Cambeerdia Sample Script
Original script written for Cambeerdia tour guide
Act 1: Welcome
Scene 1: Introduction
Hello, my name is _______________. Welcome to Cambeerdia. For anyone traveling, welcome to Cambodia.
You have come to the farthest reaches of the world for some of the rarest, and unique craft beers
you will ever find.
If you know a lot about beer already, I hope you will enjoy experiencing something new. If are
new to exploring beer, I hope this will be a fun, informative introduction today.
I do not claim to be a beer expert, but I am a seasoned enthusiast, and will answer as many
questions as I can as we go venture through new terrain in your global beer journeys.
I myself am from the USA, and where I come from there are over 5000 breweries
The UK, France, and Italy each have nearly 1000
Russia is about 600
Germany and Switzerland each host about 400
Australia boasts around 300
Both nearby Japan and faraway Brazil are home to over 200
The beautiful Kingdom of Wonder, Pearl of Asia, country of Cambodia has –wait for
Yes, craft beer in Cambodia is very special and unique indeed. One of the reasons is that it is so
1. Craft beer has been in the country less than 15 years, with the first ever place opening in
Another reason it’s special is the international community that makes it up.
1. Brewmasters from Germany, the UK, Australia, America, Singapore, and British
Finally, the craft beer here is highly exclusive
1. You won’t find the stuff here anywhere else in the world.
This is a highly obscure experience you get to have today, that no one else in the world can have.
You are drinking craft Cambodian beer way before it’s going to be cool to drink craft
No mustache-bearing, skinny jean-wearing, ultra-urban dwelling, vinyl-spinning, ironic graphic
t-shirt buying, denizen of cyberspace hipster beer snob
is going to have anything on you.
Congratulations for being awesome.
Scene 2: Getting to Know You
I like to get my know my awesome guests a little bit, before we start getting too cozy along the
Let’s start with where everybody is from.
o Who came the farthest?
o Who are my Europeans?
o Anyone live in Cambodia?
Let’s talk beer?
o Who loves a good lager? You’re in paradise.
o Opposites: stouts? IPAs?
Scene 3: Craft Beer vs. Regular
This is a craft beer tour, so let me explain what makes beer craft, as opposed to regular beer.
Then we will go over what regular beer is here in Cambodia.
To begin, what is beer exactly?
Beer is a starch-based alcoholic beverage produced without distillation.
Do you know what else is in that family?
Sake. Sake is made from rice, the starch, which is fermented into alcohol.
Craft beer, as its own category, can actually be quite difficult to define. The industry is
constantly expanding, inventing, and influencing. In fact, there is no international definition of
craft beer. But to throw some light on it, the main difference between craft and mainstream beer
Small versus Big
Experimental versus Mass-Appeal
Crafted versus Manufactured
Artisan versus mainstream
Scene 4: Beer in Cambodia
There is nothing wrong with mainstream beer, especially in Cambodia. This is a hot country and
many thanks to the great, big companies that pump out millions of liters of light, uncomplicated,
extremely refreshing lagers.
As you spend time in Cambodia, notice the advertising for them. Those companies have big
budgets to work mega marketing magic, not dissimilar from where may have come from.
Some beers you will see frequently are:
Each or those are produced by 3 different companies, which are the 3 that dominate the market
here and are very good at what they do.
What we will see and sample today is very different, very new, very not-a-light-lager
The three breweries we are visiting are
1. Kingdom Breweries
2. Hops Biergarten
3. Botanico Craft Beer & Wine Garden
Act 2: Sightseeing Part 1
Scene 1: Chuon Nath
“Supreme Patriarch of Cambodia”
Buddhist monk who lived from 1883 to 1969
Key advocate of preserving Khmer identity, history, and especially the language, during the
French Protectorate which was pushing to make French the national language.
Founded first Khmer dictionary in 1938
Wrote the national anthem: Nokor Reach
Scene 2: Tonle Sap
We are currently driving alongside the Tonle Sap River
1. Tonle Sap River meets the Mekong river at Phnom Penh
2. The Tonle Sap stems from a large lake in the northwest of Cambodia
3. Twice a year, the river switches directions naturally
4. During the dry season, November through April, that lake drains down the river and into
the mighty Mekong
5. Monsoon season, May through October, the excess water filling the Mekong is so
powerful, it backs up the Tonle Sap, literally forcing the river to change direction. Water
floods backwards along the river, flooding the Tonle Sap lake once again to six times its
dry season size
6. This natural phenomenon is not experienced anywhere else in the world
7. The river reversal is marked every year, along with the end of monsoon season, in
November at the annual water festival
8. Water festival dates back to 12 th century Angkorean times
9. Today it is 3 days in Phnom Penh, featuring boat races, fireworks, and partying
10. This year brought 6 million people to the city to celebrate
Scene 3: Royal Palace
Built in 1866
-after Phnom Penh became the capital of Cambodia during the French Protectorate
Scene 4: Sisowath Quay
3 km riverfront walk
Scene 4: Wat Ounalam
(Ashes of Chuon Nath –if his statue mentioned earlier)
The center of Cambodian Buddhism
Built in 1443
Houses a stupa believed to contain an eyebrow hair of Buddha
Scene 5: Japanese Bridge
1. Bridge originally built in 1966
2. Destroyed by the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s
3. After the civil war, the city gradually became inhabited again
4. The bridge was still unusable and was often called the “Broken Bridge”
5. In 1995, Japan funded the rebuilding of the bridge
6. It was then often called the “Not Broken Anymore Bridge” jokingly of course
Act 3: Kingdom Breweries
Scene 1: Kingdom Background
Recall the big 3 companies mentioned earlier, that dominate the light, lager market of the
country. In 2010, Kingdom Breweries opened with a mission to bring a more finely crafted beer,
made with traditional ingredients, and recruited a German brewmaster for the job. They aimed to
compete with the mainstream beer makers, by introducing newer, more complex tastes, using
high-quality, imported ingredients.
They rolled out a fantastic, delicious, perfectly concocted German-style pilsener ---and nobody
Cambodia just wasn’t ready for the bitter, complex tastes of European beer. So, Kingdom,
watered down the recipe, softened the bitterness, lightened it up, and before you knew it, were
basically making the exact same beer as everyone else –except 3 times the price.
You can imagine this was not a recipe for success of the business.
By 2015, Kingdom Breweries was ready to shut its doors.
But, in an attempt to prevent that from happening, they brought in a new brewmaster with some
great ideas, a gentleman named Ian Leigh, from the United Kingdom, to try something new.
Mr. Leigh did 2 great things for Kingdom Breweries:
1. He turned the facility into a contract brewery. Now beer brands from all over Asia have
their beer made here, where it is more economical, and ship it back to their home markets
–you will get to see this when we do our behind-the-scenes tour
2. He threw out the old recipes and remade the Kingdom brand with British-style beers
tailored to tempt the southeast Asian palate. –which you will get to try in the tasting
Overall the brewery was saved, and one could say, saved by good beer.
Scene 2: Kingdom Tasting
This is the first of three beer tastings today, so I will walk you through how to do a proper beer
First, some basics about beer:
There are 4 main ingredients of beer:
o Malted Barley
From those 4 ingredients, thousands of beer styles, categories, and variations can be
Water: huge effect on beer
o Soft water
o Hard water
o Alkaline water
o The pH can be adjusted to suit the desired outcome
o From all over the world
o Herbal, minty
o Piney, resiny
o Barely roasted and pale
o Roasted wet gives it a caramel sweetness
o Roasted dry gives it a toasty touch
It is true craftsmanship that can hone in the limitless combinations and chemistry to create a
specific, desired outcome, and more artfully, on that invokes or creates memories, and tells a
story about the history of the beer you are holding.
First part is to take a look at your beer:
Look at the color. How would you describe it? Give it some nice adjectives.
Clarity. Is it see-through or hazy?
Head. Fluffy, foamy, light?
Second is to smell it:
The proper way to smell a beer is with quick, short, repeated sniff, like you’re a hound
dog hot on the trail of something.
Smell is an underrated sense. As humans we have about 9 million olfactory neurons
which allow us to detect about 10,000 aromas. It is a powerful part of experiencing beer,
or anything we eat and drink, and need not be dismissed.
Smell also triggers sensory memory. When you smell your beer, see if you can place a
memory to it.
o Pilsner: reminds me of a freshly scrubbed kitchen after a day of baking. Clean
with a lingering scent of dough and sweetness. It’s a happy memory.
Take a sip and let it linger on your tongue as you swallow. Determine the basic flavors
first: savory, sweet, bitter
Then allow more complex flavors to unfold: grainy, bready, citrus, caramel
Pay attention to the mouthfeel. Is it crisp? Soft? Bubbly with carbonation? Smooth? Full-
Aftertaste: Hoppy, roasty, malty, long-lasting or short-lived?
Taste with your nose:
Take a sip, swallow, and breathe out with your nose.
Does it emphasize other flavor notes or bring out new ones?
Scene 3: About Kingdom Beers
Pilsners are light lagers
Pilsner beer originated in the Czech Republic: Plzn, in 1842 –the only beer where
an exact date can be pinpointed, as most beer categories evolved from one another
over decades and centuries
Pilsners, like lagers, are fermented cool and conditioned cold. This allows for a
slow, maturation that mellows out the flavors ->focus on malt & hops the most
Focus on malt & hop in your tasting
Uses saaz hops = traditional Czech style
2. Pale Ale
Stays crisp with not too much graininess – makes it drinkable all day
Brewmaster stays true to form, this is the one beer that uses British hops, as a pale
ale should. In a classic, pale ale, British hops are mandatory –cover a range of
aromas but tied together with an earthy spiciness
Warmer temperatures for top-fermentation give it fruity or spicy notes
Reminds me of my mother’s peach jam –another happy memory
Indochine –craft beer project
India Pale Ales are another British invention –again, very British influenced here
London brewer sent stronger, more bitter ales to India along the trade lines,
became a smash hit
I call this a “dangerous beer”: easy to drink with its pleasant caramel, toffee notes
Hops: East Kent Goldings & British Fuggle
Classic bitters and pale ales are almost indistinguishable
Less substantial in hops and bitterness
This one shows off a malty caramel taste
Developed in Britain between 1850 – 1950 as a draft version of a pale ale
Originally bitters and pale ales were the same beer, with bitters made for draft and
pale ales made for bottles
3 designations: Ordinary, Special, Extra Special Bitter (ESB)
Indochine wheat beer
White beers are wheat beers, containing wheat –creamy texture
Strays from the original 4 ingredients
6. Dark Lager
Similar process as the pilsner, but look what adding a little darker roasted malt
can do for the color
A very British-style beer as well
You will notice a surprise the brewmaster has added: chocolate notes
This is one I would like to drink around a campfire
The liquid, smoky, caramel reminds me of camping trips, eating s’mores
Dry finish that’s satisfying
*Overall, the beers here are made by a British brain with an Asian palate influence which equals
a unique flavor.
In Cambodia, “cheers” is chul muoy!
Scene 4: Behind-the-Scenes
[On the platform –if not cooking/In the foyer –if cooking]
Remember the 4 ingredients: Malt, Water, Hops, and Yeast
We start with malt. Malt is short for malted barley. Barley is the base grain for just about every
beer in the world. What we want in barley are the starch reserves in the grain. Malted barley is
when those grains start to germinate and have the maximum amount of starch reserves to support
a new plant. Then the germination process is halted, and the grains are sent to a mill to be ground
up, exposing all that wonderful, hearty starch which will eventually become beer.
If there are any adjunct grains, such as wheat for a wheat beer, those will also go through the mill
with the malt and move one to the next step.
This big pot is the Mash Mixer, or more simply a big cooking pot.
The first two ingredients go in here: milled malt and water.
What’s happening here is everything gets good and hot, and as the mash cooks, all of that
starch is being converted to sugar.
After about 1 hour, we basically have a big, pot of sugar.
The sugar is now the part we want, there is no longer a need for the spent grains. So
everything gets moved from the mash mixer to the second tank.
This is called a Lauter Tun, which is like a big strainer
Look inside and you can see there is a mesh base. The spent grains settle onto the base,
and all the sugar and water is strained through it, separating the liquids from solids.
The liquid is called sweet wort. That’s the part we keep. The spent grains is removed at
this point, but it doesn’t go to waste. It may not be good for our beer at this point, but it is
excellent, easy-to-eat, easy-to-digest, highly nutritious feed for livestock. We give the
spent grains away to local farmers as animal feed. Think of it as a pig smoothie.
The sweet wort now gets pumped into the Wort Kettle.
Here is where we introduce ingredient number 3: Hops
Add the hops, bring everything to a boil, and all the sugar is nicely balanced with the
bitterness of hops.
The liquid is no longer sweet wort. It’s just wort
The wort goes to the last tank up here, which is a Whirlpool
What happens is exactly what it sounds like. The wort gets swirled around and all the
debris of the hops is pulled to the center.
Think of a cup of tea, if you were to spin your tea spoon around and making a little
whirlpool, any loose tea leaves would gather in the center. It’s the same thing.
Now we can easily remove leftover bits of the hops and move the wort to the next part of
the process –which is where the real magic happens
Behold 8, gleaming, 11,000-liter fermentation tanks. Here is where we introduce the fourth and
final ingredient: yeast
Yeast eats sugar and produces alcohol –yay! It also produces CO2 which is where we get the
So now we have an 11,000-liter tank of beer. It’s going to hang out here for a while, anywhere
from 2 to 4 weeks, depending on the type of beer being produced. This allows the full metabolic
processes of the yeast to complete their cycles, and mellows the flavors of the beer to just the
right savory, smooth, sweet, bitter, hoppy, nutty –whatever the brewmaster is going for –taste.
Now it’s ready. The beer is filtered, to remove all of the yeast, so it comes out nice and clear, and
moves into the bottling line.
To make sure you are only getting beer in your bottle, and not any dust or other particles,
each bottle must first be rinsed.
There are two ways to rinse a bottle: water or forced air. Kingdom uses a water rinse.
Once a bottle is rinsed it is filled and sealed with a bottle cap. The caps are technically
called “crowns” so the bottle goes through the “crowner”
The filled and crowned bottle moves into the pasteurizer. The bottles are sprayed with hot
water to kill off any traces of yeast that may still be in the beer after filtering. The beer
has already reached a state of drinkable perfection, and yeast is no longer needed to
metabolize any further, altering the content
Lastly, bottles are labeled in the labeler and packaged for distribution
Some folks argue the scale is too big to call it craft beer. In fact, Mr. Leigh considers it boutique
beer. However, it is important because it opened the door for craft beer, and allowed some of the
other creative brews to make a place here, which we will move onto next.
Act 4: Hops Craft Beer Garden
Scene 1: On the Way to Hops
Our next stop is Hops Brewery and Craft Beer Garden.
Just opened fall 2016
It is a proper, German biergarten, housing its own brewery, with a brewmaster from
Germany has had significant influence on beer as most of us know it today. It is no
surprise one of the early craft breweries in Cambodia stems from there.
o The 4 ingredients: malt, water, hops, and yeast
German purity law
A tax law
o The use of hops in beer was popularized in Germany
o It is the origin of lagers –the most globally enjoyed type of beer
I believe you will enjoy the very traditionally brewed selection we will have there, that
appeals to an international palate.
The only hill in town
The story of the name of the city Phnom Penh is tied to this wat
In the 14 th century, an elderly woman named Penh found a statue of Buddha floating in
the Mekong river. A pagoda was placed on this hill to house the statue in 1372
It became known as the “hill of Pehnh” or Phnom Penh
Rebuilt 4 times every couple of years
Many locals come here to ancestral assistance on exams or business dealings
7-headed naga snake
Cambodian belief that in ancient times a race of reptilian people had an empire in the
The snake dragon princess married a classy Indian fellow
Begat the Cambodian people
7 heads represent the 7 races of the Cambodian people
Numbers on the snake heads are numerology symbols representing different male and
Naga snakes are found on ancient Angkor Wat temples and the new structures of the
Cambodians are born of the naga (I believe it because the ones I have met are pretty
No. 50 Norodom Blvd.
A beautiful, residential example of New Khmer Architecture
Now a private villa
If only the whole city had remained this way, how stunning, and one-of-a-kind it would
Scene 2: BeerPro brewery
[Ask for samples to start pouring]
BeerPro brewery in Hops establishment
Craft beer-scale brewery
2 tanks doing the job of the 4 we saw at Kingdom: 500 liters each
Fermentation tanks lined up along the top: 1000 liters each
Cold room behind the wall
Brewmaster form Germany: Bernd Kirsch
Been in the business since 1984
o 3 years of study in Munich
o 3-year apprenticeship
In 2003, started working internationally to set up breweries
o Cambodia: Ganzberg
You are getting to experience the craftsmanship of a highly experienced, traditionally trained,
German brew master, right here in the heart of Phnom Penh
Beer is a communication tool in 2 ways:
1. It tells a story about where it comes from and the artist who created it
a. It’s a long process starting with the growing of barley and hops
b. Transporting all of the ingredients from different parts of the world
c. Once everything is in the brewery, it still takes a month to make
**You are tasting the effects of time in your glass
2. It’s a communication tool for people
a. Sip it slowly
b. Gradually relaxes us
c. Hate your bar neighbor grows to love
d. Beer gives us a time frame to talk
Scene 3: Hops Beers
Lager and Wheat are German style
IPA and Stout are English-style
1. Gold Angel (lager)
o Smell: light, seductive
o Taste: grains, lemon citrus, delicate
o Taste with nose: enhances graininess
o Aftertaste: washes away without lingering
Easy to drink for hours
2. Amber Witch (wheat)
o Follows an original south-German recipe
o Smell: yeasty, citrus
o Taste: yummy, bready
o Taste with nose: emphasizes it is a wheat beer through and through
3. Red Fury
o Smell: a bit woody –my favorite aroma on the tour
o Taste: smoke
o Taste with nose: a touch of caramel
*Make sure to taste with nose = unexpected hint of caramel
4. Hop’s IPA
o Smell: light pine
o Taste: Hops take over the malts
o Taste with nose: Touch of creaminess
Act 5: Botanico
Scene 1: Headed to Botanico
Our final stop is Botanico Craft Beer & Wine Garden. It is the craftiest beer of our craft beer
experiences. It was started by two American expats in 2013 who were home brewing, out of a
basement garage, just for fun. They made so much beer they ran out of room and basically
needed a bigger place to put it. They decided to open a venue where they could spread the good
stuff to the rest of us.
Botanico was opened in 2016
The brewery is off-site, it’s still a homemade operation that’s not much to see, but the beer is
definitely worth tasting.
Built in 1966 to memorialize Cambodia’s independence from France
Designed by architect Vann Molyvann
100 naga heads on the 5 tiers
Scene 2: Botanico Tasting
Tastings include 3 beers
Everyone will try the APA
o American-style to round off our global tastings today
o Session beer and always in tap -> a staple of Botanico
Receive a slip to try 2 other tastings of your choice
o 8 taps total
o Selection is always changing due to the ceaseless creativity of the brew masters
o Please choose something you may have never tried before, or something similar
to what you have had today, to compare
Cerevisia is the brewery; Botanico is the venue (like BeerPro and Hops)
Cerevisia is sold on tap at a number of restaurants in the city
This is a very special place because the owner founded the Craft Brewery Association of
o It is hard to brew beer here
o No supply chain
o Difficult to find ingredients
o There is a comradery, instead of a competition between breweries here
On that, I want to point out how special it is that you are here experiencing the craft beer scene
of Phnom Penh. I believe the brew masters here have more passion about what they do than
anywhere else, because it is so much more work and dedication. They are really doing something
magical to bring it to a part of the world that, until very recently, did not have it. I hope you have
been able to enjoy that passion in your tastings today, and you have created some special sensory
memories to bring with you on your future travels.
Beer is an art. brew masters are artists. Some are realists, following by-the-book tradition, and
some are breaking rules and making new things. As artists, they can invoke memories and tell
stories, but it is open to the audience for interpretation. What you like depends on your taste, and
as you experience more of this artful beverage, you will make your own collection, in the art of