The organizers of an unexpectedly controversial craft beer festival announced today that they have secured a replacement venue after their original host
pulled out because they deemed it too political.
The inaugural Beer People Festival, part celebration of homebrew and part rally for legal reforms, will take place next month just behind the Chatuchak Weekend Market at JJ Outlet, a well-worn mall best known for vintage and inexpensive furniture.
“I can tell you that this new venue might not be the best one, but it fits well with our identity,” Beer People wrote in its announcement. “It will inspire the people of this nation to see our work. This is the beginning of a world-class beer event!
The announcement came six days after The Street Ratchada shopping mall withdrew its support because the event was too political. The event will draw the loose coalition of small-batch brewers and progressive voices who have called for Thailand to fully decriminalize independent alcohol production.
The right to brew has proved an unlikely populist issue for those challenging the power status quo that is designed to insulate the wealthiest from competition.
Organized by the four-year-old Prachachon Beer (“Beer People”) community founded by Thanakorn “Benz” Tuamsa-ngaim, the event was expected to host more than 200 craft beer labels from around the country and offer tastes of locally made liquors. It would also draw those advocating for reform of the laws that effectively ban brewing for all but for the two largest corporations.
Last year, a popular opposition bill to decriminalize brewing was narrowly defeated after Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha intervened with a watered-down compromise measure.
Organizers thanked everyone for their positive vibes and help in finding a new location.
The Beer People Festival will run March 11-12 at JJ Market on Soi Kamphaeng Phet 2, which is a short walk from MRT Kamphaeng Phet, and about 15 minutes on foot from BTS Chatuchak.