Saigon’s Craft beer scene has exploded in the recent years in a way which is unprecedented in the rest of South East Asia. Vietnam’s friendly business environment (unlike neighboring Thailand, for example), its young population, as well growing tourism have enabled an explosion of microbreweries, brewpubs and craft beer bars. This can be seen at its strongest in Saigon, the economic powerhouse and largest city of Vietnam. While Hanoi is catching up, it still cannot compare to the variety and quality of beers available in the former capital of french colonial Cochinchina, where brewers have done a great job at combining international trends in craft beer with locally sourced ingredients and traditional vietnamese flavours.
Prices for craft beer in Vietnam, while high compared to the cost of other goods such as food or regular beer, are low for western standards. A pint will set you back between 90k-100k dong (About 3.5-4 euro/dollars). From the ones we tried, the following brewers and pubs were the highlights.
Pasteur Street Brewing Company
Probably the most famous craft beer producer in Vietnam at the moment, Pasteur beers can be found in many places across Vietnam. Their brewpub on Pasteur Street is accessed through an inner courtyard and has a cross of vintage and modern feel (as its logo design implies). The beer menu stands out with regards to the amount of detail given to the products used for each beer. This really gives it a personal feel and reflects the passion they put into their beers. While the number of different beers in offer is not huge, the variety is high and well balanced.
Heart of Darkness
This large brewpub with several floors and a terrace on the ground floor has a very rock/grungy atmosphere. Their beer is quite popular in craft beer bars across vietnam. The variety of beer they produce is quite large, with about 20 taps in the bar including flagships as well as seasonal beers. Special mention for the New England IPA as well as the Cacao Nib Porter. The staff is friendly and they usually have live music playing on one of the top floors. Has a kind of american-pub feel to it.
Small bar offering craft beer with a rooftop terrace, that has to be accessed via a narrow doorway and some stairs that can be a bit hard to find, giving it a “speakeasy” kind of feel. Hipstery/blade-runner atmosphere, with graffiti, some vintage video-game machines and neon lights. While the variety is not huge, it is nice to sit on the terrace and have the contrasts of modern and old Saigon in full view.
Large craft beer bar in a sort of small warehouse with an industrial/hipster atmosphere to it. With almost 50 taps, this is probably the bar with the biggest variety on offer that you can find in Vietnam.
Craft beer bar right in the center of Saigon, where the nightlife is at its strongest, thus ideal for a stop during a night out. While most other places in this list close at midnight or even earlier, Malt Saigon is open until 1 AM.