Beer drinking on Koh Samui is pretty straight forward. Chang, Leo or Singha are pretty much the go everywhere. The expat pubs will add Carlsberg, Guinness, Kilkenny and Tiger to the mix, but really you don’t have to think too hard here. That’s good because I find the constant humidity quite lethargy inducing. Any attempt to walk results in floods of sweat – so sedentary activities like watching the beach or the 24/7 European football coverage is the go.
Research reveals however that there is one craft brewery on the island and according to the owner it is one of only six craft breweries in all of Thailand. Bees Knees Brewery isn’t exactly on the tourist paths and the cabbies have no clue, so you’ve just got to get on the right and keep your eye out. It’s a big site with some gleaming equipment on one side and a long bar to sit at and yabber with the owner. It’s a tough gig. The laws prevent him from selling it outside the brewhouse, so if he could find a pub to serve he wouldn’t be allowed to. Licensing law lunacy is a global problem it would seem. The beers are fine without blowing you away. The Wheaty Bee is a perfect beer for the Thai weather. Almost citrusy and very refreshing.
An unexpected find was a little place called the Beer Masons. This is a serious Tap House with a tap list that would satisfy the geekiest of beer geeks and deliver @Untappd uniques in spades. In only 10 taps. The entrance and location is modest and is the Chaweng district of Koh Samui.
The taps poured beers and one cider from Zeffer (NZ), Modern Times (US), Norrebro, To Ol and Mikkeller (Denmark), Boxing Cat (China) and Pasteur Rd (Vietnam). Other than a New York Lager from Norrebro, everything else was flavoured, big, cloudy or all of the above. Boxing Cat’s* Donkey Punch Porter was enhanced with “Cacao and Ancho Peppers”. Some seriously good beer to be had here. Nice touch handing out very tasty nibbles – thanks.
* Boxing Cat are a stable mate of the latest ABI acquisition, 4 Pines. My observation of Boxing Catbis that they are doing what they always have – making great beer and great locations to drink it in. Just saying…
The Bees Knees Brewpub: 83/3 Moo 2, Chaweng Lake Road, Tambon Bophut, Koh Samui
The Beer Masons: 39/7 Moo 3 Bophut, Chaweng Walk Street, Ko Samui.