Vietnam ranks among the top beer-consuming countries in Asia but, until recently, there’s not been much to choose from other than generic lagers. In the past year, however, craft brewing has exploded in popularity. In Ho Chi Minh City (or Saigon as it’s casually called), several new breweries and tasting rooms have opened in the past three months alone. Here are some of the best spots to sample the local microbrews.
Pasteur Street Brewing Co.
Founded in 2015, Pasteur Street Brewing Co. is among the pioneers in Saigon’s craft-beer scene. Its brew masters have developed more than 70 varieties, some drawing from local ingredients such as tropical fruit and spices. A few of its beers, such as Jasmine IPA and Passionfruit Wheat, are available throughout Vietnam, but visit its taproom for a rotating selection of varieties you won’t find anywhere else.
Heart of Darkness Brewery
Heart of Darkness Brewery’s tasting room has a cosy, brick interior and an airy, outdoor garden. Five of its beers are available at the pub and around the city. Fifteen rotating, small-batch brews are available only at its bar. “We’ve something for beer aficionados and something for newbies,” says founder John Pemberton. Sacred Fire Golden is an easy-to-drink ale that introduces newcomers to the craft-beer scene, Kurtz Insane is a hyper-hoppy IPA with a long, crisp finish, while Chocolate Chili Stout offers a rich and spicy zing.