You’re on vacation in Cambodia. It’s hot. After a day of exploring ancient temples or going out on one of our adventure tours, there’s a good chance you’ll want a cold refreshing beer at some point.
Beer is as almost as cheap as water. It is consumed in mass quantities by travelers and locals alike. You’ll notice very quickly when you enter the country that beer advertising is everywhere.
This is a brief introduction into one of the country’s most popular beverages, beer.
Beer can be purchased almost anywhere in Cambodia as there are few enforced laws that prevent sales of the product. It’s a popular beverage for travelers who enjoy some of the cheapest beer prices in the world. As for the local population, they consume vast amounts of beer during weddings, parties, and non-religious festivals.
The following beers are the most popular names on the market. They have by far the largest advertising budget as you’ll soon discover their names everywhere when you visit Cambodia.
One of the newer major beers available, Cambodia Beer is a lager. It has taken a large percentage of the market share since being introduced a few years ago. This beer is available in cans, bottles and kegs and is slightly more bitter than its rival competitors.
The beer has followed in line with Angkor’s marketing strategy by associating the product with national appeal, a proven success when it comes to sales in Cambodia. Even the logo has a small symbol depicting Preah Vihear temple, a source of national pride.
The temple is located on the northern border with Thailand and has been disputed over as both countries claim ownership of the ancient site. Cambodia was awarded ownership of the area in 1962 by the International Court of Justice. The dispute continues to this day.
For a long time, Angkor Beer dominated the market until the arrival of their main competitor, Cambodia Beer. Angkor is brewed in Sihanoukville and the marketing campaign plays heavily on branding the beer as the nation’s beverage.
Their slogan is ‘My beer, My country’ and the logo on the label has an outline of Angkor Wat. The beer is named after the iconic temples near Siem Reap.
If you’re looking to try something stronger with a bit more kick, the brewers also produce an 8% stout.
Pronounced ‘ann chor’ by locals, this pilsner is produced just outside Phnom Pehn. It is only available in cans and draft kegs. This is probably the least popular of the three major brands available in Cambodia but many places serve it on tap.
The same brewers who make Anchor also produce a stout called ABC.
One of Cambodia’s few, if not only, major microbrewery is Kingdom Breweries. Opened in 2010 with a German brew master, the brewery is located along the river in Phnom Pehn. Currently they produce a pilsner, lager and dark lager. A bit more in price, but also higher in quality.
So there you have it, the most widely consumed and produced beers in Cambodia. By no means are you limited to these beers as there are many imports and some other lesser known local brands.
After exploring the temples Angkor temples in Siem Reap on a hot day, a cold beer is a wonderful thing. If beer isn’t your drink of choice, there’s plenty of delicious cocktail options around town. If you don’t drink alcohol, the fruit shakes in Cambodia are always a great choice too. One thing is for sure, you can’t beat of the prices.
Please drink responsibly, but also remember, you’re most likely in Cambodia on vacation, so enjoy.