Drinking in Vietnam: Brands you’ll need to get acquainted with

If you’re traveling to Vietnam for the first time, you’ll want to get acquainted with some of the alcohol brands in the country. If you’re a beer fan, you’re in luck. You can get beer almost everywhere – it’s Vietnam’s most beloved drink. They love it so much that they’re in fact on the list of top 3 beer consumers in the world, just behind China and Japan. That’s a lot of beer consuming for a country. But there’s other drinks to be found here as well, such as wine and whiskey. The country’s liquor and wine markets are slowly emerging and Vietnam has also opened up their eyes to craft beer.

The best way to discover the different alcohol brands in Vietnam is by – you know it – trying it. It can get a bit confusing in the beginning to navigate through all the different brands, so let’s take a look at some of the most popular ones. One of these might become your favourite.

1. Saigon Beer

This is a brand that you’re bound to get acquainted with. It’s one of Vietnam’s most popular beers and you can get it in almost every bar in the country. There’s three varieties – green, red and special, and although the flavour might not be the most exciting ones, it’s one of the cheapest and beloved beers in Vietnam. Whether you like it or not, it’s definitely one of the must-try brands.

2. Bia Ha Noi

Another local beer that you will surely see during your trip. It’s – to no one’s surprise – most popular in the north of the country and is a pale lager. It was one of the first local beers to enter the market and still remains one of the most popular beers. In fact, it dominates about 30% of the country’s beer market. It also does help that it’s one of the cheapest beers you can get.

3. Vang Da Lat

Moving away from beer, let’s take a look at Vietnam’s cheapest wine. Yes, you might not think about wine when you think of Vietnam, and although it’s not as popular as beer is, there’s still plenty of places where you can find wine. The Vang Da Lat grapes are grown in Da Lat, thanks to its temperate climate where the vineyards can thrive. Although this is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea, it’s still one of the most well known brands when it comes to wine. Whether it’s good or bad… You just have to try it yourself and decide.

4. Vodka Hanoi

Another specialty from Hanoi is the Vodka Hanoi, a local vodka brand which you can get for a really reasonable price, but the quality might not be the finest. It won’t blind you though, but you will most probably wake up with a hangover that you won’t soon forget. Still, there’s a reason for why this brand is one of the most popular ones in Vietnam and if you’re planning a night out, try it at least once.

5. Pasteur Street Brewing Co

Going back to beer because… how can you not enjoy beer when you’re in Vietnam. But if you’re a fan of craft beer, you’ll be happy to know that the craft beer scene is starting to take off. One of the most famous ones is Pasteur Street Brewing Company, which was founded in Ho Chi Minh City in 2014, so it’s relatively new. It has since then quickly become one of Vietnam’s premier craft beer brands and is undoubtedly one of the locals and expats favourites. They produce over 200 different beers, with exotic flavors and more traditional ones. The Jasmine IPA is one of their specialties and it might be hard for you to not fall in love with it. You can visit their tap rooms in Vietnam to get fresh brew and a more unique beer experience. You can visit one of their 5 tap rooms in Ho Chi Minh City or visit the one in Hanoi. They also serve food that goes well with the beer. All this makes for a perfect night out where you can socialize with locals, travelers, expats, and drink a beer (or two) with your friends.

Don’t forget to apply for your Vietnam visa. If you don’t come from a country that’s on the visa exempt list, or want to stay in the country for longer than 15 days, you have to apply for a visa regardless of the length of your stay or if it’s for business or leisure. The visa process is both simple and fast, especially if you do it online. You can get a Visa on Arrival or E-Visa, depending on which country you are from, or go to your nearest Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate and acquire a visa with them.

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