Thailand’s Cabinet votes in favour of revolutionary alcohol brewing act
Yesterday, Thailand’s Cabinet voted in favour of an act which will allow Thais to brew and sell their own alcohol. The law it still in its first stages, but if it goes ahead it will be revolutionary for Thailand’s alcohol industry.
The “Progressive Liquor Act” aims to amend Section 153 of the Excise Tax Act which requires alcohol producers to obtain permits under strict and costly standards set by the Ministry of Finance. The amendment will lower the existing standards and make room for small breweries to enter the market.
The act will allow Thai people not only to brew their own beer, distill their own whiskey and other spirits such as “Ya Dong”, but also allow them to sell it. If it goes ahead as planned, you can expect to see a lot more than just Leo, Singha and Chang on the shelves in bars and stores.
Just a few months ago, Thailand passed a law allowing Thais to brew their own alcohol for personal use, but it still forbade them from selling it.
Thailand’s alcohol industry has long been monopolised by two government-backed breweries, Boon Rawd Brewery, who produce Singha and Leo and Thai Beverage Brewery who produce Chang beer. Another brewery, Thai Asia Pacific, produces Heineken and Tiger, two more popular beers in Thailand.
Yesterday, 178 members of the Cabinet voted in favour of the “Progressive Liquor Act,” 137 voted against it and 15 voters abstained. The Cabinet formed a special committee of 25 people who will further consider moving forward with the act.
At present, it is possible to buy craft beers in Thailand, but the price tag is usually much higher than that of a Leo or Chang because the beers are imported from foreign countries. Allowing Thais to brew and sell alcohol not only has huge economic potential for brewers, but will open up a world of alcoholic beverage options never seen before in Thailand, at an affordable price. Win-win!
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