Yala craft beer uses Betong pomelo peel, garnering nationwide interest

Picture courtesy of Khaosod

A local craft beer originating in Yala province has gained popularity across Thailand due to its unique blend, which includes peel from the local Betong orange. The product’s demand consistently increased after being featured at Sol Bar. This bar is located at the headquarters of the Move Forward Party in Bangkok and is discussed heavily on social media platforms.

The local craft beer, one of approximately 200 brands in Thailand, was created in a small restaurant in Betong district, Yala province. The producer, Kamol Jiwantanee, began brewing the beer at home for his personal consumption using just four primary ingredients: rice, hops, yeast, and water.

Eventually, Kamol decided to make the beer stand out by blending it with a premium quality peel of the Betong orange. The peel gives the craft beer a distinct natural citrus aroma and a subtle sour taste, resulting in a reddish-gold hue.

“I decided to use the orange peel from Betong because it has a strong and fragrant scent that gives the craft beer its unique aroma and taste. Apart from adding more value to local fruits, it also helps maximise the use of fruit peels,” Kamol explained.

He believes that southern Thailand’s native fruits could be incorporated into his craft beer recipes in the future. With abundant raw materials available in Yala all year round, Kamol is confident that his products’ taste can compete on a global scale.

Since Pita Limjaroenrat, leader of the Move Forward Party, spoke about homemade alcohol in various media outlets, local brews have experienced high demand, depleting stocks. The popular craft beer has also attracted both Thai and Malaysian tourists to the restaurant, where it is sold for 180 baht per 330 mililitre bottle.

This craft beer initiative is part of a social enterprise project supported by the Move Forward Party. Following the Ministry of Alcohol Production’s focus on promoting consumer safety, environmental impact, and overall product quality, the legislation came into force on 2nd November 2022. Creating job opportunities, distributing income, and extending chances for ordinary people to establish their careers with this initiative, Kamol envisions craft beers being produced in every Thai district.

In March, Kamol showcased his Betong craft beer for the first time at the country-level Beer People Festival 2023, attended by brewers and alcohol enthusiasts from all over Thailand. The festival featured over 200 craft beer brands and 400 flavours, receiving a warm welcome from the beer community.

South Thailand NewsThailand News

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Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.