Infographic: Great Beers of Asia – Everything You Need to Know

the best beers of Southeast asia

Our friends at Travel Indochina have provided us with a great graphic that gives you the lowdown on what to drink when you are travelling around Asia.

To View the Graphic in Full size, click on the image to the left.

For those who would rather have me interpret, I’m quite happy to.  I’ve tried most of these beers and will gladly offer my opinion on them in the following ‘beer notes’.  

First of all, India. Not exactly a destination known for it’s beer and yet, the Kingfisher pictured is actually a pretty good lager. When you think about it, it makes sense that the Brits would have brought some brewery knowhow with them. While I haven’t yet had the pleasure of drinking a Haywards Stout, I look forward to quaffing one in Mumbai.

Cambodians, on the other hand drink less beer, but their national beer, Angkor actually won a medal in Belgium! I haven’t tried it but I have tried Kingdom beer and it was damn tasty.

Onwards to Vietnam where they drink a whopping 19 liters per capita. I’ve had Vietnamese beer and it was terrible. Maybe it’s improved.  Chinese beer on the other hand, is world class. With 9000 years of brewing behind them, it’s no wonder. I’ve tried all the beers listed on the graphic for China. My favourite’s Yangsing Dark and good old Tsingtao. Who doesn’t love Tsingtao?

I’m not a big fan of Japanese beer. I’ve drank plenty but I’d rather stick to the saki because it’s actually good. 

When I was in Thailand, Chang was rumoured to have formaldehyde in it so I drank mostly Singha which is a perfectly passable beer but provides the kind of hangovers that bad dreams are made of.  Of course that might have been the Thai whiskey or the red bull too. 

Okay – moment of truth here. I’ve not drank Burmese, Bhutanese or Sri Lankan beer. I know nothing about them. They might be fantastic. I haven’t yet tried any Mongolian beers yet either, but I look forward to it – check out how many medals these beers have won!

And of course, Beer Lao. I’ve drank about a million of these and I still don’t have a Beer Lao sweatshirt of t-shirt to show that I’ve done my time on the banana pancake trail. I don’t know why I never bought one of those shirts, but I do have a Beer Lao label stuck in a 2001 road journal somewhere. I may have to make it back to Laos in the near future. I hope so.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll get the chance to try all of these beers on a trip made for the occasion by – that would certainly be a trip to remember. The only question is…would I?


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Damitio  (@vagodamitio) is the Editor-in-Chief for Vagobond. Life is good. You can also find him on Google+ and at Facebook