Vietnamese beer, a staple among Vietnamese drinks, holds a special place in the country's culture. You can find it everywhere in Vietnam, making it an essential part of the local experience. Below are the 10 most popular Vietnamese beer brands to savor the authentic flavors of this beloved beverage.
1. Beer-drinking culture in Vietnam at a glance
Vietnamese beer has been present in Vietnam since the late 19th century when the French introduced beer production to the country. Initially, brewing was done manually, giving rise to major Vietnamese local beer brands like Habeco (Hanoi Beer) and Sabeco (Saigon Beer). Over time, beer production has been modernized, leading to the emergence of new local beer brands like 333 and Truc Bach. Vietnamese people have a strong fondness for beer, and in 2020, Vietnam ranked 9th globally in beer consumption, with over 3.8 million kiloliters consumed, accounting for 2.2% of the world's total.
Beyond being a refreshing drink for hot summer days, Vietnamese beer holds cultural significance in Vietnam and has become a customary routine for many. Inviting each other for a beer is a common courtesy during business meetings, events, celebrations, or reunions among friends. It is customary for people, especially men, to have Vietnamese beer with clients and friends after work, leading to streets lined with plastic chairs and tables filled with people from all walks of life. Vietnamese usually enjoy their beer poured into mugs with ice cubes rather than drinking refrigerated beers straight from bottles or cans. When drinking with locals, it is common to say "yo," which means "cheers" in English. Beer is often accompanied by delicious snacks such as boiled peanuts, grilled squid, and sour fermented pork rolls.
2. How much is Vietnamese beer?
The price of beer in Vietnam is generally quite affordable, but there are variations depending on the type of beer:
- Draft beer (Bia hoi): This is one of the most authentic Vietnamese local beers, brewed in a short period of about 7-10 days. It is commonly found in sidewalk beer joints. The price for a mug of draft beer in Vietnam is the cheapest, typically around VND 10,000.
- Bottled/Canned beer: These beers undergo longer fermentation and have preservatives. There are various brands, both domestic ones like Saigon Special, Hanoi Beer, 333 Vietnamese Beer, and international ones like Heineken and Tiger. The price for a beer can starts from VND 15,000, while a beer bottle costs VND 20,000 or more.
- Craft beer: Vietnamese craft beer is gaining popularity among consumers, especially in Western-style restaurants, offering unique flavors. Due to the sophistication of the brewing process and ingredients, a pint of craft beer can cost around VND 100,000.
3. 10 of the best beer brands in Vietnam
If you want to try Vietnam beer, you cannot overlook the 10 brands with the most popular beer in Vietnam listed below.
As the first canned beer produced in Vietnam since 1985, 333 Beer is the result of combining the finest ingredients from Germany, a century-old formula inherited from France, and the craftsmanship of Vietnamese brewers. These elements contribute to its rich aroma and distinctive flavor, making 333 Vietnamese beers a long-standing and beloved brand across urban and rural Vietnam.
3.2. Hanoi Beer
Hanoi Beer is the most popular Vietnamese local beer brand in the Northern region. Its flagship products include draught beer, bottled Hanoi Beer, Hanoi Beer Premium, and canned Hanoi Beer. With a century-old tradition and technology, along with skilled brewers, Hanoi Vietnamese beer products offer unique flavors that are admired by millions of consumers domestically and internationally.
3.3. Draft beer
Among the best Vietnamese beers, draft beer (bia hoi) holds a special place in the hearts of the Vietnamese people. Mostly found in small bars and street corners, this beer is brewed daily, ensuring its freshness. It is a light and refreshing lager with around 3% alcohol, often served in large glasses with ice, suitable for festive occasions and quenching thirst on hot days.
Budweiser beer is produced in the Czech Republic, following a modern process with traditional recipes. It is cherished for its aromatic taste derived from hops and tropical fruits, aged in oak barrels. The beer's fresh style offers a rich, clean taste, with a gentle bitterness that brings a sense of relaxation and refreshment, making this Vietnamese beer suitable for both summer enjoyment and everyday meals.
3.5. Saigon Beer - Among the most popular Vietnamese beer brands
With 145 years of history, Saigon Beer is the pride of the Vietnamese people, producing various popular beers not only in Vietnam but also beyond its borders. Saigon Special, Saigon Lager, and 333 are examples of their well-received products. The unique flavor of Saigon Vietnamese Beer represents the abundance and open spirit of the southern region, becoming an indispensable part of people's daily lives and ranking among the top 3 most consumed beer brands in Vietnam.
3.6. Biere Larue
Belonging to the lower segment, Biere Larue still maintains its place among the best Vietnamese beer brands. Perfect for building friendships, it takes you through various emotional levels. Biere Larue has a deep yellow color, a full-bodied flavor, and a refreshing aftertaste, all thanks to premium ingredients from Europe incorporated into their brewing secret.
3.7. Pasteur Street Brewing
As one of the pioneering Vietnamese craft beer brands, Pasteur Street Brewing prioritizes product quality and uses an array of carefully selected ingredients for its 70 different Vietnamese beer flavors. With roasted barley and imported hops, as well as locally sourced fruits, herbs, and spices, each beer variety has its own unique taste, sure to leave an unforgettable impression.
Heineken, an elite beer from the Netherlands, has established its position globally and in Vietnam. Constantly improving its quality and appearance, beer enthusiasts consider it the best beer in Vietnam, with delightful and distinguished flavors. Moreover, Heineken frequently organizes events such as music concerts and adventure runs, connecting the community of Heineken lovers.
3.9. Truc Bach Beer
Named after Truc Bach Lake, an ancient landmark in Hanoi, Truc Bach beer represents the high-end segment of Hanoi Vietnam Beer. For drinkers, Truc Bach Beer is akin to a work of art, featuring a golden and transparent color like honey. When poured, the beer produces a thick, white, and creamy foam with a gentle bitterness that gradually transitions to a sweet and exquisite taste, a result of a lengthy and natural fermentation process that takes two to three times longer than regular Vietnamese beers.
3.10. Tiger Beer
Tiger Beer, a renowned brand from Singapore, is becoming one of the brands with the most popular beer in Vietnam due to its high-quality products at a mid-range price. With modern production lines and carefully selected natural ingredients imported from abroad, Tiger Beer offers a golden beer of excellent quality, providing a refreshing and exotic experience to its consumers.
4. Where to enjoy Vietnamese local beer?
Rather than going to pubs or bars like in other countries, Vietnamese people head to "quan bia" (bia restaurants) for beer in Vietnam. These places not only offer a wide variety of beers but also serve delectable food that perfectly complements the drinks. They are often found on bustling streets, where you can savor inexpensive Vietnamese beers alongside tasty local snacks. In Ho Chi Minh City, you will discover many "sidewalk" beer restaurants with tables set outdoors along popular streets like Bui Vien, Truong Sa, and Hoang Sa. Similarly, Hanoi boasts numerous beer restaurants in the backpackers' streets, like Beer Street Hanoi - Ta Hien, and those within the Hanoi Old Quarter, where you can indulge in a pint of draft beer and relish delicious food.
While seafood and other food restaurants also serve canned or bottled Vietnamese beer, the cost tends to be higher. Embracing Western influences, many young Vietnamese prefer high-class venues such as sports bars and trendy sky bars for their beer outings. Naturally, the prices at these establishments are steeper compared to the smaller pop-up restaurants found on the sidewalks.
If you want to explore Vietnamese beer and the unique drinking styles of each region during your Vietnam travel, you can visit cities like Hanoi, Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Ha Long, Da Nang, and more. While exploring these cities, consider staying at the exceptional Vinpearl hotels and resorts. With properties spread across the country, Vinpearl offers stunning architectural designs and captivating natural surroundings. These hotels and resorts are dedicated to providing you with an exceptional international-standard experience, offering various services such as spas, swimming pools, malls, restaurants, entertainment complexes, and more. Additionally, for adrenaline-pumping experiences, cultural festivals, and water park fun, head to VinWonders and don't miss out on the excitement!
Vietnamese beer stands as a beloved and integral part of the country's culture and social life. With its rich history, diverse flavors, and affordable prices, Vietnamese beer has become a symbol of togetherness and celebration. Whether sipping a refreshing glass of "bia hoi" at a bustling sidewalk joint or indulging in craft beers at trendy bars, the beer culture in Vietnam caters to every palate. So if you have a chance to visit Vietnam, add it to your bucket list of must-try activities.