Vietnamese beer: a taste of Saigon

August 09 2016 / No Comments
Vietnamese beer

It’s five o’clock somewhere.  If you like a tipple it’s a great pleasure when travelling to try the new beers in the places that you visit.  Vietnam is certainly no exception to that and as the biggest consumers of beer in South East Asia there are some good local beers to try.  I’ll focus on Vietnamese beer found in the south and HCMC and then I’ll move onto a new kind of Vietnamese beer – craft beer. I’ll list my favourite Vietnamese beer followed by a look at the newly emerging craft beer scene, and Saigon craft beer tours.

Brands of Vietnamese beer

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Produced by the Sabeco company and available in its distinctive white striped can (I’ve never seen this bottled) this is a popular Vietnamese beer.  It’s a pilsner style golden beer produced from rice, not one for the purists but I quite like it.  5% ABV. Around 15,000 vnd per can.

Saigon Red

Produced by the same company but this Vietnamese beer only comes in bottles.  This is labelled as export style and strength.  A pilsner style lager that’s served at most restaurants and bars but not in a lot of shops. 4.8% ABV.  Around 12,000 – 25,000 vnd depending on the restaurant. Around 16,000 vnd in shops.

Saigon Green

Exactly as the Vietnamese beer above but weaker by ABV.  Not nearly as popular, never seen in shops but is available in most restaurants. 3.8% ABV.  Around 12,000 – 25,000 vnd depending on the restaurant. Around 16,000 vnd in shops.

Bia Saigon

More pilsner style (rice) lager from this Vietnamese beer (they pretty much all are – except local craft beer – see below).  Comes in cans and bottle and is available all over Saigon.  4.8 ABV. Around 18,000 vnd per can / bottle.

So why no Bia Hoi?  Bia Hoi (the original draught Vietnamese beer) is found mainly in the north and for some reason is not at all popular in Saigon, there are a couple of places that serve Bia Hoi but they are mainly just a set up for tourists.  However, an interesting development in the Vietnamese beer scene is the emergence of some pretty good craft beer, which caters for the emerging service of Saigon craft beer tours.

The best places to sample craft style Vietnamese beer are ….

Biacraft, 90 Xuan Thuy, District 2, HCMC

This place has plenty of choices on tap and some imported beers too, if you are searching for interesting Vietnamese beer I recommend making a trip of Saigon craft beer tours.  My favourite here is the Platinum ale, this is a golden ale that’s easily drinkable and not as heavy or deep as some of the IPA’s or darker beers on offer.  5% ABV.  500 ml draught 60,000 vnd.

Vietnamese beer - Saigon Biacraft

Pasteur Street brewing, 144 Pasteur Street, District 1, HCMC

Located right in the heart of downtown this place is pretty expensive by Vietnamese beer standards but does have some very interesting fruity beers on tap. I particularly like the Passion Fruit ale which is very refreshing if a little pricy.  330 ml draught 105,000 vnd.

Vietnamese beer - PSB

Lastly if you want to enjoy the best Vietnamese beer combined with a little sightseeing, the cool experience of zipping around on motorbikes like the locals and some awesome Vietnamese Buddies for company – then why not try our craft beer tour.  We spend the evening visiting 4 different craft beer places, we have tasting flights and snacks and the price is fully inclusive.  Check out our Saigon craft beer tours – cheers!!

More interesting information about Saigon

Around Saigon with Saigon Craft beer tour

Five outfits offering a HCMC street food tour

A buddy for your back of the bike tour

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