Going to Bangkok has been a sort of annual "home coming" for me(and some other geeks) -- the food scene, the relatively more value for money logistic costs aside--the main draw for some of us geeks is all down to one particular craft place in Bangkok.
上周末去了一趟曼谷，目的很明确，直奔“米吧”（MIKKELLER BAR BANGKOK）四周年庆活动而去.
The craft beer scene in Bangkok been bouncing the past 2-3 years, with not just the importing boys making waves ,but the local Thai Brew scene too been picking up pace rapidly, you can find quite many craft places in and around down town Bangkok area which focus on Thai Brew, be it only selling Thai Brew or mix of local brew and imported variants.
here's a piece about some interesting craft places worth visiting as recommended by BK magazine :-
22 bars in Bangkok to drink beer. And only beer.
22 bars in Bangkok to drink beer. And only beer.
Hence--to point out a single place in Bangkok as the main reason for the annual visit is perhaps biased--perhaps it's too much of a personal preference--but so be it---here's why:-
1) Geeks mainly/almost only seek out beer list first and foremost
It's a fact that what attracts geeks the most is plain and simple--what's on tap--or what's available at the bottle list/ bottle shop.
For the past 4 years--the guys working behind the scene at Mikkeller Bangkok has brought on some amazing--First in ASIA--or for that matter--NO other places in ASIA would have it---kind of tap takeover events--first intro of a top top brewery--as well food pairing events....
其一，酒单选择，对啤迷来说，有什么不同酿坊类型啤酒可喝最是关键，从13年的亚洲首次Three Floyds <占领啤酒泵>（Tap Takeover) 带来包括Alpha King, Zombie Dust 等名作的好多款不同类型啤酒，到之后的更多不同酿坊酒款，例如去年初的美国顶级酿坊Superstition蜜酒配搭美食活动，到上周末四周年庆活动中亚洲第一次出现连续几年票选世界最佳酿坊Hillfarmstead 的几款啤酒，这些时不时会有全亚洲独家供应顶级欧美酿坊啤酒的动作树立了一个非常高的指标，曼谷<米吧>的确会让啤迷感受到幕后推手对带来更多不同酿坊不同类型啤酒选择的热忱。
The first ever Three Floyds tap takeover in ASIA was held in Bangkok back in 2014---with more than 10 taps--with brew such as Alpha King, Zombie Dust..on tap plus some other variants in bottles. And then the intro of mead--including Superstition Meadery food pairing event---and then for the first time ever ASIA has got Hillfarmstead kegs on tap during this recent trip for their 4th anniversary party (though only 3 variants and tasted a little underwhelming) .
If you are a geek living in Asia--it's common knowledge how hard it is for us geeks to seek out those "harder to come by" US/Europe top breweries beers---and from a business point of view--it's much easier to play safe and just go with the flow--give the market something above average and it seems to work out fine--so to know that the people behind the scenes are trying year in year out to seek out for some of those top brew we have seen so far in Bangkok--it says a lot about the willingness to try and be different/bringing what geeks looking for--that alone is something most geeks would appreciate.
2) If you are new to the craft scene--never could imagine a beer bar is actually hidden in an old bungalow within a quiet residential area---with a garden and a casual fine dining restaurant as part of the set up--this is one beer place which would perhaps change your perception about beer drinking/gulping-- or the misguided perception that beer drinking is a not so classy act....
Of course some drinkers might want a drinking hole to be exactly like---a typical drinking hole with louder noises/music or people talking /cheering loudly---well--this place is not exactly that type of establishment--it can get a little too quiet at times--almost like a beer serving library during certain times of the week--but yes it does get busier and resemble more like a beer bar too---just so you know.
3) Am i trying to say this place is mainly or only for geeks? Definitely NOT--there's always a steady stream of people who are new to craft beer--or even those minority few who only come for the food rather than beers. If you are relatively very new to craft beer--it's all good--the 30 tap selections here would always have a few which are newbies friendly--but if you are a geek--then there's not much else to say--you know the deal/drill.
4) If you are a foodie--or somehow have an affection for Michelin Star rated restaurant--well--there's actually one here--right Upstairs.
This is a casual fine dining restaurant helm by Chef Dan Bark--who is no stranger to the Michelin Star thingy--as he previously worked with 2 star and 3 star restaurants back in Chicago. before embarking on his journey to BKK.
Personally im not a fine dining person--and obviously don't care much about the star ratings--but the fact that Upstairs won a one star recently is a point worth mentioning because it gave a strong and clear message to all those foodies out there who thought fine dining would always only go in pairing with Wine.
Nope--this place DON'T SERVE wine--only choices of different styles of beers--or occasionally some mead for your food pairing---or you could just drink still or sparkling water.
The star given to Upstairs is a sort of big boost for those trying to spread the love of craft beer--it's not beer vs wine kinda scenario--but more of a " now you can try pair nice food with beers--and it would bring on new gastronomic possibilities/enjoyment....."
其四，酒吧楼上有一家美食配搭啤酒餐厅UPSTAIRS AT MIKKELLER BANGKOK，如果你以为只是卖一般酒吧餐点的话就很错了，这是一家精致美食（CASUAL FINE DINING）餐厅，主厨是在芝加哥米其林三星级别餐厅当过副手的美籍韩国帅哥，这是可以轻松用餐的地方，一点也不拘谨，虽然因为不久前获得米其林一星而引来不少慕名新食客而必须提前预约，餐厅还是保持一贯作风，并没有因为星光照耀而特意去改变什么，菜单还是包含甜品在内的十道菜，价格保持泰币三千多，餐厅前场人员除了会详细告知每道菜特色成分，也有专人负责啤酒配搭咨询。必须说的是，虽是星级餐厅，这里只配搭啤酒，不提供葡萄酒，至于啤酒美食配搭部分，如果自觉喝不了啤酒，可以只是喝水，要是懂得自己配搭，也可以那样，喝什么啤酒自己拿主意。
Is Mikkeller Bangkok really all that good and glowing? well--as i said--it's a biased choice--a personal preference--though i have heard words such as " it's too quiet to be a bar--no atmosphere--pretentious"--and of course no one place is perfectly perfect---but then this is still one place i would gladly tell many it's one of most favorite craft places to visit---and if you have yet to visit--go see for yourself--i have seen it every year since they started and still not bored of repeating--not by any means.