10 breweries and pubs in Ho Chi Minh City

Brewery and pub crawl with 10 places in 8 hours

My mission was to visit at least 8 beer establishments this day and maybe more. I landed in Saigon by 11 am and i jumped on the rented motorbike and started my mission.

Big Man beer, German styled lager

I started with the closest three establishments that was a about 1-2 km from the aiport. First i visited the first Big Man beer in Saigon at 4 Phan Dinh Giot and tasted their beer. Big man beer is a German inspired brewery that has establishments in Saigon, Da Lat and Hai Phong. Big man offers a Vietnamese menu and basic service and many of their brewhouses are quite small except in Saigon.

Czech styled beer Saigon

Hoa Vien brauhaus

Hoa Vien Brauhaus (youtube clip here) at 16 Pho Qang had their first brewery in Saigon in 1995 and has since then opened up in Hanoi and Mui Ne, in total five establishments. This one opened in June 2014. All are big and well managed with english speaking managers and staff, despite that you still have a 300 ml beer for 34 000 which is the average price in most microbreweries. Both beers are more full bodied and stronger than previous Big Man beer, hints of cacao in the black beer and a slight fruitiness in the blond one.

Restaurant serving Gammer beer

Czech styled lagers in Saigon                   

Nha hang 85 at 85 Thang Long, Tan Binh serving Gammer beer (youtube clip here). I drove passed this place two times before finding it, it looked so simple so i couldn’t imagine that this place had Gammer beer on tap. This is typical for Vietnam, you cannot judge by the appearance here, it is the inside that counts. Gammer beer has a restaurant both in Hanoi and Saigon and also this outlet. No one spoke english here so the visit was very short and i moved on to the next place.

Nao Beer Saigon

Nao beer at 247 Hoang Hoa Tham is a small pub that has one blond and one black beer on tap for a very cheap price, only 15 000 vnd for a 300 ml glass. Beers are lighter and good refreshers when its very hot outside but much value for the money. Both beers are more dry than fruity and a shorter finish. The name of the beer is Budman beer but are quite similar with Big Man beer.

Lan Anh club Saigon


Lan Anh sport clubAfter this i aimed at Golden Prauge at Lan Anh club, 291 Cach Mang Thang, district 10 (youtube clip here) which was a long ride. I switched from bike to taxi here after after all beers. Here i got surprised to see that they have green beer on the menu except the regular blond and black Czech styled beers that they brew. The green beer is a blond with blue curarao liquer in it and served at festival times which take place every week. Staff were dressed in some Czech insired cloths and you can rest your eyes on a old wolkswagen if you get tired of watching all the dancing. The beers are good and price too, just below 30 000 vnd, both are little more than 5% strong.

Big man beer 1 Pham Viet Chanh

I reach Big Man beer at 1 Pham Viet Chanh (youtube clip here) and this one is easy to find, just in a big roundabout. This one was also very easy to visit, after presenting my self and a paper on vietnamese about beer tasting and my blog, staff got nervous and asked me to leave when they saw my camera. No English speaking staff here either, so i gave up and moved on towards district 7 and a newcomer in town.

Czech beer Vietnam

Goldmalt at 40 Nguyen Thi Tap  (youtube clip here) is brand new and situated in a quiet area by a small river, i also saw a group of guys training their falcons here in the park. Fresh air, fresh beer and a fresh place, The brewery is already in action but the kitchen is not ready yet but will be soon. Goldmalt has 10 brewpubs in Hanoi and have been expanding lately. Their concept is smaller breweries and has plenty of local regulars. For people who like Guinnes, ales and stouts, Goldmalt and Hoa Vien are good options in Saigon while if you prefer lighter lagers and German black beer, Big Man Beer, Gammer and Lion could be your choice.

Mr Long, Goldmalts owner

Here i also met the legendary owner of Goldmalt, Mr Long who has spent 20 years in Czech Republic before he started to build a company here in Vietnam. He lives in Hanoi but this day he was here to meet the water supplier. Goldmalts water is brought from a dwell in Hoa Long about 80 km from Saigon. Mr Long explains that the water in Saigon has high levels of iron and clour which still affects the taste despite that they filter the water before brewing.

Lion Saigon

Lion brewery Saigon                                                                                                                                                            Lion at 11-13 Lam Son Square is the most central brewery and easy to find. Here they brew two German styled beers in a big beer hall. Come here during evenings and weekends to enjoy a buffet or just a few beers, you wont meet so many locals here, more tourists and expats due to the central location. Black and blond beer, lighter body than in Hoa Vien and Goldmalt and more dry than fruity with good strenght and off course a nice foam to attract all foam-loving Germans who can’t to drink beer without foam.

German brewery Saigon

A short ride from here you can visit Brauhof Nguyen Du at 97 Nguyen Du which is another German inspired brewery but much smaller. Prices are higher here and you can have German styled beers on tap and basic service, a good paus before you head for the next place.

Gammer beer


Gammer, czech styled beer

Gammer at 107 Pasteur (youtube clip here) beer is intense but quite cozy and more what you expect how a brewpub shall look like. Here you can see the brewing set in the middle of the restaurant and you can also sit outside. But make sure to book a table here during weekends, it can be quite busy here and specially when they have live perfomances and loud music played outside. Both beers have a dry after taste and reminds a bit of the dryness in Belgian beers and has about 5 % ABV. There is also a Gammer beer in Hanoi (youtube clip here)

Czech food in Vietnam

On my way back i was a bit hungry so i made a stop again at Hoa Vien and had some ribs and delicious potato patties together with a couple of beers before the flight back to Hanoi. I drank mostly the black beer which i found more tasty than a Guinness and good with food. Service here was excellent. I took a Xe Om and was at the airport 7 PM, just to experience that the flight was delayed. At the airport I drank a half can of tiger beer but couldn’t finish it after having so many better beers during my day.

Jonathan Gharbi                                                                                                         www.beervn.com

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Ale and other new beers in Vietnam 2014

There are so many microbreweries making Czech and German styled beer but no ale so far. Until now when ale finally made its entrance here in Vietnam.

Ale in Vietnam

















The first brewery that made an ale was Luoisiane Brewhouse in Nha Trang that has four beers on tap whereof a seasonal ale. The ale is a bit lighter than regular international ales. Another brewery in Nha Trang with several self produced beers on tap was Beerfest-vn that opened in 2014 with five beers on tap. There are also several ongoing projects with craft breweries that hopefully open soon.

microbrewery Nha Trang

The first producer of international styled ale

Platinum beer has been brewing for a while but have only been exported to Australia until a few months ago when they started to distribute it in Ho Chi Minh City. The name is Platinum pale ale. You can’t drink the beer at the brewery, like in all local microbreweries but you can have it at a handful of places in Ho Chi Minh City. One of the places is Quan Ut Ut that also have really nice home made burgers and sausages served together with Platinum ale.

Platinum pale ale in Vietnam

ale in Vietnam















Platinum pale ale is also sold in many Beer clubs in Ho Chi Minh City. Beer clubs is also a new phenomenon in Vietnam that deserves to be mentioned. Beer club is a quite wide concept and can be small or big, some are more like night clubs and some more like beer shops. Some beer clubs have up to five beers on tap while the smaller normally have at least two and a good selection of Belgian beers on bottle. The numbers has increased significant since the end of 2013 and will be the third option for beer consumers after bia hop and microbreweries.

News from the local microbrewery scene                                                                Goldmalt and Hoa Vien Brauhaus opened up new places in Ho Chi Minh City.

Microbrewery Saigon

Goldmalt also opened up three breweries in Hanoi and several new was added to the brewery map over Vietnam. Among the new ones on the map are Golden Lion in Quang Binh, Big Man beer in Da Lat and Hai Phong.

Czech styled brewery Vietnam






Another craft brewery on the way to open in Vietnam

One project is the people behind Upslope Brewing Company in US Colorado that will open Pasteur Street Brewing Company in Ho Chi Minh City together with a local expat and beer enthusiast.

Don’t forget that there also is a growing community of home brewers in Vietnam that are brewing ale and many other beer styles. The oldest group is Vietnam Hobby brewers Saigon but there are also a few in Hanoi that make beer on more or less a weekly basis. If you are interested to make your own beer, visit the beer forum in Vietnam.

This year is great for us beer enthusiasts and there is no doubt that 2014 is the year when the beer scene in Vietnam took a big step towards the future.





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Da Lat and beer?

Story and pictures by guest writer Mark Chambers who lives in Central Highlands of Vietnam. He reports from Da Lat, Nha Trang and Mui Ne.

Despite only a population of about 200,000 there is a very small but popular microbrew bar in the Central Highlands town of Dalat. 

Its not easy to find though and you’d probably want to get a taxi and keep your eyes peeled.  From the V Cafe or Sinh Tourist office, head north on Bùi Thị Xuân till you read the roundabout near the University.  Head north on Phù Đổng Thiên Vương and after about a kilometre you’ll go past a petrol station on the right.  Keep looking to the right and you should see the bar.  If you see an Agribank, turn around you’ve gone too far.

Here’s an accurate map.

German beer Da Lat

The benefit of being hard to find means that a) you know its only locals inside and b) you have an excuse to stay longer, just in case you don’t make it another time.  It seems to open early afternoon and stay open late (which means after 10pm in Dalat). They sit 40-50 people and its often hard to get a table about 7-8pm.

Da Lat beer

Big Man beer Da Lat

They serve two beers – a gold (vàng) and a dark(đen) – which can be bought in 0.3l or 0.5l.  Its all cheap and way better than a tin of 333.  This is probably the lowest price ever in a Big Man Beer, lower than the price of Bia Hoi. There’s a large food menu, in Vietnamese, though a couple of the staff speak enough English that you can order basic dishes.  A dictionary on your smartphone helps too.

Da Lat beer

My vague and unreliable tasting notes:

The Gold was cold but should probably have been colder.  Not a strong aroma but a hint of citrus can be detected.  It tastes like a lager (which is never my drink of choice), sweetish and floral and isn’t overly bubbly.  I could probably drink a few on a hot day.
The dark was warmer and less gassy but thats not a bad thing. It smells a bit like a bonfire.   It has a stronger flavour than the gold but manages to taste watery.  A bit like a basic homebrew beer.  Its best described as a dark malty lager.

We also ordered prawns in beer which came raw, over a flame and we watched it cook on the table. It was yummy and a bargain for 75,000.  They have a huge menu, broken down into food types, and all pretty good value.  Hot pots were 130,000d.

Da Lat beer and food

The beer is brewed in Ho Chi Minh and shipped up here so not a brewery bar but still, its nice to see draught beer and the fact its busy every time I walk past shows the locals think so too. Big Man beer is brewed in both Saigon and in Vinh Phuc province in northern Vietnam.

Mark Chambers, Da Lat. Beervn.com’s guest writer from Central Highlands

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A visit to the first microbrewery in Ninh Binh


The first microbrewery in Ninh Binh

(This is the first of a serie of articles written for http://www.citypassguide.com)

Visitors come here to see the “Halong Bay on land” and the ancient capital of Hoa Lu. We went here to visit the local microbrewery, Vissai. After 2 hours driving from Hanoi, we entered the small, sleepy city of Ninh Binh surrounded by the beautiful limestone karsts for which the area is known. Story by Jonathan Gharbi for Citypassguide.com Read the full story here.

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All about Vietnams beer culture

The Hidden Treasures of Vietnam

(written by Jonathan Gharbi for the travel site http://www.smilingalbino.com)

Goldmalt beer
Vietnam is a popular destination for many adventurous tourists to enjoy street food, pagodas and beautiful landscapes. One other distinct experience is the Bia Hoi beer which predominantly can be found along the narrow streets of Hanoi. Bia Hoi is a fast produced and light beer made of rice, malt and sugar, often served more or less directly at the street.  Bia Hoi is not just the beer itself, it’s also a social concept and experience which includes beer and food, consumed by all social groups under simple circumstances. It’s a tradition that many deals and contracts are sealed during long dinners with food and plenty of beer….

Read the full article here: http://www.smilingalbino.com/planetasiatravelchannel/2014/07/bia-hoi-all-about-vietnam-beer-culture/


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Czech styled microbrewery in Dong Hoi

Czech styled beer

There are today 46 known microbreweries in Vietnam. Number 46 is Golden Lion, a Czech styled brewery in Quang Binh province in central Vietnam. The brewery is easy to find in the provincial capital and situated at Nguyen Huu Canh street in Dong Hoi city. They serve two Czech styled beers on tap, one blond and one black. The province is known for beautiful beaches and now also for its local microbrewery!

Microbrewery nr 46 in Vietnam! 

Beer cnetral Vietnam

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Beer tasting at Louisiane Brewhouse in Nha Trang

Story and pictures by guest writer Mark Chambers who lives in Central Highlands of Vietnam. He reports from Da Lat, Nha Trang and Mui Ne.


Beer tasting at Luisiane Brewhouse, Nha Trang                                                              I just had a weekend trip down to Nha Trang (from Dalat) and my top priority was to check out the microbreweries there. I was very excited to see the large menu of beers in Louisiane.  It has an excellent location right on the beach in the middle of tourist town which is handy but means its expensive.  Hence I only tried the beer and not the food. Beers on offer were the Pilsner, Dark Lager, Witbier and Special (Summer Ale), all costing 40,000 for a 330ml glass.

Nha Trang

They had various sizes all the way up to 5 litre ‘kegs’ complete with tap.  It seemed that the dark lager is favoured by the fairer sex – I only saw women drinking it.  The crowd was mostly Vietnamese families making an evening of it so we sat at the bar and had a tasting tray.  They had a nice looking pool in the middle of the restaurant but it remained undisturbed the two times we visited.    I asked about the brewery tours they mention on the menu but they weren’t running as Sean the brewer was back in his native Australia.  They did offer to show me around the next morning but we had plans to sit on a deck chair all day.

Heres my very basic tasting notes:

Pils –  Hoppy.  Dry. Flavour overload after a month of 333.  Loved it

Wit – Not cloudy at all.  Citrusy. Flowerery and fresh tasting.  Good in the heat.  Not sure I want a pint of it but Wheat is not my normal drink.

Special (Summer) – More hoppy than expected.  A little sweetness on after-taste.  Not as fruity or spicy as expecting but maybe I’m tainted by drinking a very spicy/fruity Summer Ale back in New Zealand.  Not my favourite,  but my girlfriend had 2 glasses of it.

Dark – Roast, Malty,  Coffee.  Might be my favourite if I wasn’t sweating so much.

All in all I loved the place and had another glass of the Pils the next day.

nha trangLouisiana brewhouse Nha Trang




Afterward I wanted to go to the Beerfest brewery but its made in the Maritime hotel which is a few kilometers south and I didn’t feel up to driving but had heard it was available at the E-Land Four Seasons restaurant, on the seafront road, just north of the Lotus monument.  We headed there and it was now about 8 pm and there was a dreadful cabaret going on. The focus was definitely on entertainment rather than beer.

Tasting the beers from Beerfest brewery

The beer list was simply stated as: Lager/Red/Green/Black/Yellow as you can see below. I had a Red which I assume was a red ale.  It could have been nice but I was so overwhelmed by the loud music I couldn’t focus.  My girlfriend had a Yellow which was a wheat beer and not bad but again, spoiled by the atmosphere.

Nha Trang

We left after one beer and so I can’t comment on the others.  I did notice another sign for the Beerfest beers in a bar in Biet Thu street but didn’t go in.  It was just to the right of Perfume Grass Inn at number 4. A full story from beerfest brewery will come soon from another correspondent who visited beerfest recently. More in next article.

 Mark Chambers, Nha Trang. Beervn.com’s guest writer from Central Highlands

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Brewery map Vietnam

There are 45 microbreweries in Vietnam,  discover them. Print out this map and start immediately.

brewery map vietnam

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Home brewing in Vietnam

There are a hopeless group of beer enthusiasts in Vietnam who doesn’t drink industrial beer or satisfy themselves with a visit in one of the 40 local microbreweries that we have in Vietnam. People who just have to make it complicated by mixing several kinds of malt and hops with other ingredients to make real hand crafted beer.

Belgian styled beer on keg


 Belgian saison on tap

Above:  Charlie, Ludo and Jonathan from Hanoi home brewers are tasting some hand crafted Belgian saison based on pilsner malt and some hand roasted malt, premiant hops (Czech) together with orange peel and hibiscus. 

Can you have a proper IPA in Vietnam?

Yes, only if you are a active member in the brewing clubs in Saigon and Hanoi. But their activity is increasing and since the demand for other beers than lager styled beers are high, its just a matter of months before we all can go somewhere and have a proper IPA or a tasty belgian styled beer on tap. This summer, happiness was spread to a bigger crowd than a few beer enthusiasts on a small roof top. Two kinds of ale was delivered on keg and served to an enthusiastic crowd at the Swedish embassy in Hanoi.

beer at swedish embassy

hanoi home brewers

Above: Charlie delivered 40 liter IPA on tap for the national day event at the Swedish embassy, 6 June this summer which was very appreciated. Goldmalt was also delivering their Czech styled black and blond beer on tap, so it was like a small beer festival this evening.

Hobby brewers Vietnam Saigon                                                                                                A group of brewers that frequently make beer together since 2008, the oldest brew club in Vietnam. Visit their webpage: http://hobbybrewer-vietnam.de.tl

craft beer Vietnam

They have a lot of experience when it comes to both brewing and distilling. They do also many other things, above are some bottles with hand crafted whiskey. They rotate their meetings between one of the local microbreweries in Saigon and do also have the latest updates on the local beer scene. They have attended at a number of events and exhibitions in Saigon and experiment with a big variety of malt and hops. You can buy most things here in Vietnam and there are a couple of importers of malt and hops.

saigon home brewers

hand crafted beer Vietnam






Above: Fermentation barrels and hand crafted beer served from a bottle.

Hanoi Home Brewers                                                                                                                  Started up a few months ago and have hade weekly brews the whole summer.  A few years ago we had the Hanoi brewers guild active in Hanoi but since they ended their activities, there was a few years without any home brewing club in Hanoi.  Hanoi home brewers meet every week and make a new batch of beer, from Belgian styled beers, to different ales and a few experimental beers too. Watch a video clip from the latest brewing session in June: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6jo7aD7vAY

brewers Hanoi

Beer kegs





Above: a simple machine for malt roasting and some beer kegs and glass bottles.

hanoi home brewers

Hanoi home brewers





Above: malt waiting to be used. Mashing and boiling barrel. John and Ian making a experimental beer with orange peel, chili, hibiscus and cardamom.

Forum for home brewers and beer interested people                                                 There is a forum for all beer interested people and specially for home brewers in Vietnam. Here you can come in contact with others or get the latest info about beer and local breweries in Vietnam. Web: beervn.freeforums.net

Is there any craft brewery i can visit today?                                                                         There are about 40 local microbreweries in Vietnam that produce 2-3 kinds of beer, but none that experiment and try to find new recipes. There are a few entrepreneurs that have plans to open a craft brewery and offer several different styles and beers, in particular some IPA which can’t be found yet. There are plans and there are brewers. Some told me that they will open after this summer, i wish them all the best in their preparations and hope their (and mine) dreams will come through.

Ale in Vietnam?

home brewers Hanoi






Cheers to all home brewers and beer lovers in Vietnam!


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A different pub crawl in Hanoi

Do a different pubcrawl in Hanoi. Instead of running round in the Old Quarter, take a taxi to this area or local bus nr 50 from Tay Ho.

beer tour Hanoi

There are today 10 Goldmalt breweries in Hanoi and this one is quite new, 8 month old, situated in a very interesting area if you want to do a pub crawl. Trung Yen is full of small bia hoi places and you can also find some Saigon special on keg, which is SABECO:s answer to Bia hoi. Bia Hoi is made by HABECO which are dominating in the north of Vietnam. Like Bia Hoi Hanoi, this beer is also made of rice mixed with regular malt, contains a minimum of hops and has a very light taste and mouthfeel. Anyhow, that can be a good start of a pub crawl in this area, within 10 min walking disatnce you have also Mai Vien Brauhaus and Truc Vien, both making Czech styled beer.

Watch a video clip of this brewery, filmed from the motorbike! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BOO4xxEoBA

Czech beer on tap Hanoi

There are english speaking staff and service is good. The black beer has strong notes of coffee, the result of a intense roasting and has a lighter body than in Goldmalt at 34 Tran Phu. The blond beer is also a bit lighter in its body and more of a tasty lager. The strenght is good in both beers which approximately is about 5 %.

Czech beer in Hanoi

Vietnamese art

The interior design is different from other goldmalts and instead of pictures from Czech Republic and Germany they have paintings with ethnic vietnamese motives. The address is: 12b Trung Yen 3, district Cau Giay, Hanoi

The menu is Vietnamese and they have also aquariums with fish waiting to be delievered upon request. As usual, the safe cards; honey grilled ribs, morning glory and french fries is a good combination with beer.

Ribs and black beer


Start with a lighter beer first…

Start first with a short visit at Hai San Gio Bien at 21 Nguyen Khang, a few hundred meters before Goldmalt Trung Yen. Order a minikeg with 2 liter of Saigon special biahoi, light taste, light body and with a white foam. Price is about 70 000 vnd for 2 liter. Here you can see Emil from Sweden and the Beerman having a proper tasting of this mini keg.

bia hoi from saigon

Walk a few hundred meters to Goldmalt Trung Yen and have a few beers. After that walk 5 minutes to Mai Vien Brauhaus at 145 Trung Hoa where two full bodied Czech styled beers are waiting to be tasted. Watch a Video clip of Mai vien Brauhaus: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RT310zPhSv0

Czech beer in Hanoi

If you still are thirsty. Walk along Trung Hoa street until the big crossing and 100 m to the right to enter Truc Vien that has interpreted the Czech beer style their way. They have also one black and one blond beer on tap. Address: 40 Tran Duy Hung, district Cau Giay, Hanoi Video clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olALOc3NuPo

If you still are thirsty.. well there are 20 more breweries in Hanoi to visit.. find them all at https://beervn.com/microbrewerieshanoi/



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