Vietnam has topped the list, after China and Japan, as the top 3 consumer of beer in the world. It’s safe to say that beer is a big thing in Vietnam. But long are the days when you could just get local draft beer – the craft beer scene is booming and it shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. It’s slowly changing the drinking culture in the whole of Vietnam. You can find craft beer producers in not only the major cities, but even far up north in Sapa!
But first, let’s take a look at what craft beer really is. A craft brewery is defined as independent, small and perhaps more importantly, traditional. Although it’s popular to have unusual ingredients in your craft beer, it’s the traditional brewing methods and main ingredients that make up for the foundation of microbrewery. The movement started in the US and spread to Europe and even further, such as Australia and New Zealand. And now it’s reached Vietnam and has become the new “trend” in the country.
One city in Vietnam that will guarantee that you find what you’re looking for is Ho Chi Minh City. The craft beer scene here is getting bigger and has attracted both foreigners and locals alike to visit the microbreweries. If you’d like to visit some of the best breweries, here take a look at these:
1. Heart of Darkness
Welcome to a hipster, American-style brewery, with dark lighting and brick walls which gives it an industrial feeling. They offer a wide selection of beer taps and some bar snacks as well. If you’re a big fan of beer, this place will knock your socks off. They have more than 30 different craft beers, so if you have time (and money), you should try one… or two… or more!
Just like many breweries, they have opted for the industrial feeling. The locals are very accommodating and will let you even try a few small tastes before you decide. You have a wide selection of both local and foreign brews, which you can sip on while eating something from their food menu. The good thing is that they don’t only have one location, but actually five spread out in Ho Chi Minh City.
3. Ruong Pub & Hub
This open air bar is the perfect place to enjoy a cold brew, while enjoy the sun rays. The setting is more casual and laid back, and you can even come here sometimes to watch televised sporting events. What better way to spend your afternoon then having craft beer and watching football with your friends? They have some interesting flavors here such as their Whiskey Beer and Herbal Ale. If you’re really in the mood of trying something different, go for their “Bloog” Wheat Ale, which gets its color from the Vietnamese beetroot. It’s especially refreshing on those hot, Ho Chi Minh City days.
4. Belgo, The Belgian Brewery
Come on, who doesn’t love Belgian beer? And who doesn’t love the fact that you can get Belgian beer in Vietnam? It’s another place that has opted for the industrial feeling, with high ceilings and small Belgian flags hanging over the roof. The place is big, with seating areas both outside, downstairs and upstairs, so even if it gets crowded, you’ll surely find a place. When it comes to the beer, you guessed it – they’re brewed in classic Belgian style. You can, and should, also try some of their unique beer cocktails.
5. Pasteur Street Brewing
Their American-style craft beer some of the city’s best beer. Although the tasting room is rather small, you can find quirky combinations here such as Passion Fruit Wheat Ale, Spice Island Saison and Jasmine IPA. If you have a hard time deciding, get the taster and try 6 of the most interesting pints before you settle on one.
There’s plenty of more craft beer to try in Ho Chi Minh City, but these are some of the city’s best. As you can see, craft beer is getting bigger and bigger, and now is a great time to try them out. So set aside a day in the city to try at least one of these breweries and enjoy the unique and quirky flavors. Beer has never tasted this good.
Just remember to apply for a Vietnam visa before you travel to here. You can either get a Visa on Arrival, E-Visa (only eligible for certain countries in the world) or go to your local or nearest Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate.