It’s the 30th of January 2020 and the Kampot Craft Beer Festival at Monkey Republic is taking place today. This event was supposed to be held already in December but because of a small Covid scare it got postponed. Unfortunately, I won’t have the chance to attend because of the recent opening of Crooked Brew. I still managed to have a brief chat with the host Slava about the festival and what he thinks about the future situation of the Cambodian craft beer scene.

So, Slava, what’s the inspiration behind the Kampot Craft Beer Festival?

So, inspiration came from visiting a similar event held by Cakes & Craft in Phnom Penh. I thought it’s a great idea to bring craft beer brewers/companies together to one place so everyone could try some nice delicious beverages.

As I’m part owner of quite a big place in Kampot with a beautiful garden setup I saw that it was the perfect place to hold such an event in Kampot. People here are well aware of the craft beers so it’s a perfect opportunity to introduce many different flavours, brands and labels to the craft beer drinkers.

What’s your personal relationship with craft beer?

My own relationship to craft beer is pretty simple – I like new flavours, I like to try different beers if I drink one, I like new things and tastes.

Which Cambodian craft beer brands are going to be present at the festival?

  • Cerevisia
  • Two Birds
  • Elite Craft Beer
  • Fuzzy Logic
  • Riel Brewing
  • Two Rivers
  • Projekt Brews (Kampot)
  • Freak Brothers Brewing (Kampot)
  • Kampot Craft Services (Kampot, importing craft beer from Vietnam)

Which are your favourite breweries in Cambodia?

My personal favs are Elite Craft Beer, Fuzzy Logic, Projekt Brews and Riel Brewing.

Where do you see the future of the Cambodian craft beer scene?

Hard to say where I see the future of the craft beer here as the financial crisis really hit everyone. However, people became more creative and more inspired, therefore there’s a good scene for it. It looks like there are many possibilities so I hope it will only grow.

Will the Kampot Craft Beer Festival be a regular thing?

If this festival goes well (which I’m certain it will), there’s definitely a plan in place to host another one, and on a bigger scale.

Any particular challenges with organizing a festival like this in Cambodia?

The main challenge was to convince people to trust and take the risk to participate in the event, even though it is in a small town like Kampot. But everyone knows it is a very popular destination for people to travel and take vacations to so I guess that’s what made it easier. The next one will be bigger and better.

Thanks to Slava for the insights and let’s wish him the best of luck for the festival!

Event page: Kampot Craft Beer Festival