Phuket's latest entertainment venue fairly exploded on to the local music scene on Friday night. The Phuket Brewery had already been open for a week but the 21st November was the first real test with a show by major Thai star Carabou. There was never any doubt that it would be popular but even the most optimistic of the venue management must have been pleased with the turnout. The 1,800-seat arena was packed with many more people outside, unable to get in to the main arena and so forced to enjoy the show on the big screens while supping the in-house brewed beer.
The large car park was full and the vehicles overflowed out on to the by-pass
road. The venue heaved with dancing revelers while Carabou and the supporting
acts pounded out a fine show on the hugely impressive 30-meter stage.
This event was the first big test for this ambitious project. They passed the test well although not quite with flying colours. There are still a few rough edges that need smoothing out. The service staff desperately struggled to cope with the demand for drinks and food. The venue's management readily admits that the beer brewed in their micro-brewery is not quite ready.
Still when you consider the scale of this undertaking, the first major show at Phuket Brewery must go down as a success and an indication that Phuket now has a top class music venue that will continue to entertain us for many years. The people running this show are highly professional and know what they are doing. It will take a little time for them to get the system running like a well-oiled machine but it will happen.
For those still unaware of Phuket Brewery, it is a new large entertainment venue. They have a big stage in a large arena with tabled seating for up to 1,800 people. You can eat and drink at your table while enjoying the show.
The name Phuket Brewery (or Thai name 'Rong Beer Phuket') is because the venue has its own micro-brewery, producing 3 in-house beers. During the day, customers can take a quick tour of the brewing process. The beer is not yet 100% but is already passable and a welcome change from the mass-produced bottled lager that drinkers in Thailand usually have to endure.
As well as the very impressive indoor arena, there is also a beer garden for a quieter drink -- as long as the passing traffic on the bypass road is not too heavy. There are two VIP rooms for parties and TV screens everywhere so you can enjoy the show even if you are not in the arena.
The food does seem to be a little expensive and you wonder if they may have to revise their menu prices to get in a regular dining crowd. However, this is not primarily an eating venue. It is a music venue with the novelty of its own beer.
The venue already has bookings every weekend until the end of January for A-list Thai stars such as Modern Dog and the number one Thai star of the moment, Da Endorphin. The management plan to invite some international stars once they have the whole operation running smoothly. This is going to be a genuinely top addition to Phuket's entertainment options.
However, you do not need to wait for the top stars to come before you check out the venue. They also have their own house entertainers performing a show every night. Every night there is no major star, there will be a show by the house performers. The talented house band and guest singers will perform every night until midnight. These nights may be less busy than when the major stars arrive but they are still sure to become a popular alternative to the other music venues in town.
You can purchase tickets at the reception area or telephone for inquiries and micro-brewery tours at 076 612885 or 076 249501. If you expect to be a regular customer, you might consider purchasing a member's card that will give you 10% or 15% discount on all prices.
The Phuket Brewery is on the Bypass Road, directly opposite Tesco Lotus. You can not miss it with a large boat jutting out the front of the building.