The first bottle of Singha Beer rolled of the production line in 1933. At the same time, the Prohibition Act – which made alcohol illegal – was ended in America, and for the first time in Thai history, the military successfully overthrew a constitutional government.
For Boonrawd Sreshthaputra, this was the realisation of his dream to create Thailand’s first brewery and beer. To this day, Singha – pronounced locally as Sing – epitomises Thailand and the Boon Rawd brewery, which makes Singha, rightfully bears the name of the man who made it.
The Singha “Golden Lion” logo is a mythological Lion from Hindu and Buddhist stories, which is why you will see the Singha, Singh or Simha on flags, crests and artifacts from India to Indonesia. In Thai language, Singha is also the month of August, and the constellation Leo takes up much of that month too.
Singha was given the Royal Warrant in 1939 and to this day remains the only one endowed with this prestigious honour. The Royal crest, or Garuda can be seen on the bottleneck and all of their canned products. Khun Boonrawd was the first Thai to get a Brewers Certificate in Germany – he spent a lot of time travelling Germany and Denmark learning his trade from the best. In yet another pioneering move, Singha Beer went overseas in the 70’s, becoming the world’s biggest Thai b
For his endeavour and producing the country’s first beer, King Rama VII gave Khun Boonrawd an aristocratic title of nobility Phraya Bhirom Bhakdi in 1939. Despite the end of the absolute monarchy in Thailand in 1932, the use of the name Bhirom Bhakdi was granted in 1942 and with this new family name, a new dynasty was born.
The corporation is still managed by the Bhirombhakti’s, now into their fourth generation, and this family can be seen involved in many aspects of the Kingdom from politics to philanthropy.
Revelry & Rivalry
There were expansions in 1994 when the corporation purchased two German breweries in Saxony. They were bought to produce Singha Gold for their European markets but that stopped in 2001 with Singha preferring to make all of their drinks in Thailand in order to preserve the perfect exported taste. Singha has always used the German Saaz hops in their brewing process.
Shortly after the Asian crash of ’97, Beer Chang launched their first sustained attack at Singha’s leadership – marketing to rural areas, at a lower price and using the symbolic elephant or Chang in Thai as their logo – this catapulted Chang to top spot for a short while and since then, they have not looked back either. Singha weighed in to the lower-priced market by launching Beer Leo. Another beer that is seen everywhere.
Singha recently formed a strategic alliance with global beer brand Carlsberg, who have just returned to Thai shores with their beer after a short hiatus. This is a bi-lateral agreement to facilitate market penetration.
Using any of Carlsberg’s eight Asian plants, Singha announced that from March of this year, they would be producing the beer for the European market at the Carlsberg production base in Russia.
Singha Beer is 5.0% alc (it used to be 6%, until 2007) tastes like a German pilsner, can be bought everywhere (6 continents, 42 countries) and is delicious!