Vietnamese people love beer. You can get it anywhere at anytime regardless of whether you’re in the mini market, coffee shop or street food vendor. And they have increasingly become thirsty of craft beer which has seen a massive increase of microbreweries in the country.

Beer was originally introduced to Vietnam by the French in the 19th century but has since become an integral part of Vietnamese culture. Vietnam’s beer consumption is among the most of Southeast Asian nations. A recent study by The Lancet Medical Journal showed that per-capita alcohol consumption in Vietnam increased nearly 90% between 1990 and 2017, more than any other nation surveyed. Vietnam has become the largest beer market in Southeast Asia consuming nearly four billion liters in 2017.

The three biggest breweries in Vietnam are Sabeco Brewery, which produces Saigon Beer and 333 Beer; Vietnam Brewery, which is partly owned by Heineken and produces Heineken, Tiger and Larue; and Habeco, partly owned by Carlsberg, which produces Hanoi Beer and Truc Bach.

For a standard, locally brewed beer in Vietnam you can expect to pay anywhere from $0.60 to $6 depending on the location and venue but expect to pay an average price of about $1.25 for a beer in a bar in the tourist districts in Saigon or Hanoi.



The Original Vietnamese Craft Beer – Bia Hoi

We can’t write an article on craft beer in Vietnam without mentioning the true original Vietnamese beer, Bia Hoi. Bia Hoi is an unpasteurized, unpreserved Vietnamese draught beer with an 3% ABV. It’s produced daily and the bars receive fresh batch each day. It might be the cheapest draught beer in the world at only $0.15 to 0.40 for a 12oz glass. Bia Hoi is best enjoyed sitting on a small plastic chair in the Beer Junction at the corner of Ta Hien and Luong Ngoc Quyen street in Hanoi’s Old Quarter.

Vietnamese Craft Beer

Like the rest of the world, Vietnam craft beer scene has surged in recent years. Although the craze came later than in the Western world, craft beer has established itself into the Vietnamese culture with dozens of micro breweries popping up all over the country. Some of them have grown so big that they hardly qualify as “micro” breweries such as Platinum with its 300,000 liters a year capacity.

Although Czech and German style brewhouses started producing their own local beers in Vietnam in early 2000s, craft and micro breweries didn’t really takeoff until 2014-2015 with Platinum, Fuzzy Logic and Pasteur Street Brewery, and later Biacraft Artisan Ale. The craft beer scene has come along way since then and now the dozens of Vietnamese micro breweries offer wide range of beers from both imported and local ingredients. Many of the locally produced beers have been internationally acclaimed such as Pasteur Street Brewing’s Imperial Chocolate Stout. Yet, others have made their fame by the exotic ingredients such as Pasteur Street’s Durian Beer and Biacraft’s citer Fifty-two Triple Z which combines apple, papaya, breast milk fruit, mango, and star apples.

Where To Go For Craft Beer in Vietnam

In the early 2000s you would have had to visit the Czech style brewhouses to get a decent pint of beer in Vietnam but that has changed in the last few years. Now there are plenty of bars, pubs and restaurants offering wide range of locally brewed craft beers. The latest trend has been that breweries are building their own taproom and brewpubs such as Pasteur Street, Biacraft and Platinum where they combine selected foods with their craft beers.

Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)

Biacraft

One of our favorite. Biacraft has 5 establishments throughout the city, one of which is in District 1, the city’s tourist district. They have wide selection of local craft beer from most of the major breweries, including several of their own beers. The number of beers offered varies between outlets but our recommended location is the one in District 3, which has 50 different beers on tab and 30 on bottles. And you can always guarantee great food at Biacraft.

Rogue Saigon

The rooftop bar is located in District 1, just by the river in an antique building. Rogue has craft beer, good food and live music. With 21 taps, they have one of the largest selection of craft beers in the city.

Brewlliant – Gastropub

The new kid on the block offers nice selection of both local and imported craft beers and snacks. In Brewlliant you can enjoy your beers in a cozy and smartly design bar located in the outskirt of touristy District 1.

Hanoi

Standing Bar

Located between Old Quarter and Tay Ho is a nice quiet area, Standing Bar has 19 taps with beers from all the major breweries and rotating tapas menu of nibbles and small plates. They have fantastic 2nd floor terrace overlooking Truc Bach Lake.

Bia Ả Đáo – The Peachy Craft Beer Pub

Right in the city center overlooking the Hoan Kiem Lake and the market. Bia Ả Đáo have over dozen taps and offer small snacks and finger food.

The Craft Breweries in Vietnam

Turtle Lake Brewing Company

  • Location: Hanoi
  • Website
  • Recommended beer: Helmet Boy Saison (5.7% ABV 11 IBU), Ho Tay (VPA 5.6% ABV 22)

Turtle Lake Brewing Company was started in 2017 and have since produced variety of different craft beers, some of whom have received international recognition. Their beer might be good, but their venue is fantastic. The nicely designed brewpub is situated at the Tay Ho area overlooking West Lake. You can enjoy the evening sun while surrounded the brewery itself. The brewpub has beers from few other breweries as well as great food. In addition to craft beer, Turtle Lake has started experimenting with gin and vodka.

East West Brewing Co

  • Location: Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)
  • Website
  • Recommended beer: East West Pale Ale (6% ABV, 32 IBU), Coffee Vanilla Porter (7 ABV, 20 IBU)

The American and Vietnamese owned brewery is Saigon’s first in-house craft brewery and kitchen concept located in the heart of District 1, HCMC. They have about 20 different beers of beers at each time, mostly German and Belgian style. Their massive brewpub might be the coolest place to have a craft beer in Saigon and a highly recommended place to visit.

Pasteur Street Brewing

  • Location: Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)
  • Website
  • Recommended beer: Jasmine IPA (6,5% ABV, 50 IBU), Coffee Porter (6,5% ABV)

One of Vietnam’s original craft beer brewery and possibly the most successful of them all. Their internationally awarded beers can now be found in over 200 outlets across Vietnam. The American style brewery has several taprooms throughout Saigon as well as having one in Hanoi. Pasteur Street Brewing taprooms are the place to go when you’re thirsty for one or two high quality craft beers. But their beers are less suitable for long sessions as many of them are strong flavored beers. They have done a great job of implementing local ingredients into their beers.

Furbrew 

  • Location: Hanoi
  • Website
  • Recommended beer: Tây Pale Ale (5,3% ABV, 40 IBU)

The first independent craft brewery in Hanoi, has been in operation since early 2016. Initially brewed at their venue, The 100 Beer Garden in Tay Ho Hanoi, but since 2018 they have moved their production to Quang Minh. The 100 is a proper outside beer garden tucked into a residential neighborhood. They also have a taproom in Tay Ho.

Biacraft Artisan Ales

  • Location: Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)
  • Website
  • Recommended beer: Cái Ngán Váng (Holy Grail) Golden Ale (4,7% ABV, 22 IBU)

Although Biacraft wasn’t the first craft brewery in town, it’s probably the most important one as they have fiercely promoted Vietnamese craft beers through their bars and taprooms. They have now 5 taprooms / bars throughout Saigon, both in touristy Districts 1 and 3 and the expat areas in Districts 2 and 7.

Winking Seal Beer Co

  • Location: Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)
  • Website
  • Recommended beer: One Eye Imperial IPA (10,1%, 101 IBU)

Winking Seal have been around since 2016 and offer wide range of funky named beers such as Bohemian Bastard IPA and Baby Fatso Dry Stout. They have set up a taproom in District 1 which has 16 taps with both their own beers and guest beers, and they serve excellent burgers!

Lac Brewing Co 

  • Location: Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)
  • Website
  • Recommended beer: Lac Mango IPA (5,5% ABV,

Founded by a software developer in 2015, the brewery focuses on American style IPAs influenced by Vietnamese flavors. LAC Brewing Co.’s excellent taproom can be found in District 1.

Rooster Beers

  • Location: (Ho Chi Minh City)
  • Website
  • Recommended beer: Blonde (5% ABV, 18 IBU)

Rooster Beers focus on simple high quality lagers rather than some funky flavors. They don’t have a taproom but their beers can be found is various outlets throughout Saigon and Da Nang.

7 Bridges Brewing Company 

  • Location: Da Nang
  • Website
  • Recommended beer: Sunset Weizen (4,2% ABV)

Lunched in 2017, 7 Bridges have 3 different craft beers in additional to several seasonal and special edition beers. Their beers can be found in outlets throughout Vietnam but best place to enjoy them would be at the 7 Bridges taproom in Da Nang.

Barett Craft Beer

  • Location: Hanoi
  • Website
  • Recommended beer: Red Smoky Lager

The Hanoi based, Vietnamese owned brewery caters to everyone with their different style of beer which includes American pale ales, pilsners, amber ales and German wheat beers.

C-Brewmaster

  • Location: Hanoi
  • Website
  • Recommended beer: Vietnamese Litchi PA (8% ABV, 50 IBU)

Headed by experienced Vietnamese brewmaster, they got started in 2016 in Hanoi with a small brewery that keeps expanding. C-Brewmaster has set up taprooms in prime location in both Hanoi’s Old Quarter and Saigon’s Bui Vien backpacker area.

Fuzzy Logic

  • Location: Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)
  • Website
  • Recommended beer: Fuzzy Logic Pale Ale (5,4% ABV, 32 IBU)

This is one of Saigon’s original craft breweries, established in 2015 they have received national recognition particularly for their pale ale. They don’t have a taproom but you can find their beers in various bars throughout Saigon and some in Hanoi.

Heart of Darkness Craft Brewery

  • Location: Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)
  • Website
  • Recommended beers: Kurtz’s Insane IPA (7,1% ABV, 102 IBU)

A craft beer brewery with a unique and exciting twist, and some funky names for their beers. Their beers can be found throughout Vietnam but they have a taproom in District 1 in Saigon where they have 2 beers on taps along with nice picks of food and nibbles.