Beer, burgers, ribs and chips
971 Phloen Chit, Lumpini, Pathum Wan,
Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Tel. +66 (0) 2656 0080
Trying to review a pub with over a hundred beers on the menu is asking for trouble. In my youth I would probably have seen it as a challenge, these days I’m a little more cautious. I still love a good beer every now and again but age has made me a bit of a beer snob so unless it is a social occasion where I don’t have any choice, I tend to seek out places that serve craft beers. Beer Republic has lots of them.
I arrived during happy hour and as I took a seat the waitress handed me a list of the beers that qualified for the discount. It listed about a dozen beers all with familiar names so I shooed it away explaining that I would be far happier with the unabridged list. This was much more impressive. There are about thirty draught beers, a dozen or so Belgian and Trappist beers and a varied selection of IPAs, wheat beers, dark beers, lagers and stouts from around the world.
I narrowed my options down to the locally brewed craft beer. Calling Thai craft beers locally brewed is something of an anomaly since most of them are brewed either in Cambodia or Vietnam. Under Thai law, no one is allowed to produce beer unless they own their own brewpub and sell only on the premises, or brew a minimum of one million litres a year. Thai brewers get around the problem by setting up shop across the border and importing it all back.
There are about twenty to choose from. I ordered a bottle of Liger Dark. This is a Czech-style dark lager. It has a nice, malty flavour but retains a light body. I took a few sips and turned my attention to the food menu.
The phrase Brews and Bites appears under the establishment‘s logo and indeed there is a good mix of local and Western options. The bites side of the menu features Chicken wings, nachos and fried pig ears. The Thai crispy fried beef (pork is also available) comes with a house-made spicy sauce and is an excellent accompaniment for beer. For those who want something more substantial, there is a range of burgers, beer-battered fish and chips and steaks. The Republic Burger (main pic) is a classic. It comes topped with bacon, Monterey Jack cheese and sweet onions plus fries and spicy slaw on the side.
Mahanakon White Ale was one of the first Thai craft beers on the market. It is a Belgian-style wheat beer served in a can. It has a very clean taste with citrus overtones but not too sweet. A good sunny afternoon beer which went down rather faster than I’d intended. This meant I had to order a Grancore IPA to go with the half rack of ribs I had just ordered.
The ribs are in a section of the menu called Big Bites. If you want chips or potato wedges to go with them they have to be ordered separately. The IPA is a hoppy beer but there is just a tell-tale hint of malt in there. It arrived at the same time as the ribs and was a marriage made in heaven with the tanginess of the hops contrasting well with the smokiness of the barbecue sauce. The meat was wonderfully tender and fell off the bone easily.
Beer and dessert don’t usually go well together but the crispness of the IPA had left me wanting something sweet. I figured coconut ice cream wouldn’t be too filling but I was wrong. Two large scoops with red bean, palm seeds and sweet potato was considerably more than I had bargained for but I struggled through.
Afterwards, I leaned back in my chair with a contented smile. I had a full stomach, a warm glow and all was well in my world. At least temporarily. One for the road, I thought and perused the beer menu once more. I settled on a bottle of The Dark Side, a rich and creamy stout with toasted malt and hints of chocolate. At 8% ABV, it was the strongest of the beers I’d had all night. I took it slowly before wobbling off into the night.