I was fortunate enough recently to attend a Thai festival here in the UK… imagine a country fair, but with exotic Thai foods, retail opportunities and of course, Thai beer!
I brought a few bottles of each home to taste and compare, with a clean palate.
The label reports “Siam Gold is a premium, lighter tasting smooth beer brewed with Thai cuisine in mind. Based on a traditional Thai recipe, using only the finest quality ingredients and low in carbonation it is the perfect beer to complement Thai food.” Sounds promising, but it then reports “brewed and bottled in the EU” oh dear, I have often made my feelings felt about ‘brewing under licence’ – this doesn’t bode well.
Or so I thought. Actually I was quite pleasantly surprised.
The beer pours with a pale gold colour and a full white head that subsides gently. The nose is equally full and hoppy nose, possibly even Saaz hops, which gives me some thoughts as to where in the EU this might actually be brewed.
The taste is dry, with very little sweetness – unusual for an Asian beer and not unlike Singha which, as I mentioned recently, is in itself a pretty authentic German style lager.
I would suggest that Siam Gold is probably robust enough to stand up to a Thai meal, but then so would Warsteiner or Lowenbrau; unlike Beer Chang which is actually brewed in Thailand.
A couple of phone calls to Siam Gold’s distributor in the UK and they reluctantly reveal that they source the beer from Germany, but were not prepared to share with me the name of the brewery or the region of Germany the beer hails from.
I’d give Siam Gold three stars, it’s an enjoyable lager, it’s crisp and refreshing, but not necessarily a Thai lager.
And for information, the Thai Festival takes place at Secretts Gardens Centre, near Godalming, Surrey on the last weekend of August every alternate (odd) year. The profits go to a charity - the Mudita Trust that helps to educate Thai girls and keep them out of prostitution. It’s a worthy cause and needless to say the festival was in my diary for August 2011. ~Bob the Brit