Even if you’ve only been in Vietnam a matter of hours, you will know how much everyone beer likes to sink a few beers (us included!). Beer and alcohol production plays a significant role in Vietnam’s economic development, contributing a massive $2.2 billion to the state budget every year. Now, Vietnam has become one of the biggest consumers of beer in Asia, drinking a huge 3.8 billion litres of the stuff in 2016 alone (crazy, right?), and its people are beginning to seek more variety. Add to that the increasing influx of backpackers and expats from the west, who are welcome recipients of a refreshing IPA or a malty stout, and you have a demand for flavours that Ho Chi Minh City’s emerging microbreweries are very happy to meet.
Look beyond Walking Street on Bui Vien, and craft beer in Ho Chi Minh City is really not hard to find. Wet your appetite with this short list of excellent craft beer bars in Ho Chi Minh City, each offering their own vibe and unique range of thirst-quenching ales.
Personally, one of my absolute favourites. With three locations citywide, you are never likely to be too far from a Biacraft. If you only go to one craft beer bar in Ho Chi Minh City, you are unlikely to be disappointed with this one. Priding themselves on offering the most extensive range of craft beers in Vietnam, there is a beer for every taste. Even the menu makes for an entertaining read as each beer sports its own quirky name, such as Let’s Get Naked or Ugly But Vain. Talking of menus, Biacraft’s three locations don’t draw the line at fine artisan ales, their sumptuous food menu offers a whole range of satisfying western classics, from loaded burgers and fiery buffalo wings to caesar salads and steamed mussels. Don’t fancy hanging around? You can grab any one of Biacraft’s drinks to takeaway, canned fresh from the barrel as you wait.
1 Ne Ngo Cat, District 3
90 Xuan Thuy, Thao Dien, District 2
300 Truong Sa, Phu Nhuan District
Boasting their own award-winning range of beverages, the Pasteur Street Tap Rooms are another great option if you are in need of a tasty craft beer in Ho Chi Minh City. Like Biacraft, these bars are dotted around the city in four locations, each offering chilled music and great food in an environment that is both family-friendly and atmospheric. The Taproom at 144 Pasteur Street is a little hard to find, so don’t turn on your heel when it doesn’t jump out at you, just head down the alley and up the stairs around the back! A recent addition of a 3-story location in Phu Nhuan District seems wise for Pasteur, as the popularity of Biacraft’s own bar on the river grows weekly.
144 Pasteur Street, District 1
144/3 Pasteur Street, District 1
47D Hoa Lan, Ward 7, Phu Nhuan District
29 Thao Dien, District 2
Without a doubt, another hotspot in Ho Chi Minh City for sinking a few crafty ones is this place. Labeled as Ho Chi Minh City’s local brewery and situated perfectly in District 1, East West really is at the heart of the craft beer bars in Saigon. A range of incentives entice tourists and locals alike, such as regular happy hours, Kegs & Eggs all-you-can-eat Sunday Brunch, and even brewery tours for those whose thirst for knowledge matches their thirst for artisanal beers. In fact, one of the big draws of East West is its industrial, open-plan design allowing full view of the Brewery, which glistens proudly at the rear of the building. Ponder over the art behind the beer as you slurp appreciatively at the beer in front of you.
181 – 185 Ly Tu Trong Street, District 1
Although an understated venue as far as craft beer bars go in Ho Chi Minh City, this little gem definitely deserves a mention. Serving a fair range of Rooster beers at really affordable prices, the Hen House is an easy option for those passing through and not looking to stray too far from the backpacker area surrounding Bui Vien walking street. Two open-fronted floors allow views of the 23/9 park that homes Saigon Love Lake, and a sizeable menu offering a range of local cuisine only heightens the appeal.
285 Pham Ngu Lao, District 1
The story behind Heart of Darkness Brewery and it’s journey to Saigon is something quite inspiring. Two friends and a eureka moment a few years ago have led to this great brewery now producing over 20 craft beers available all-year-round and a handful of seasonal beers too. As well as creating a great craft beer scene, Heart of Darkness Brewery also host regular live music and stand-up comedy nights. So grab your mates and enjoy a tasty craft beer as you laugh until your belly aches at the up and coming comedians of Vietnam.
31D Ly Tu Trong, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1
With popular beers such as Saigon and Tiger available for less than a dollar almost everywhere you look, it is understandable that a lot of people often overlook the vast array of craft beer bars in Ho Chi Minh City. However, the creation and appreciation of artisanal beers has now become a big part of this city’s offering, so if you really want to sample what Vietnam’s Southern Capital has to offer, drop into one of these great bars the next time you fancy a cold one.
Do you know a great craft beer bar in Ho Chi Minh City that wasn’t mentioned here? Let me know in the comments, we are always keen to try new ones!