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!
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
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.
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.