by Hop Nation USA's Steve
I fell in love with Thai food back in 2008 while working on an independant film. We were filming in a semi-trendy, soon to gentrify neighborhood. The crew members who were more familiar with the area introduced us lowly PAs to the Thai restaurant in the neighborhood, leading to many lunches and after shoot dinners. Panang and Kiew Wan have since become some of my favorite dishes. If you’re a craft beer enthusiast and have a favorite meal, then more than likely you have a favorite beer to pair it with. Heartbreakingly, I’ve been lacking a beer to pair with my Thai dishes. Until now.
Upfront, the 5:00 in Bangkok Afternoon Ale is my new go to beer when eating Thai food, but let’s jump back to 2014 for moment. I’m sitting in a dive bar with a bomber cooler, and something catches my eye. It says Tongue Thai-ed, and so I immediately have to investigate. Could this be the saving grace I’ve been looking for? A proper beer to pair? Oh...it’s a Blue Moon product. Well long story short, I wound up giving the beer 3 stars on Untappd with the review, “Not awful.” Which it wasn’t. The drawbacks were it was a middling wheat beer with decent lemongrass flavor, only available in 22oz bottles, and has since been discontinued.
I’ve since tried the Alesmith Thai Speedway Stout, a super heavy and sweet novelty beer, and a proper Singha from Thailand, which falls somewhere in between Tsing Tao and Tyskie in the category of barely palatable imports. It’d seemed hopeless I’d find a proper beer to pair with my favorite dishes, and I’d be relegated to workshopping with weak IPAs and Sessions.
That is until I found the 5:00 in Bangkok by Renegade Brewing. This beer has everything I could. It’s light and refreshing. It was more than appropriate I enjoyed this beer while watching a Japanese comedy show in which they dole Thai kicks as punishment. This beer kicks with big lemongrass flavors. Equally as big are the ginger notes; something completely absent from the Blue Moon beer. Totally crushable on its own at only 5% ABV, but is fantastic with food. It provides the great complimentary flavors while also being a palate cleanser. And if you’re like me, the kind of person who asks for a 12 out 10 when they ask how hot you like it, you’ll really appreciate having this to cool the fires.
4:44 out of 5:00 O’Clock