Bangkok Bar Brews ‘First Kombucha on Tap’

A glass of kombucha brewed by Natatchakorn Thanapubodee of ‘I Hate Pigeons.’

BANGKOK — Had too many beer-soaked nights and in the mood for something lighter – but not mocktail light? Problem solved.

The man behind a Ngam Dupli-area watering hole recently added his own enhanced Kombucha to its pour-ready offerings, making it the first Bangkok bar, he believes, to serve the tea brew on tap.

On the mezzanine of his bar, I Hate Pigeons, Natatchakorn Thanapubodee recently fermented a blend of black and green tea leaves with fruits, lemon, and honey for aroma and flavor.

Said to have been brought from Asia during World War 1, the probiotic beverage became a thing in California about 20 years ago due to its alleged but unproven health benefits. Sales have exploded in the past few years as it’s become a fad and referred to by some as an “immortal health elixir.”

While its health benefits are unclear, the low-alcohol content can give one a mild buzz that may feel like good health.

Natatchakorn used his homebrew talents. He used force carbonation to make it fizzier and headier before letting the wonders of fermentation go to work.

Three weeks later, he got an amber-colored fizzy tea-based drink with sweet and tangy flavors. The first sip could remind you of apple cider vinegar.

While traditional kombucha – about 0.5 percent alcohol by volume – may be too boring for a craft beer bar, his juice has a little more edge with an alcohol content closer to 1 percent.

The first and second batches have already sold out. A third is on its way and will be available early February. A 200 milliliter glass goes for 140 baht.

I Hate Pigeons is located on Soi Sribumphen, near Soi Sathorn 1. It’s a 15-minute walk or short taxi ride from MRT Lumphini exit No. 1.