COCONUTS HOTSPOT — Waves of delicious beer have been lapping up onto these fine shores. First American microbrews arrived in Bangkok two years ago, helping fuel last year's craft draft fad.
Now thanks to Mikkeller, a new microbrew bar from a Danish brand, Bangkok enters the beer big leagues with its own Mecca for beer-nerds.
Bangkok's Mikkeller, with its walloping 30 taps, is the first in Asia. That's kind of a special thing, given the Danish brewer's first two bars were opened in the established beer bergs of its native Copenhagen and San Francisco.
Mikkeller founder Mikkel Borg Bjergsø is a self-proclaimed "gypsy brewer," meaning they have no official brewery. Instead the experimental brewer travels the world to find other beermakers to carry out the brewing process of their recipes or collaborate on some interesting one-off brews.
In a sudsy world where hundreds of breweries open daily and fads come and go quicker than you can finish a pint, it's true that Mikkeller and gypsy brewing may be the trend of the day. However having a world-class beer bar open in a city with an untested palate for nu-brew is reason enough to make the pilgrimage.
And it is a journey. The bar is located in a small Ekkamai sub-soi in what looks like someone’s home. The vibe inside is homey, and it feels like you’re going over to your hipster friends’ house for a drink. The minimalist interior features little decor, apart from illustrations in the Mikkeller aesthetic. It’s an open space full of wood and windows, small tables tucked away in corners, and large countertops with ample space to set down some of the branded glassware. There’s also a quiet garden out back.
The venue is second fiddle to true star of the bar: some really, really rare brews which can only be found coming fresh from the tap here. Opening night saw the tapping of brews from Alpha State’s NZ IPA and Three Floyds/Amager Arctic Sunstone to hangover fixer Reparationsbajer from To Øl. Even the last keg of Mikkeller’s limited-run Spontandoubleblueberry was tapped.
Unless you're an online beer forum regular, it’s likely you’ve never encountered these brews before.
There are also two brews special to Mikkeller Bangkok: Sukhumvit Pilsner and Sukhumvit Brown. Skip these in favor of something a little more flavorful, as they don’t offer the same experience as the more esoteric brews.
The brews here certainly aren’t cheap, be prepared to shell out up to THB300 for some of the really good stuff.
At the moment the only element lacking is a diverse menu of interesting food to pair to bring out different characteristics of the brews, but in the meantime meat master Joe Sloane frequently posts up at Mikkeller to grill his signature sausages.
Photos: Richard Marks
Ekkamai 10, Yaek 2 (From the top of Ekkamai 10 take your second right and then your first left)