Phnom Penh has a new craft beer spot called Embargo. They undoubtedly have one of the largest craft beer selections in Cambodia. Whereas certain places have a few taps of craft beer and other bars have a few bottles, Embargo has a good selection of both.
At the moment they have 8 taps and over 30 different bottles available. Definitely one of the largest selections of craft beer in Phnom Penh.
Where is Embargo?
Embargo is located in the cool little alley with popular venues Battbong, Sakana Lab, Katanashi and Patio Hotel, just off street 51, close to Domino’s. We recently heard someone calling the alley The Independence Alley which is a neat little name. Embargo is tucked deep into the back of the alley so you will have to venture a bit, but it’s still not a long walk and the map at the end of this article will help you.
Best selection of Craft Beer in Phnom Penh
Taps at Embargo include Cambodian craft beers from Riel Brewing, Cerevisia Craft Brewery, and Himawari Microbrewery. Bottles are from Brewlander, Fuzzy Logic, Pasteur Street, Flowers Nanobrewery, Heart of Darkness, among others. It is very likely that Embargo has the largest craft beer selection in Phnom Penh.
As of date, when this article was written the taplist looked like this:
- Riel Brewing & Distilling – Citra Pale Ale
- Riel Brewing & Distilling – Coffee Stout
- Riel Brewing & Distilling – Belgian Wit
- Riel Brewing & Distilling – India Pale Ale
- Himawari Microbrewery – Apsara Gold
- Cerevisia Craft Brewery – Amber Ale
- Fuzzy Logic – Thunderslap IPA
- Cerevisia Craft Brewery – Princeps DIPA
The taps are rotating so this list will vary.
Embargo is a must for every traveller wanting to drink some craft beer in Phnom Penh. It’s a place for true lovers of the brew and you’re more than likely to find other beer-lovers at this place.
History of Embargo
Embargo opened it’s doors in 2019 by two craft beer lovers. It was Finnish Kimmo and American Jeff that sometimes during 2018 got fed up with life and wanted to do something new. They had previously met in Bangkok so the craft beer scene in Southeast Asia was familiar.
In 2018 Kimmo visited Cambodia to see what the Thai beer brewers were up to while they still were brewing at Kingdom Breweries. Because of the draconian laws in Thailand regarding craft beer many of the brewers had to brew abroad to then import the beer into Thailand. This obviously has created ridiculously expensive craft beer in Thailand.
He then wondered why these beers were not distributed in Cambodia at all. There were a few taprooms of the Cambodian craft beer breweries but that was pretty much it. He started researching the possibility of distributing Thai craft beer in Cambodia and reached out to his old friend Jeff.
They chatted about business opportunities in Cambodia and more likely than not, one of them was pretty inebriated. While Kimmo had the idea of distributing Thai craft beers in Cambodia, Jeff was more into the idea of possibly opening a craft beer bar in Phnom Penh.
The following day the Finn did not think more about it but the conversation had lit a spark in Jeff. He was now constantly looking at the possibility of opening a craft beer bar in Phnom Penh.
Fast forward the two craft beer lovers decided to move to Cambodia late 2018. They spent 3 months trying to figure out the market and if it would be feasible or not. During the 3 month-long feasibility study they drank more than enough beers at all the local craft beer bars. Eventually, they decided to go ahead with it.
The following months they spent looking for a location which proved to be very difficult. There was one building close to Russian Market that was a steal but it got snagged from right before their eyes. Eventually, they found the current spot in what now is called Langka Lane. They renovated the place for three months with the help of the friends they had gotten throughout the past few months. One day in May Kimmo eventually said, “we’re ready, let’s open”. Jeff did not feel they were ready but who ever feels that way anyways? They opened the same Friday and is still open today.
COVID ensued and there has been plenty of struggles but the bar is still standing and is one of the best craft beer bars in Phnom still to this day.
If you are looking for craft beer delivery in Phnom Penh you can contact them through their Facebook.
Open: 5 pm to midnight, every day except for Mondays.
Google Maps: https://g.page/embargophnompenh/review
Address: 036 Street 51 BKK1 | Sakana Lab, Phnom Penh 12302, Cambodia
Last Updated on June 29, 2022 by kimmo.o.hakala