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Pandemic brews resistance in Thai craft beer sector

Social distancing brings insurgency against beer duopoly to a head

Festivalgoers sample craft brews at the People's Beer event near Bangkok in March. (Akira Kodaka)

BANGKOK -- Down a quiet street in Nonthaburi, just outside Bangkok, a Thai couple in their 30s turned the self-isolation imposed by COVID-19 social distancing rules into a cocktail of opportunity, spending their idle hours creating new craft beers.

On a weekend afternoon, they were midway into their latest brew in an open kitchen area, at the back of their house. Their makeshift microbrewery included three large silver containers, normally used to cook noodles, in which they were preparing a variety of pale ales. Inside, a tall fridge was packed with beers made earlier.

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