Best Craft Beer In Ho Chi Minh: Explore Vietnamese Artisanal Brew

When the French arrived in Vietnam in the late 19th century, they introduced a range of Western influences, including beer, which quickly became popular. Today, Ho Chi Minh City is a vibrant place for craft beer lovers.

Craft Beer in Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh is home to the largest variety of craft beer, so drinkers can rest assured, there’s a pint to suit everyone’s taste buds

Join us as we explore the history, charm, and flavors of craft beer in Ho Chi Minh. 

Craft Beer in Ho Chi Minh: From Colonial Beginnings to Crafty Heights

Craft Beer In Ho Chi Minh  

Sipping on a cold beer, whether alone or with friends, is a common pastime for many young Vietnamese. Beer, now a staple in both urban and rural areas, has sparked endless conversations. The emergence of the local craft beer industry highlights Vietnam’s growing fondness for this beverage.

But how did beer become as integral to Vietnamese culture as coffee and pho?

Early Beginnings in the North 

The French, along with bread, brought beer to Vietnam in the late 19th century. Alfred Hommel established the first brewery in Hanoi in 1890 to supply French soldiers and sell to locals. At the time, beer was unfamiliar to the Vietnamese, who traditionally drank rice wine.

Beer gradually became favored due to its milder taste compared to strong rice wines and its affordability compared to imported wines. By 1957, Hommel’s brewery was state-owned and became the official brewery of Hanoi, leading to the creation of today’s Hanoi Beer, Alcohol, Beverage Joint Stock Corporation (HABECO). The brewery launched its first locally styled beer in 1960, and it quickly gained popularity.

Craft Beer in Ho Chi Minh
Hanoi Beer – A cultural beauty of Hanoi. Source: Hanoi Beer Tour

Expansion to the South 

The introduction of beer to Saigon followed a similar path. In 1875, Frenchman Victor Larue opened a small brewery in Saigon, which grew to include a beverage and ice factory by 1910. After the Vietnam War, the company became the Southern Beer and Alcohol Company, now known as the Saigon Beer and Beverage Joint Stock Company (SABECO).

Craft Beer In Ho Chi Minh
Saigon Beer is leading brand name in Vietnam beer industry with nearly 150 years of developing. Source: SABECO

The North is known for Bia Hanoi and Bia Hoi, while the South is famous for Bia Saigon and Bia 333.

Bia 333 has a rich history, originally called “33 Export” and made with French recipes and German ingredients. During the Vietnam War, it was popular among American soldiers. After reunification, the beer was rebranded as Bia 333 to symbolize luck and prosperity.

New waves

Craft Beer In Ho Chi Minh 

Throughout the 1990s, Vietnam’s most consumed beers included both domestic and international labels. However, in the early 2000s, Saigon saw the emergence of restaurants serving Czech beer brewed on-site. Hoa Viên Brauhaus, the first beer brewing pub in Vietnam, exemplifies this trend, born from cultural exchange between Czechia and Vietnam.

The most significant shift in Vietnamese beer culture began around 2015, with the rise of craft beer capturing the attention of both locals and foreigners. Starting with Platinum, the craft beer scene in Vietnam has grown to include nearly twenty different brands and breweries, most of which are based in Saigon.

Vietnam’s craft beer scene is not just about replicating Western processes but involves incorporating unique local ingredients like tropical fruits and spices to create flavors that complement the local climate, cuisine, and traditions.

Top Craft Breweries to Visit in Ho Chi Minh

Craft Beer In Ho Chi Minh  

Let’s dive into the vibrant world of craft beer in Ho Chi Minh City and explore some must-visit breweries that are making waves in the scene.

Pasteur Street Brewing Company 

Address: 144/3 Pasteur, Ben Nghe, District 1

Hours: 11am – 11pm 

Price ranges: 100,000 – 200,000 VND ( 4 – 8 USD) 

Craft Beer In Ho Chi Minh

Walking into Pasteur Street Brewing Company feels like stepping into a world where Eastern ingredients meet Western brewing techniques in perfect harmony. This pioneer in the Saigon craft beer scene offers a lineup that’s as impressive as it is diverse.

Craft Beer In Ho Chi Minh

  • Jasmine IPA – 6.5% ABV | 50 IBU 

This flagship brew is a delightful blend of floral jasmine notes with the hoppy bitterness of an IPA. Imagine the scent of jasmine flowers wafting through the air as you sip, creating a sensory experience that’s uniquely Vietnamese. Every sip tells a story of craftsmanship and innovation.

  • Passion Fruit Wheat Ale – 4% ABV | 15 IBU 

Perfect for the local climate, this award-winning wheat ale is a refreshing mix of sweet and tart, thanks to the fresh passion fruit from Da Lat. Its crisp, clean finish makes it a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

  • Jasmine Amber Ale – 4.5% ABV | 27 IBU 

With a bold ruby hue and a gentle sweetness from special caramelized malts, this red ale is rich and drinkable. The addition of jasmine flowers adds a fragrant touch, making it a truly sensory experience.

  • Tropical Seltzer – 4% ABV | 0 IBU 

This Tropical Seltzer is a sun-soaked oasis in a glass, featuring a guava, kumquat, and pineapple trio that creates a flavor explosion. It’s the perfect drink to cool down on a hot day.

Craft Beer In Ho Chi Minh

  • Pomelo IPA – 6.2% ABV | 31 IBU 

The fresh pomelo juice in this IPA lightens the usual bitterness, allowing the hops and fruit to dance together in harmony. It’s a refreshingly drinkable beer that’s perfect for any occasion.

  • Bia Chanh Muoi – 2.2% ABV | 11 IBU 

For the summer season, try the Chanh Muoi, a super light, low-alcohol, wonderfully refreshing salted lime beer. Whether you’re at the taproom or lounging by the pool, this is the perfect summer beverage.

East West Brewing Company 

Address: 181 Ly Tu Trong, Ben Nghe, District 1

Hours: 11pm – 1am

Price ranges: 100.000 – 200.000 VND ( 4 – 8 USD)

Craft Beer in Ho Chi Minh

East West Brewing Company is where East meets West in the craft beer world. Head brewer Patrick Barnes, with his extensive experience from Portland, Oregon, and Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, brings world-class brewing techniques to Vietnam. His passion for innovation and quality shines through in every brew.

Craft Beer in Ho Chi Minh

  • Summer Hefeweizen – 5.9% ABV | 20 IBU 

This classic German wheat ale is perfect for Vietnam’s warm climate. Floral with clove, pepper, and banana aromas, it delivers a mildly sweet, slightly nutty grain flavor with a clean, refreshing finish.

Craft Beer in Ho Chi Minh

  • India Session Lager – 4.9% ABV | 13 IBU 

This unique fusion of West Coast and New Zealand hops results in a crisp, refreshing beer. Citrus notes dance alongside herbal undertones, all balanced by a subtle malt backbone, making each sip a journey of discovery.

  • Mosaic Pale Ale – 5.4% ABV | 28 IBU 

As vibrant as Vietnam itself, this golden amber ale features a bready malt backbone that balances strong hop aromas and flavors. It’s a true representation of the collaboration and creativity that defines the Saigon craft beer scene.

  • Wit Blanc – 4.7% ABV | 12 IBU 

This refreshing and crisp beer has orange citrus tones and coriander spice notes. It’s perfect for those looking for a light, flavorful drink.

  • Pacific Pilser – 5% ABV | 26 IBU 

With cracker-like malt aromas and light honey, spice flavors, this pilsner is dry and crisp yet full, allowing the flavors to linger. It’s a well-balanced beer that’s perfect for any beer lover.

Tips for Beers Lovers in Ho Chi Minh

Craft Beer In Ho Chi Minh  

  1. Participate in a Homebrew Workshop

For a truly unique experience, participate in a homebrew workshop where you can learn how to brew your own craft beer. Several breweries and beer academies in Ho Chi Minh City offer workshops that teach the basics of brewing, from selecting ingredients to the fermentation process. This hands-on experience not only deepens your appreciation for craft beer but also gives you a chance to create your own personalized brew.

Suggestion: Pasteur Street Brewing Company 

  1. Craft Beer and Mekong Delta Day Trip 

Embark on an exciting day trip to the Mekong Delta, where you can explore lush landscapes, bustling floating markets, and tranquil rivers. The Mekong Delta is renowned for its vibrant scenery, offering a glimpse into rural Vietnamese life with its winding waterways, verdant rice paddies, and traditional stilt houses. As you navigate through this picturesque region, you’ll encounter friendly locals, fresh tropical fruits, and the unique charm of the delta’s ecosystem.

Suggestion: Mekong Brewing Company

  1. Join a Craft Beer Bike Tour 

Take your bicycle tour up a notch by joining a night-time craft beer bike tour. The city transforms after dark, with cooler temperatures and vibrant nightlife. These tours often include stops at hidden gem breweries and bars that are off the beaten path, providing a more intimate and adventurous beer tasting experience. You’ll also get to see the city’s landmarks illuminated, adding a magical touch to your journey.

Suggestion: Jackfruit Adventure

Let’s Wrap It Up

Ho Chi Minh City’s craft beer scene is more than just a trend – it’s a testament to the city’s creativity, resilience, and passion for flavor. If you’re planning a visit to Saigon, make sure to explore its craft breweries. Better yet, why not combine your love for beer with a bit of adventure? Join a cycling tour around Saigon, and experience the city’s vibrant culture, scenic beauty, and, of course, its incredible craft beer offerings. 

Craft Beer In Ho Chi Minh

Ready to pedal through Saigon’s streets, sipping on some of the finest brews the city has to offer? At Jackfruit Adventure, we organize Ho Chi Minh City Cycling Tour and Team Building Ho Chi Minh. With a deep knowledge of Saigon city and local connections, we believe we can give you an awesome bonding time together. Click to book cycling tour and let the adventure begin!

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