Interesting Facts about Beer in Vietnam

You’ve probably heard of how cheap the beer is in Vietnam, and it’s true. You can get beer for roughly 50 cents here, depending on where you go. Beer is one of the most popular drinks in Vietnam and in terms of global consumption, the Vietnamese are at the top among Asian nations. What better way to cool off in the summer heat than by grabbing a cold beer? Here are some interesting facts about beer in Vietnam

1. Beer first entered the Vietnamese market in the 19th century

Before the French came and brought in beer production to the country, brewing was done manually and the process was very slow. But it all changed when the French came. Two of the big beer brands started emerging then – Habeco (Hanoi Beer) and Sabeco (Saigon Beer). However, it wasn’t until the country’s independence that the beer industry started growing. The government wanted to invest more in tourism, and since many foreign tourists and business owners came, they started to import more foreign beer too. But today you can find plenty of local beer as well as craft beers.

2. Beer is a social drink

As with every place in the world, beer is considered a social drink, and it’s no different in Vietnam. But unlike foreigners, the Vietnamese prefers to drink their beer in a mug rather than in cans or bottles. You’ll notice there’ll be beer in every family gathering, celebrations, events, reunions, big holidays, etc. The Vietnamese takes their beer seriously.

3. You’ll drink your beer with lots of ice

If you order a beer in Vietnam, chances are that your mug will swim in ice. This is because some places lack refrigerators, so in order to get cold beer, they’ll give you ice with it. It’s also a good way for the beer to remain cold, in the blistering heat.

4. You don’t have to go to a bar to drink beer

You’ll see that most Vietnamese sit outside on small plastic chairs on the street, drinking a cold beer with their friends and chatting away. Instead of going to bars, you have small stalls or “sidewalk restaurants”, where the tables are outdoor. Bui Vien street in Ho Chi Minh City is one of the places where you’ll spot tons of these little outdoor restaurants.

5. The Craft Beer industry is growing fast  

The craft beer scene in Vietnam is booming at the moment and gone are the days when you could only choose to drink local draft beer. The beer culture is going strong and therefore the Vietnamese started welcoming more than a dozen micro-breweries. Although the first microbreweries were set up by foreigners, local entrepreneurs are also starting to enter the mix. You can find breweries in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Nha Trang, and even all the way north in Sapa!

6. Learn how to say “Cheers” before drinking


In Vietnam you don’t just say Cheers – you say mot, hai, ba, yo, which means one, two, three, cheers. Say it as loudly as possible as well. It almost becomes a little competition on who can shout it the loudest. The Vietnamese are good beer drinkers, so be prepared to play a little game of “who can chug the beer faster” . In Vietnam you’re considered to be a strong man if you’re a good drinker, and if you’re a Westerner, they’ll assume you’re good so they’ll surely put it to test.

Whether you’re an experienced beer drinker or not, you’ll certainly enjoy the beer scene in Vietnam. Just remember when you’re planning your trip to apply for a Vietnam visa beforehand. You have to present a valid visa for the immigration officers in Vietnam in order to enter the country, unless you are on the Vietnam visa exempt list. You have two online options. Visa on Arrival and E-Visa. If you by any chance can’t apply to one of those, such as you’re planning on arriving to Vietnam through anything else but air, you can go to your nearest Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate and get your visa with them. However, the online options are by far the most popular ways to acquire a visa because of how easy it is, quick and affordable. You can get your visa in only 2 days and if you need a so-called “Emergency Visa”, you can pay a bit more money and get a visa within 48 hours instead.