October 10, 2018 – We think the Phnom Penh craft beer scene is one of the hippest in Asia. The small yet rapidly growing micro-brew scene in Cambodia’s capital is what everyone in the West reminisces about. Passionate brewers setting up shop in their garage (or as close to a garage as you can have in Phnom Penh), tinkering with local ingredients and brewing batches big enough to share at one or two bars. The result is some of the best beer you can find in Asia…and drinking it in some of the most intimate hidden gems that you’ll find anywhere.
So where you can grab a pint (or few) in the city?
Cerevisia Craft Brewery
One of our favorite places in the city to grab a pint, the co-founder here also runs Cambodia’s only craft beer association, and their mantra of transforming high quality ingredients into full-bodied beers is enough to keep drinking until last call. The taproom’s lush, outdoor oasis surrounded by greenery (and taps) doesn’t hurt either.
Think two chill guys hauling a bunch of equipment into their living room and brewing some of the best beer in the country. The “underground” beer spread by word of mouth to the point where said living room is now being converted into a taproom! At the time of writing, they are open every Friday to help raise remodeling funds, but their beer can be found at a few bars around town. We recommend Seabird’s Place for a fun place to sink a few.
By far the most popular place in town to grab a German-inspired beer, Hops Craft Beer Garden’s sprawling property offers three distinct beer halls plus a large outdoor beer garden. They do not deviate from the German purity laws, so they only use water, barley, hops, and yeast to create their lager, wheat beer, IPA, and red stout. Top it all off with a German sausage and some live music and you’ve got yourself a fun night.
Al fresco drinking on a green space along the river as the sun sets is something that everyone should do at least once in Phnom Penh, and Himawari is a great place to do it. Situated on the first floor of this riverside hotel with the same name, they have four signature beers plus some rotating seasonal brews. Try their Gem & Jade Golden Ale for a session-able happy hour, or their CentenniALE IPA to pack a punch…and if you’re lucky enough you can stumble upstairs to your room.
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Admittedly more for the experience than the beer, Kingdom Brewery is the largest craft brewery in SE Asia. For a reasonable fee, you can enjoy a tour of their brewery which includes some taste testing and a free-flow bar at the end. Their standard beers include a Pilsner, IPA, Belgian White and a Mango IPA. For beer enthusiasts who like to learn about the process behind the drinks, Kingdom Breweries is a fun afternoon.
Honorable Mention: The Box Office
The Box Office doesn’t brew their own beer, but they do offer one of the city’s largest selections of locally brewed beers and ciders. This cozy bar also hosts regular open mic nights, comedy nights and quiz nights. Their Sunday roast dinners are also something to write home about.
Want to Eat Local in Cambodia?
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Our Phnom Penh Food Tours will take you away from the tourist traps to visit the kind of neighborhood spots that don’t show up on top ten lists and to eat where the locals eat! Click Here for more info.