Top 10 things to do in Hanoi including brewery tours

This top 10 list for Hanoi is written by a filippina blogger from Manila. Brewery Tours are listed as number 3 of 10 things to do in Hanoi. With 24 brewpubs, Hanoi has the highest number of breweries in south east asia.

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Two craft breweries in Nha Trang, Vietnam

There are two breweries in Nha Trang, both of them serving several kinds of beers. Louisiana was the first one to help thirsty beer drinkers to choose between four different beers. Now another is established which makes Nha Trang a very interesting city for beer lovers.

Louisiana brewhouse

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This brewery has been in operation since many years and has four different beers. Situated by the beach, makes it the perfect place for a beer in the sunset. Address: Lot 29, Tran Phu, Nha Trang. Webiste:    http://www.louisianebrewhouse.com.vn/

Beerfest-vn                                                                                     

This brewery is quite new, less than one year old and has already five different beers. About 300 000 russians are visiting Vietnam every year, many of them visits Nha Trang which nowadays is full of russian restaurants. Sometimes with russian staff. Beerfest-vn are using imported czech malts such as caramel malt, munchner malt and pilsner malt. The green beer is made with seaweed.  Many russians visit this place so don’t be surprised if you get a russian menu in your hand. This place has not been tried so the beers are still a surprise how they taste.

nha trang breweryseveral different malts

Address: 34 Trần Phú, Vĩnh Nguyên, Nha Trang web: http://beerfestvn.com/en/

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Brewery tour in Hanoi

This brewery tour took place 18 Feb 2014 and included five microbreweries, one German and four Czech styled breweries.  

We started with a black and a blond beer at Golmalt 65 Ngo Thi Nam. This is a Goldmalt with many regulars and the brewing equipment is visible directly when you enter this two storey brewpub.

Goldmalt special beer

One important detail for the beer enthusiast is that you can get the special beer which is a beer that is fermented inside the bottle and therefore also a bit cloudy (from the yeast and some malt) but also more tasty than a regular lager.

Goldmalt b65 Ngo Thi Nam

After this Goldmalt the tour intended to head for Pho beer but because of a driver that failed in geography we were driven to a totally different destination. It’s not the first time, but luckily there are breweries almost everywhere in Hanoi so we made a short beer stop at Goldmalt 34 Tran Phu a.k.a. Mother Goldmalt, the first of 7 Goldmalts in Hanoi. You are greeted by the boiling barrels when you enter this Goldmalt. This brepub is almost 10 years old and the brewery is situated beneath the first floor.

Goldmalt

First visit at Pho beer. After some beers here we made the long ride to Pho beer. This was the first time the brewery tour made a stop here and a few other that worked in the neighbourhood came to join us for a few beers.

Pho beer Hanoi

How about the beer? Well if you pay 17 000 VND for a glass of draft beer you can’t expect much but at this place you get a lot of beer for that money. This is still a beer brewed with Czech malt and hops, but slightly lighter than the more full bodied older cousin at one of the Goldmalts.

brewery tour Hanoi

The feeling of beeing outside but sitting inside gives this place an interesting twist together with some other funny facts. After a big amount of beer you can also enter the very expensive equipped night club that is situated in the cellar. A huge place for hundreds of guests and said to be in action almost every night. Service and menu here is like every where else in Hanoi and its quite far away but you wont get any better beer for that price. Address: 319 Tay Son. This place is also very close to Goldmalt at 398 Truong Chinh.

First visit at Legend beer at The Manor,My Dinh                                                             Legend beer has 4 places in Hanoi whereof this is the youngest and also differ in style from the other three.  The style is German. My Dinh is full of korean shops and most customers are also koreans. My Dinh is really different from other parts of Hanoi and the area gives you a feeling of almost being somewhere in Europe.  This Legend beer has two beers on tap.

Legend beer, My Dinh

The black beer had some more taste and structure than the blond lager. Service here is fast and really good and staff are used to foreigners and speaks english. Food here is good and you also little more for it than in other breweries. Many come here to eat seafood, you can see the aquariums by the entrance, full of fish waiting to be served on your plate.Legend beer My Dinh

The manager here is a nice guy and you can find him sipping on beer by the bar desk almost every evening. You get better service here than in the other Legend beers. After this place we went back towards the city to drop of all beer enthusiasts from tonights tour. The time was almost 11 pm when we left which means that almost every brewery in Hanoi was closed. Watch a youtube clip from the visit here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eU0yF5c73Eg

A saviour of the night?                                                                                                                 Maivien Brauhaus kept 2 staff for us to this late hour and we made a important stop here and got beer served directly from the storage barrels. Both blond and black beer is served here, also a special lager which has more hops and malt inside. But all comments this night was about the black one, it’s said before many times,  but the black beer here is really full bodied and tasty. As a thank for our appreciation for the beer, the manager handed out discount cards to all of us. Mai Vien Hanoi

Thirst for a black beer? Even the fish at Maivien brauhaus seems to like it..

Here is the actual map of the tour we took and if you want to find out more about all breweries in Hanoi, read here: http://beervn.com/microbrewerieshanoi/

You can also find video clips from each place at Beervn.com’s youtube chanel: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPVwuxTR9ggy4P_hSfbE1Ew?feature=watchbrewery tour Hanoi

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Happy valentines day beer lovers!

                                    Hops and malt to you all! Goldmalt beer

Enjoy life, life is too short to drink bad beers..Goldmalt Hanoi

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Brewery Phu Quoc

Pictures from Goldmalt 65 Ngo Thi Nam, Hanoi.  with blond and black beer, the cloudy beer is fermented in the ceramic bottles. Third picture is from Legend beer in My Dinh, Hanoi. Last picture if from the brewery at Phu Quoc island, south of Vietnam.

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The brewery at Phu Quoc

Phu Quoc is a Vietnamese paradise island situated south of Cambodia with 85 000 inhabitants and about 100 hotels and resorts. People come here to snorkle in clear waters and visit pepper farms. But now you can add another reason: visiting the local microbrewery! Brewery at Phu Quoc

The brewery at Long Beach Resort                                                                                          The brewery is situated inside Long Beach Resort and the beer is mainly served at their beach restaurant. The ingredients to both beers are imported from Czech Republic and distributed via Hanoi about 5-6 times every year. The brewery is about five years old and both the black and blond beer takes about 3-4 weeks to make. The fermentation process takes about two weeks and then the beer also needs to mature for 1-2 weeks in cooling tanks with a temperature of three degrees celcius. Most of the consumers are guests at the resort and a few others that found their way to the only good beer at Phu Quoc.  The other options are the regular supply of Bia Saigon, Tiger, Heineken, Larue, 333 and also the light beer Bivina (3.8%).

The brewery is more or less unknown like all other 35 microbreweries in Vietnam. Only curious beer enthusiasts could find this place, hidden in a big resort. It’s easy to find the resort and more info about them at their homepage http://www.longbeach-phuquoc.com. Below you can see the boiling barrels in the brewery. They boil about 1000 liter each time so its really a small scale brewery. Cooling room is down stairs, just ask the managers and they will happily show the equipment for you. You can drink beer here but sitting with a big beer in your hand by the beach is a much better recommendation. Watch a video from the brewery here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujvPn2SXsqQ

IMG_6748                           

Beer and burgers                                                                                                                             It sounds very basic, but in Vietnam its impossible to combine a craft beer with a burger. You can’t find burgers in any of all the 24 microbreweries in Hanoi for example, but this combination is available here for a low price. Both beers are almost for free, 27 500 VND each (about one and a half US dollar) and 126 000 VND for a cheese burger with mayonnaise on the side,  mmmm! One nice thing here is that they have other regular bottled beers, but they cost more (and taste less), so there is no reason to drink bad beer here. They serve the regular sea food BBQ, as all other restaurants on Phu Quoc, but have also  vietnamese fusion food and a few western dishes.

Beer and burger

About the beers                                                                                                                             Both beers are quite light bodied, like most lagers, the black beer has less than 4% alcohol and the blond beer has about 4,5%. The black beer has a brown colored foam and notes of coffee and has a light structure with a short after taste. The blond beer which also was the best one has notes of grapefruit and a thicker white, more long lasting foam but could be a bit more carbonated. The IPA lover will be happy with the after notes which offers a slight moment of bitterness in your mouth thanks to a generous hand of hops during the last minutes of the beer boiling  process.

So here’s the star…Microbrewery phu quoc

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Brewery map HCMC

Brewery map HCMC.

The map is updated in January 2014Beer map saigon

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Brewery Map over Hanoi

This list is complete and updated in January 2014

The changes from last map is that several places are added. Goldmalt in Van Phuc and Pragold has closed due to bad business. Goldmalt will open a new place on Lang Ha street and one in Gia Lam district. Beer map HanoiHope fully more places will open in 2014.                                       When it comes to the whole country, as of Today there are about 35 microbreweries. Except from Hanoi and Saigon, its also worth to make a visit in Hai Duong, Hai Phong, Nha Trang, Mui Ne and also maybe Phu Quoc. Next trip will be to Phu Quoc (in February) where we might find a microbrewery.

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First brewery tour 2014, 6 breweries

A journey of joy with extra bonus

The first tour of the year started with full speed. We were 11 thirsty beer lovers that gathered at Hoavien to start the tour with the famous fried cheese and two beers. We made a small inspection of the brewery equipment before heading of to the nearby Goldmalt.

IMG_6154Goldmalt at 65 Ngo Thi Nam, Hanoi

Goldmalt at nr 65 Ngo Thi Nam is quite small but they are currently rebuilding at the second floor and will make it bigger. We were supposed to see them cooking here this day but some technical problems didn’t allow us to. Here they brew 1-2 hundred liters at a time which really is micro so some times they have to fill up with beer from other goldmalts. Both beers here were really good, the black was full bodied and so also the blond one.

VIP cards to all seven  Goldmalts                                                                                     This goldmalt is consistent and here we also met the owner and the man behind Goldmalts brewery equipment, mr Long. Its not easy to get discount cards here in town, so it was a great surprise when Mr Long handed out 11 VIP-cards with 35% discount, valid for all six Goldmalts in Hanoi.35% discount

After that we went a few kilometres to next Goldmalt at 416 Xa Dan to state that they are all individual microbreweries and taste was different. Less malt inside the blond beer at this Goldmalt, a bit better than for three months ago, but not as good as in the first Goldmalt. Black beer was at the moment not served here. So we made the visit short.

gm xa dan

Next stop was Goldmalt at nr 9 Hoang Cau, you can not find this place on the VIP-cards or business cards, only on www.goldmalt.com.vn. Less than one percent of all customers at Goldmalt are foreigners, so we were heavily surprised to see a big group of Czech people at this restaurant this evening. Nha hang Goldmalt

Budweiser Budvar is a Czech beer and soon a Slovakian company will open up one of the biggest Budvar breweries in Vietnam. The beer is served in the US with the name: Czechvar. Today you can get the blond Budvar on tap at 5-6 places in Hanoi.  This place has the blond Goldmalt beer but also the black Budweiser Budvar instead of the black Goldmalt beer. This is the only place that serves the black one on tap. Of all the three Goldmalts, the first one had the best beer and also both kinds. The black Budwar costs 57 000 VND, compared with 34 000 (1 USD) for a black tasty Goldmalt with much more body and flavour than a black Budvar.

Black budvar Hanoi

 

Empty at Legend Beer. This Friday was a slight schock at Legends beer at nr 4 Vu Ngoc Phan. Normally its crowded and people smoke and drink while live bands and artists performs at the stage, today already by 9.30 pm, we were more or less the only customers. Legends, has since two years ago a menu with four kinds of beer, but only two in reality, the blond and the black. German styled lagers with less malt and hops than Goldmalt, also a bit more expensive. (picture below from a previous visit).

4 Vu Ngoc PhanAfter five breweries we ended up at Mai Vien Brauhaus and everyone was impressed by the black beer which is full bodied and full on coffee and chocolate notes. Here a picture of hops pellets used by Maivien Brauhaus. The hops is added during two different times during the boiling of the beer, first amount is for the bitterness and the last hops is added 10 minutes before the end to give the beer extra aroma. For 400 liters of beer, Mai Vien uses about 80-100 kg malt and almost 1.5 kilo Hops.  Picture shows a few gram of Czech sass hops.

hops

The blond beer was also really good and it was hard to say if Goldmalt 65 Ngo Thi Nam, Hoavien or Maivien has the best blond beer in town? There we met a group of expats from the Bia Hoi appreciation group at Mai Vien who use to meet at Bia Hoi but also at microbreweries for a social evening and they also found the beer really tasteful. Its nice to see that more and more people start to drink hand crafted beer in Vietnam.

Next brewery tour will include the Legend Beer in My Dinh and also a place called Pho beer and the Goldmalt at 398 Truong Chinh.

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Top 10 things to do in Mui Ne

Hoavien in Mui Ne

Picture: Entrance of Hoavien in Mui Ne. There are few must do in Mui Ne, here are the most essential for a beer lover and a connoisseur of life. Scroll down and see the full list below.

Microbreweries in Mui Ne                                                                                                             Here we have Hoavien Brauhaus, a five year old microbrewery that serves two beers on tap. This is the youngest Hoavien, the young child between its to parents, Hoavien in Saigon and Hanoi. The setting and location makes it unique, only 10 meters from the sea with a wonderful view and a huge terrace. This is the biggest Hoavien with its 5000 m2 divided on two floors.

Hoa vien Mui Ne

Mui Ne is hardly a town, more of a village with its small population and more or less only one long road through the town. Mui Ne is multi lingual and most restaurants and shops have information in Vietnamese and Russian, if you ask kindly, they might hand out a menu in English also. So also at Hoavien you will notice that 80 % of the customers are Russian and that’s the reason why you can enjoy the Russian techno during late evenings.

Hoa vien

Hoavien in Saigon and Hanoi has 95-99% Vietnamese customers and here only about 20%, but despite that more or less the same menu. Additional to the regular menu, Hoavien in Mui Ne serves a wide range of fresh seafood. Kitchen and service here is fast and good, we ordered the fried cheese and some beers and in five minutes everything was on our table.

bioling barrel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They brew almost every week so if you are lucky you can ask to look in the boiling barrels and feel the wonderful smell of hops and malt dancing together in this sauna of goodness. Hops is added during various times of the boiling process.

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The beer is brewed according to the same recipe as in the other Hoaviens and they use the same cooling systems and regulates storage temperature with proper equipment. From boiling to serving it takes about 3-4 weeks. The blond beer is brewed with pilsner malt and has the same taste as in Hanoi, a hint of bitterness and some grapefruit notes and is a full bodied lager. The black beer has notes of coffee and roasted almonds but is a bit lighter in its body compared to the black beer at Hoavien in Hanoi.   Address: nr 2 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, www.hoavien.vn .

More beer in Mui Ne                                                                                                                           A handful of places are serving Fifth Oceans beer which is brewed in Saigon and also distributed to Hanoi where it is served at Vuvuzelas three bars. Here in Mui Ne it’s not strange its popular, the beer origins from Russia but has another name there…Pyatiy Okean Svetloe. The price is quite high for a lager, around 50 000 vnd for a 3o cl glass.

oceans beer

The taste is reminding about the German Henniger beer which can be found in Hanoi at a few places, it has around 4.5% and is a regular lager but with some more taste of hops than a bottled Hanoi or Saigon beer.  There is a Russian minimarket at nr 53 Nguyen Dinh Chieu that has more than 20 kinds of bottled beers, both imported and Vietnamese beers. Here you can find Red Rock lager (33 cl, 4.8%) which is brewed in Saigon, BGI (33 cl, 3.8%) and beer 999.

 Top 10 things to do in Mui Ne

1. Drink beer at Hoavien in the evening, make a proper tasting

2. Taste Fifth Oceans Beer (compare with Saigon green..)

3. Visit the red and white sand dunes

4. Try all Vietnamese bottled/canned beers

5. Do a wine tasting at the newly built wine castle (RD winery, picture below)

6. Practice some Russian, at least learn the basics

7. Revisit Hoavien but during the day, drink beer, eat fried cheese

8. Drink a radler (50% beer, 50% sprite) at the local German restaurant

9. Make a list of the beers you tried, see if you missed something

10. When you have done all MUST-DO, you can relax a few hours by the beach

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Rise and fall of a brewery

The rise and fall of a brewery in Hanoi

Goldmalt in Van Phuc, first praised and cherished for tasty and full bodied beers, now only 1,5 years later its closed. What happened?

Goldmalt Hanoi

From the local perspective, running a business in Vietnam is difficult and every street in Hanoi is changing frequently when thousands of businesses have to close in less than one year. When it comes to the breweries in Hanoi, most of them have been in beer business at least a couple of years whereof Goldmalt in Van Phuc was the youngest one.

Goldmalt beer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goldmalt opened in the summer of 2012 with a bit watery and unstructured beers. After 4-5 months the taste was improved and beers was really good, surprisingly good. Both the black and the blond one had good structure and body, full of flavours and around 5 % strong. The interior design was the usual but it was brand new so despite the odd location it was nicer to visit that Goldmalt instead of the other ones. A few of us expat beer enthusiasts in Hanoi went there quite often to have some beers and many was offered vip-cards with good discount, cards that later on was handed back in a protest against bad beer.

Goldmalts beer at Swedish national day in June 2013                                             The beer tasted so good so Goldmalt in Van Phuc was asked to serve the beer at the Swedish national day in June 2013 at the Swedish embassy which is situated just 500 m from Goldmalt. They brought 200 litres of beer which was well appreciated at the event. Their beer was also distributed on parties and many of the brewery tours started or passed by the microbrewery.

But in the summer of 2013 the quality fell and a couple of months later the boiling kettles was sold. The last 3-4 month they only served the blond beer but it was unstructured and flat. We understood that the end was close. Most of us beer enthusiasts choose other breweries for our bellowed hobby. In November 2013, after about one and a half year, the microbrewery was closed.

goldmalt

The explanation for the close down was low number of customers. Other factors might have been the lack of marketing, no facebook or web page, no flyers in the area and its location in the end of a small street. Marketing is almost zero for all microbreweries, therefore the most of them survive on customers from the neighbourhood. After trying almost 30 microbreweries in Vietnam you know if a beer is good or not, and during Goldmalts peak period it was one of the best beers in Hanoi.

The brewery equipment is still in Hanoi and hopefully a new brewery can open up with it soon!

The article is also published by Vietnamnet and you can find it here:

http://english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/your-vietnam/92523/the-rise-and-fall-of-a-microbrewery.html

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