Boon Rawd Sreshthaputra was born on 13 October 1872, the son of Chom Sresthaputra. Educated at home, he was taught by his father until the age of 11, when, according to the custom at the time for Thai boys, he was sent to a temple for further education by the monks. After a brief career in his teens as a teacher, Boon Rawd Sreshthaputra became a clerk at A.J. Dickson, a British-owned logging company. His first successful venture was his own ferry business that crossed the Chao Praya River between Bangkok and Thon Buri. The business thrived until the building of bridges across the river forced him to consider other business opportunities. By then, he saw a future in the brewing of a Thai-made beer, and in 1930, he formally requested approval to build the first Thai brewery. His greatest support came from His Majesty King Prajadhibok Rama VII, who was eager to see Thailand transform into a more industrialized nation. Three years later, Boon Rawd Sreshthaputra’s dream became a reality when the first bottle of Singha Beer rolled off the assembly line at his Boon Rawd Brewery.

Although he was an expert on the art of kite flying in Thailand and published a book on kite competitions, Boonrawd Sreshthaputra dedicated his life to humanitarian causes. More than once, he assumed the duties of a fireman, using his ferry boats to douse burning buildings on the riverbank with water from the Chao Praya River. On November 20, 1911, when Boonrawd Sreshthaputra was 39 years old, His Majesty King Rama VI declared him Luang Bhirom Bhakdi. At the age of 44, he became Pra Bhirom Bhakdi on December 20, 1917 and Phya Bhirom Bhakdi on January 1, 1924. His Majesty King Rama VII later granted permission for his descendants to use the surname Bhirombhakdi instead of Sreshthaputra. With Phya Bhirom Bhakdi’s marriage to Khunying Lamai, a dynasty was born.

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