Bars and supermarkets across the country are reporting shortages of local favourite brews such as Singha as the waters cut off supply routes from Bangkok to Phuket.
Singha, which has many of its production facilities based in flood-hit central provinces such as Phathum Thani, was recently forced to close one brewery that was effectively surrounded by water.
With Thailand now entering its peak tourist season, a blow to the country’s beer industry could hit consumers in the pocket, as prices are forced up. The Thai economy could do without further damage.
Beer is the key income generator for the country’s bar scene, particularly on its islands where big bars can rake in as much as 30,000 baht a night through beer sales alone.
Phuket, one of the country’s key holiday hotspots, is already facing a “beer crisis,” according to the Phuket Gazette.
“This is the beginning of the high season. If the supply situation does not improve within about 30 days, I believe the entertainment business will start showing real signs of a crisis,” said Weerawit Kurasombat, president of the Patong Entertainment Business Association.
Even in Bangkok, scores of 7-Eleven convenience stores are reportedly running short of many brands.
A beer shortage is the least of some residents’ worries, however, particularly in the north and east of the country, where a number of main roads are under water and the military has become the only means of transporting people and vital supplies of food and water around flood-hit districts.