’s new readers. They are e-book readers designed specially for reading e-books.

We are giving away a sample PDF file of the first 11 pages of Joy’s Thai Food Recipe eBook below.

Joy’s Thai Food Recipe E-book Sample, 11 pages, fully illustrated, fully FREE! This is to give you an idea what you’re getting.

Please check back in a few weeks to see if we’re offering Joy’s latest two updated Thai Food Ebooks at that time!

Thank you!

Sawasdee ka, joy