These days, craft beer has become a real trend in Vietnam and you cannot only find it in the capital city Hanoi, but also in smaller places such as Sapa. But if you’d like a wide selection of craft breweries, your best bet is in the bigger cities such as Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.
It’s no surprise that the Vietnamese loves their beer – in fact, they are the number three consumers in the world of beer, behind China and Japan. Because liquor and wine is heavily taxed, beer is the go-to drink. It’s also extremely affordable so anyone can buy a glass of beer. There’s several reasons why craft beer has become so popular in Vietnam. First of all, the rising incomes may have influenced the beer scene since more money means more beer. The foreign influence is also a reason why craft beer has started to rise here. And also of course, because the locals love this drink and what better way to experiment with it than opening up microbreweries. Long gone are the days when you could only order local draft beer. Now you’ll have a ton of exciting options, ranging from traditional, local flavors, to foreign, exotic ones. If you happen to be in the capital city, here is where you can find the best craft beer in Hanoi:
1. iBiero Craft beer station
Regarded as one of the best craft beer restaurants in Hanoi, you can enjoy both a wide variety of craft beers and a selection of international cuisine, which goes perfect with the beer. The atmosphere is relaxed, open and is the perfect place if you like to socialize. The craft brewery is also local-run.
2. Pasteur Street Brewing Company
This American-style brewery uses only the highest quality ingredients from Vietnam and other places in the world. They are an award-winning brewery which uses exotic Vietnamese ingredients, American Hops and European Malt. All this makes for some of the most interesting beers that you’ll try in Vietnam. And if you’re feeling hungry, you can try their wide range of western dishes that goes perfect with your pint. If you loved it and want to go back, you can always visit them in other locations, such as Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang, Phu Quoc, Hoi An, etc. Good craft beer should be found in every corner and Pasteur Street Brewing Company made sure that you can find it in several places around the country, so that you won’t miss trying their incredible beer.
3. Westlake Station
This French inspired restaurant is complete with their French head chef, offering both western dishes such as pizza, and a wide range of craft beers. Their lovely garden will make you want to stay here for hours and hours. There’s even a pool table here that you can play with your friends while sipping on a nice, cold craft beer. It’s one of the more charming places to sit down for a drink with your friends, but be prepared that it does get busy, so try to get there a bit earlier.
4. The Fat Pig
It’s not only one of Vietnam’s best restaurants, you can also enjoy some local and international brews here. They offer locally sourced and organic produces, to both promote health and minimize the impact we have on our natural environment. It’s definitely one of the best places to go to in Hanoi with a group of friends, or family, and enjoy a nice pint of craft beer. Try the Passion Fruit Wheat Ale, if you like something fresh and mild. You can also ask for their seasonal beer. If, by any chance, you are not a big fan of beer, they also offer wine and cocktails.
One of the new and hip places of Hanoi is Furbrew. It’s owned by a Vietnamese and a Danish, with a Polish master brewer. You can be sure to find some interesting flavors here. Although the place is quite small, the beer selection is wide and you might be surprised by how many different types of beer they offer. It’s still quite the “hidden gem” so get over here before it becomes crowded. Make sure to try their “Pho Specialty Ale”, it’s a bit unusual, but so tasty.
Now when you’ve gotten to know the craft beer scene in Hanoi a bit better, make sure to apply for your Vietnam visa before heading over here. If you’re not on the visa exempt list, or want to stay for longer than 15 days, you are required to apply for a visa. You can either go to your local or nearest Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate or do it online by applying for either a Visa on Arrival or E-Visa.
If you’re going south and haven’t had enough of craft beer (who ever has enough), make sure to check out our article “Where to find craft beer in Ho Chi Minh City”.
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