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Beer in Vietnam

Posted on May 13, 2015 by minh in Vietnam Food tagged Vietnam beer, beer in Vietnam

Vietnam is a coffee culture. There’s no doubt about that. Cafés are more prevalent in the streets of Anywhere, Vietnam than restaurants, tailor shops and karaoke joints combined. However, when the day’s sun starts winding down and the cool air of the night rolls in, Vietnam’s second favorite beverage takes command: beer!

Vietnam is as much a beer culture as anywhere in the world. The variety (admittedly) is not exactly there, but for lager-loving beer drinkers, Vietnam is as good a place as any (and probably cheaper!). From standard restaurant bars and pubs to roadside swilling stations, beer is guaranteed to be on the menu. With a new wave of beer clubs and draft beer joints spreading through the country, the refreshing golden beverage is now easier to find than ever!

Tourists visiting Vietnam for the first time will be pleased to discover that local lager (and sometimes export brews as well) are far cheaper than they are at home; a mere 6.000 VND can get you a refreshing glass of “fresh beer” (Bia Hoi) in select locations around the country (most famous in Hanoi). Local bottled and canned beer is as cheap as 8.000 VND (less than half a US Dollar) with standard prices still keeping below a Dollar a pop. So what are the beers to look out for?

Lagers vary depending on where you’re traveling in the country. Hanoi’s local lager is “Bia Hanoi,” however most people go for the previously mentioned Bia Hoi joints: restaurant-like places that serve up freshly brewed beer with no preservatives… so it must be consumed that day! The cheapest beer in Vietnam, Bia Hoi also proves to be some of the most refreshing!

Making our way south from Bia Hoi/Bia Hanoi, many tourists enjoy Hue City’s pilsner option called “Huda”- locally brewed for over 25 years. Only a few hours south along the central coast is Da Nang’s famous Bia Larue (local and export)- a French-inspired brew that dates back over 100 years.

Reaching down south to Ho Chi Minh City, beer enthusiasts will find a number of delicious options to choose from. In the Bia Saigon family, options range from Saigon Green (Local) and Saigon Red (Export) to the elusive Saigon Special. Also part of the southern family chain is the iconic 333 (ba ba ba) beer… one of the most historic brews in the country. Other popular local beers in Vietnam are Zorok, Dai Viet (offering the only “dark” beer in the country) and Halida… while Heineken, Tiger and San Miguel reign in the imported choices. No matter where you travel in the country, a cold beer (or at least a hot beer poured in a glass with ice) will not be too far away. We’ll leave you with some key words to keep you sounding local at your nearest beer joint:

Bia (beer)

Ly (Glass)

Bia lon (Can of beer)

Bia chai (Bottle of beer)

Ly đá (glass of ice)

Một nữa (One More!)

Một, hai, ba, dzô! (1,2,3 Cheers!)

Chúc sức khỏe! (Good Health!)




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