Craft Beer Vietnam
Craft Beer Vietnam is here and it’s here to stay. Last week we at Wide Eyed Tours had the pleasure of experiencing the Hanoi Original Craft Brewery tour, the first of its kind, and they knocked it out of the park!
On the way our tour guide Brian told us about the history of beer in Vietnam, from how Vietnamese public have only recently started liking and drinking beer to how craft beer has become the new phenomenon.
Baretts Brewery was started by a young Vietnamese guy called Van, who went to Germany to learn the craft then came back to Hanoi and perfected his brewing. The master crafter himself showed us around his brewery and we were lucky enough to sample 3 different beers directly from the vats. All of their equipment and also the mash is imported from Germany, however Van has added some Vietnamese flavours like lemongrass. After checking out the brewery, we were guided into the adjoining restaurant and sampled three of their beers with traditional Vietnamese food. The beers were paired with particular dishes and their respective quintessential sauce for the pièce de résistance.
From here we travelled to Cau Giay district to visit the famous Hanoi Ale house. Here, we sampled some craft beer from Saigon, including an IPA with an I.B.U (bitterness factor of over 60%). This turned out to be my second most preferred beer of the night because I love the ‘hoppiness’ flavour which makes it so bitter, like all good IPAs. At the end of each visit we would vote and discuss our favourite beer from the three we had just sampled. At three of the stops, there was delicious food to pair with the beers.
Our next stop brought us to Furbrew, another famous craft brewery in Hanoi. This one definitely had the feeling of home brew and indeed the master brewer Tomas has personally crafted over 80 beers there. He showed us around his micro brewery and then we got to try his unique phở beer (pronounced ‘fur’ hence the name of the brewery). This beer blew me away with its spicy complex flavours based on my favourite Vietnamese noodle dish of the same name! We liked it so much we picked up some bottles to take home. We also tried two of his other ales but without a doubt the phở beer was the standout of the evening for me.
Our final stop was at the Fat Pig, a beautiful little restaurant that overlooks West Lake and is famous for its smoked meats. Once again the food pairing was delicious and this time with Saigon’s Pasteur Street beers, one of the first craft breweries in the country. Apart from their classic Jasmine IPA, we also sampled two very distinctive beers here. The passion fruit wheat ale was very tangy just like the fruit and yet the IBU was surprisingly low. The evening was rounded off with a lovely coffee porter which had smooth tones of chocolate and caramel as well as a distinctive coffee flavour and even elements of Guinness.
We would recommend booking this with us to to any foodie, who likes beer, even if you have never tried craft beer but especially if you have. Not only does it give you a wonderful introduction to this new liquid phenomenon, which is catching on around the globe, but more than that the detail that has gone into this tour can not be praised highly enough. We will certainly be encouraging our friends and family to try it out on their next visit to Hanoi. Happy drinking in Hanoi. Một, hai, ba . . . .
Contact us today to book your Craft Beer Vietnam Tour.