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Court Fines Man $4000.00 Over Craft Beer Review on Facebook in Thailand

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Court Fines Man $4000.00 Over Craft Beer Review on Facebook in Thailand, craft breweries

A Thai court has fined a craft beer fan 150,000 baht ($4,360) and sentenced him to a suspended six-month prison sentence for breaching a rule prohibiting the advertising of alcoholic beverages by posting a photo of craft beer together with his evaluation of it on Facebook.

Mr. Artid Sivahansaphan announced on Monday that he intends to appeal his conviction in the hopes of amending a legislation that he says is unjust to consumers and small businesses.

The Alcoholic Beverage Control Act of 2008 outlaws “advertising or displaying, directly or indirectly, the name or trademark of any alcoholic beverage.” The maximum penalty is one year in prison and a fine of 500,000 baht ($14,540).

A court in Nonthaburi, just north of Bangkok, sentenced Mr. Artid on Friday for a Facebook post in 2020. An eight-month prison term and a 200,000 baht ($5,810) punishment were lowered to a suspended six-month sentence and a 150,000 baht ($4,360) fine because the court thought his testimony was useful, he told The Associated Press.

Supak Ko-it, a coordinator for Beer People, a group that advocates for the liberalization of beer production and sale, attended the court session and validated the sentence’s facts.

“The court didn’t seem to understand,” she remarked. “Artid wrote the post from the perspective of a craft beer consumer, not a seller, but the court wasn’t interested in that point.”

Craft beer thailand

Advertising of alcoholic beverages

Thailand limits the production, marketing, and advertising of alcoholic beverages, with sales hours limited and advertising or depictions of alcoholic beverages essentially prohibited on all media. Images of alcoholic beverages on television are frequently electronically obscured.

According to critics, the restrictions, particularly those governing production, unjustly favour large established enterprises owned by some of the country’s wealthiest business families.

Artid stated that he is a freelance translator who has no commercial interest in alcoholic beverages but is passionate about craft beer. His Facebook page, where he has been writing about Thai and international beers for over a decade, has over 70,000 followers.

“I didn’t publicize it. I did not encourage anyone to consume it. I never advocated for drunk driving. “I only mentioned the aesthetic aspect of the craft beer,” he explained. “It’s illegal in Thailand to drink a beer and proclaim it to be delicious.”

“On the day I was waiting for my bail approval, a drunk driver walked in.” He was fined 60,000 baht, and I was shocked. “I write at home, and I got a 150,000 baht fine,” Artid explained.

In response to a similar pending case, Thailand’s popular Move Forward Party stated that the law is being used to “bully ordinary people and local entrepreneurs.” It stated that the advertising ban should only apply to businesses, and that small businesses should be permitted to advertise with some restrictions.

The advertising of alcohol in Thailand is regulated by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act, which prohibits advertising that may encourage excessive drinking or present alcohol consumption as a means of enhancing social or sexual success. The act also prohibits the use of celebrities, athletes, and other public figures in alcohol advertising.

Craft Beer Makers and Brew Bubs

Craft Beer and Major Breweries in Thailand

A few significant enterprises dominate Thailand’s beer brewing industry. Thai Beverage Public Company Limited (ThaiBev), which manufactures Chang Beer and Singha Beer, and Boon Rawd Brewery Company Limited, which makes Singha Beer, are two of the leading participants in the Thai beer market. These companies have a substantial market share in Thailand and may exhibit oligopolistic behaviour.

Craft beer has grown in popularity in Thailand in recent years, with an increasing number of microbreweries and craft beer pubs opening in major cities such as Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Thailand’s craft beer market is still modest in comparison to other nations, but it is rapidly growing and acquiring a following among locals and expatriates alike.

Chalawan Pale Ale, Chiang Mai Brewing Company, and Phuket Beer Co. are among of Thailand’s most prominent artisan breweries. These breweries provide a variety of unusual and flavorful beers, frequently employing local ingredients such as lemongrass and Thai basil to give their brews a distinct Thai edge.

Craft beer bars, which provide a diverse selection of craft beers from both local and international breweries, are also becoming more widespread in Thailand. Mikkeller Bangkok, Hair of the Dog Bangkok, and Wishbeer Home Bar are some of Bangkok’s most popular craft beer bars.

While craft beer is still a small industry in Thailand, its popularity is growing, and it is getting simpler to find and enjoy locally created craft brews.

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