My eighth and final day in Bhutan continued as I enjoyed Bhutanese craft beer and food at a brewery in Paro, Bhutan! Come along with me as I finish my Bhutanese adventures with a bang!
My friend and guide Tsheten from MyBhutan and I headed to a local brewery called Namgay Artisanal Brewery to have some craft beer and food. It’s the only brewery in Bhutan that makes beer from red rice. Red rice is a staple in the country. I had already sampled their dark ale earlier in my trip in Thimphu, but they have a lot of varieties.
The brewery has a great view over Paro and its airport, which I’d fly out of the next morning. The smell inside the brewery was incredible. I loved the wood décor and the atmosphere. One of the women who works there gave me a tour of the facility. There, I saw some huge fermenting tanks and the brew system, including the hot water and cold water tanks.
She explained the entire process they use for creating their beers. I saw where they add yeast and keep the beer in fermentation tanks for 15-20 days before they put it in bottles and kegs. They produce 9 types of beer and have both 10- and 20-liter kegs. Then, I saw the bottling system. They only bottle 4 beers. The other 5 can only be tried on tap at the brewery.
As I walked between the fermentation tanks, I saw that they had local pale ale, wheat beer, pineapple beer, dark ale, milk stout, and druk pineapple beer. I couldn’t wait to try the milk stout and dark ale!
I got a flight of each of their beers, including the red rice lager, dark ale, wheat beer, IPA, milk stout, apple cider, pilsner, and local pale ale. The red rice lager was smooth and had a very unique taste. It tasted like rice and barley and is 6.5% alcohol. The dark ale is so good and is like a dark German beer.
The wheat beer is nice and light at 4.5% alcohol. The IPA was really nice and hoppy. Next was the pineapple, which was almost like a blond. I could taste the pineapple and it was a little sour. The milk stout tasted like espresso beans and was amazing. The apple cider was also good. It was light and cloudy. Next was an awesome, light pilsner. Finally, I ended with the local pale ale, which was less hoppy than the IPA. They were all really good, but the red rice, milk stout, and local were my favorites.
Then, it was time to eat! We had more ema dashti (chilies & cheese), pork, kewa dashti (potatoes & cheese), spinach soup, cucumber salad with spices and cheese, rice, and buckwheat pancakes. I dipped the buckwheat pancake into the ema dashti, which was delicious. The chilies weren’t too spicy. It was so good!
This set menu comes with 7 items and only costs 450 Nu/$5.93 USD. It’s such a great deal! The spinach soup contained lots of herbs and was spicy because of the numbing chilies. I’d been eating chilies for eight days straight, so my stomach wasn’t too happy with me! I’d been eating them straight, which isn’t the way to do it. Instead, you’re supposed to mix them with rice. I liked eating them straight, though!
The best thing to do was have the buckwheat pancake with the ema dashti. It was so good! Then, I added the pork and its gravy to my rice. The gravy was creamy and delicious. It felt like India! It was so flavorful and wasn’t too crazy on the spices, but was still chunky and fatty. The non-veg food in Bhutan is the best but the chilies can mess up your stomach if you’re not careful.
The kewa dashti was nice and creamy with a little bit of chilies. It contained both processed cheese and fresh cow’s cheese. My boy Tsheten was going nuts with the rice! He always eats a mountain of it with his meals! Finally, I finished up with the cucumber salad with spices and cheese. It was crumbly and reminded me of a Greek salad-like dish.
Then, I added my ema dashti to my rice and went all out since it would be my last time eating it in a long time! I enjoyed my last few bites with some of their amazing red rice lager.
Most people who visit the country only stay at the hotels and hit the buffets, but I highly recommend trying the traditional Bhutanese beer and food in Bhutan when you can. It’s incredible!
I hope you liked coming with me to have Bhutanese craft beer and food in Paro, Bhutan! If you did, please give this video a thumbs up and leave a comment below. Also, please subscribe to my YouTube channel and click the notification bell so you don’t miss any of my travel/food adventures around the world!