Beer culture in Myanmar

Last 20 years saw the establishment of beer culture in Myanmar. Before 1988, beer is a rare commodity in Myanmar. The government produced Mandalay beer was always in short supply. It was available only in a very few hotels and restaurants. Foreign brands like Heineken and Tiger beer were available in black markets at a high price. Most Myanmar people cannot afford to buy a can of beer then. With the opening of economy in 1988 saw the introduction of a number of locally produced beer brands in Myanmar. These Myanmar beer brands include Myanmar Beer, Mandalay Beer (now a private venture), Dagon Beer, as well as Tiger Beer, ABC Stout and Anchor Beer which are produced under license from the parent brands. With the introduction of cheap locally made beer, people in Myanmar saw a new trend of beer bars in Myanmar. Called Beer Stations in Myanmar, these sell beer at a cheaper price than bottled beer. They also sell food at a cheap price, but mostly are of low quality. Within a few years time, Myanmar Beer established itself as the most successful beer in Myanmar. Hundreds of Myanmar Beer stations appeared in Yangon, Mandalay and all over the country, even in small towns of Myanmar. As there are now more beer stations than the customers, some of the beer stations attract customers by live shows. These live shows invariably consist of scantily clad girls singing and dancing on stage, while the drunk rich men bought flowers and bouquet at an expensive price to give these singers. Call girls and prostitutes are also common in these places. Beer at these stations (bars) are also more expensive. As a result, most people in Myanmar cannot go to these expensive live show beer stations. For most of us who have some money, a normal beer station providing cheap beer and low quality food at a cheap price is enough.

Although beer culture has firmly established in Myanmar now, it is till uncommon to see many teenagers at the beer stations (bars). Most of the customers are yound adults or middle aged men. The reason mainly is possibly because of still higher price of beer for  most teenagers. And beer culture still cannot take the place of Tea shop culture in Myanmar which has already become the everyday life for Myanmar people.

4 thoughts on “Beer culture in Myanmar”

  1. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Myanmar: Local beer products

  2. Hi:

    I just finished a Nov. visit to that wonderful country and LOVED Myanmar beer! Is it possible to buy it in the US?
    If not I’ll just have to go back for a few rounds of that liquid gold

    Joel Bendall

    Near Washington DC

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