For anybody who loves real ale and spends any significant amount of time in Samui, pangs for real ale are just one of the very few things these days than cannot be satisfied. OK there have been a few kegs popping up here and there but the kind of things that need to be done to real ale to bring it to our sunny shores such as pasteurizing result in something that is akin to having an itch you just can’t reach to scratch.
However, the real ale crisis in Samui has come to an end, the long drought is over thanks to one man who was not prepared to sacrifice his favorite tipple to enjoy the sunshine and all that Koh Samui has to offer. There really can be no better news for real ale lovers living on or visiting Koh Samui.
The Bee’s Knees Brewpub is open for business and serving locally brewed craft beer that is actually made on the premises, in fact you can see all of the impressive equipment from ether a comfortable chair around the many tables or from your seat at the bar where you can chew the fat with Jim, the owner and creator of this oasis, a most convivial chap who will keep you entertained for hours while you sip the tastes that have been missing since the dawn of time here in our tropical paradise.
So what is on offer to quench your real ale thirst I can hear you asking?
Well the Wheaty Bee, that, like the other beers, is available in 1/3 or ½ liter glasses. This refreshing golden nectar is brewed from German and Australian wheat and pale malts. The hops are Challenger and Galaxy that deliver soft fruit flavors.
The Black Bee is a delicious English style Porter brewed from Australian Pale, Crystal, Carafa and Chocoalte Malts, the hops are Challenger and East Kent Goldings. Rich and satisfying this brew goes a stage further in satisfying your thirst.
The Summer Bee is a Pilsner style ‘Larger” brewed from German Pilsner, Australian Pale and Crystal malts, the hops are Hallertau. This brew is rich, golden and refreshing. For those from the UK it has to be the Bitter Bee when you really want an authentic taste of home. This English style bitter is brewed from Australian Crystal and Pale Malts. The Hops are Challenger and East Kent Goldings and the flavour will take you right back to your favourite beer festival in the rolling hills of England or perhaps a log fire warmed country pub on a cold winter’s day.
If you want to get the best of both worlds and a really smooth, creamy flavor with all of the tastes of real ale that you have been missing then ask for a glass of Black and Tan – this silky smooth brew is created by combining Bitter Bee and Black Bee, the ultimate real ale lover’s cocktail.
Beer has been brewed for around 6,000 years, it started with the fermentable starch sorghum (millet) the first cultivated in Africa. To find out more about how beer was made and how it has evolved you can visit the Bee’s Knees website by clicking here. 6,000 years later, give or take a few, Samui Fine Ales are creating beers themselves here on the island using ingredients they have chosen based on their contribution and style, flavour, taste, aroma and the condition they are looking for.
Samui Fine Ales run small scale testing before finalizing their recipes and carefully craft their beer from grain to glass when it is presented to you at its finest. The beers are brewed from water sourced from their deep well 125 meters below the bar which has a chemical analysis surprisingly similar to London brewing water. The malted barleys, wheat and hops & yeasts mainly come from Australia. The equipment used to brew the perfect pint was built in Shandong China to Jim’s specifications. It is insulated to work in Samui’s hot climate and protected with CIP cleaning systems to ensure a quality product. The storage tanks each hold 1000L at a constant 4 deg C conditioning temperature maintained by a PLC computer.
Here the English infusion method and mashing at 68C is used because the 2 row malts available today do not need lautering or decoration to release their flavours. If that is all rather over your head what it basically means is that you can enjoy authentic real ale, that incidentally, is accidentally organic, at a seriously affordable price. The beers are brewed to between 4.0% and 4.5% ABV.
Beer has enjoyed a magnificent heritage developed through centuries of tradition and generations of improvement. The commercial beers available on Samui are worthy of respect because they are available all over the world and always maintain their colour, taste and alcohol strength, however, true real ale lovers believe that something has been lost in the commercialization process and Jim and his team want to give it back and give some life and identity to their beers, they are without a doubt succeeding.
The Bee’s Knees Brew Pub is a great place to be, its large enough to enjoy with all of your friends, a beer garden is being developed out the back in a shady area under a large tamarind tree where you will find a cooling breeze, Jazz and Blues play out gently in the background adding to the atmosphere without drowning out conversation. So when you want a refreshing change or want to satisfy those real ale cravings head on down to the Bee’s Knees between 3pm and 1am it really is the Bee’s Knees. You can then rate your experience on Tripadvisor, Rate Beer, Instagram, Facebook and 4 square which all helps to put the word out there and keep a good price.
The Bees Knee’s can be found on the road that goes between Tesco and Chaweng beach road on the left before the roundabout on the corner of Central Festival.
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