Asia Brewers Network

Sour collabs to bring Thai flavours to the world


The Thai craft beer scene is a small but burgeoning one. Beset by a particular but well reported set of restrictions, Thai craft brewers have recently started to come into their own, expanding rapidly and making a name for themselves around the region. Now established, they are looking to spread globally, forging collaborations with brewers across the world.

Nestled firmly among this new crop of globally-minded Thai craft brewers is the Sour City Project, or SCP, an innovative venture jointly spearheaded by Sandport Beer and Baan Bangkok Brewing Co., and managed by Group B Beer, a distributor and facilitator helping Thai brewers to brew overseas and import back into the Southeast Asian kingdom.

Factor in Hong Kong’s Yardley Brothers craft brewery and you have an intriguing cross border collaboration.

Born out of COVID

This groundbreaking four-way partnership aims to highlight unique sour flavours from both Hong Kong and Thailand and showcase them in truly delicious beer form. “We are thrilled to be part of a movement that transcends borders,” says Toon of Sandport. “Sour beers are an art form, and this project allows us to showcase the unique flavours of Thailand to the world.”

Interestingly, the idea of the SCP was born during the COVID era. Thailand, like so many of its neighbours, implemented a strict lockdown regiment aimed at controlling the disease’s spread. Thailand’s famous nightclubs and bars were ordered to close, and the sale of beer slowed to a trickle.

Opportunity is found sometimes in the darkest of times, and this ‘respite’ gave the folks at Sandport a unique opportunity to strategize on their long-standing ambitions to experiment with sour beer. It was time to ‘do something fun’, as they put it, so Sandport Beer went to see Baan Bangkok, a renowned Thai craft sour beer brewer. A collaboration blossomed between the two as they explored local Thai ingredients and their regional significance.

Jadsadar Poputtal of Baan Bangkok said of the collaboration, “‘Sour City’ is our collaborative effort to share local Thai ingredients globally. Through partnerships with breweries worldwide, we aim to create an experience that transcends geographical boundaries.”

Sour City Project and Yardley Brothers plan their first brews in Hong Kong

For their first brews the Sour City Project travelled to Hong Kong to work with Yardley Brothers (Photo: GroupB)

They now needed an overseas partner. Choosing Yardley Brothers for this inaugural project was a strategic decision. The collaboration with Yardley was kicked into motion by a chance encounter between Toon from Sandport and Luke from Yardley Brothers. The two met at the SEA Brew conference in Vietnam in 2017 and a camaraderie quickly developed between the two.First they released the ‘Thai Chilli Getaway’, a chilli basil sour with brewing campaigner turned politician Taopiphop Limjittrakorn, then after further discussions, and no doubt a few beers during SEA Brew 2022 they came up with their first SCP collaborations which earned two Chairman’s Selection awards at the 2023 Asia Beer Championship.

A glass and bottle of Soi Cowboy sour beer

One of the first brews released, a guava plumb sour, was named after the infamous ‘Soi Cowboy’ nightclub street in Bangkok (Photo: GroupB)

Yardley brought their barrel-aging expertise to the brews (we covered their barrel-aging program here). According to Luke Yardley, “Partnering with Sandport and Baan Bangkok for the Sour City Project has been a fantastic journey. It’s a testament to the beauty of cross-cultural collaboration, bringing the flavors and character of Thai cities to the forefront of the global craft beer scene.”

With the contract brewing and distribution managed by Group B beer, the SCP’s current portfolio boasts a diverse range of sour beers, paying homage to Thai and Hong Kong locales.

Named after a Thai fruit and herb market, this beer captures the essence of the local area in its unique flavour profile.

Named after a famous nightlife street in Thailand, this beer merges Thai culture with the vibrant notes of guava and plum.

This beer celebrates a region in Hong Kong with a lychee tree, showcasing the international collaboration through shared flavors.

Inspired by a food and shopping area in Hong Kong, this beer mirrors the iconic iced lemon tea served in every restaurant, creating a fusion of international influences.

While the Thai craft beer community has embraced the SCP with enthusiasm, broader market education about sour beers is now an ongoing process. Crafted with precision, the SCP’s kettle sour beers are gaining popularity among both novices and seasoned craft beer aficionados.

With four successful releases alongside Yardley Brothers, the SCP has set its sights on expanding globally. Plans hope to include collaborations in the US and UK in 2024, where they aim to produce brews representing both Thai and international cities.

Furthermore, the SCP is actively exploring partnerships with local cider or fruit wine breweries, signalling a continuous expansion of this pioneering global project.

Sour City Project beer bottles

Sour City Project beers are currently available in Thailand and Hong Kong (Photo: GroupB)

Article by:

Andreas Arphan

Andreas Arphan


Hailing from the world of public relations Andreas now provides PR consultancy and editorial services across the region as well as enjoying some of Asia’s finest craft beers from his home base in Malaysia.

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