Just in recent years, Ho Chi Minh City became known for its craft beer scene. I made this tour for craft beer lovers like me who want to try all the city’s unique beers, even if they have a limited amount of time.
Visiting the breweries in the order I suggest below adds up to only 2.7 km (1.7 miles) of walking. However, you can get a taxi (or order a Grab motorbike taxi for extra fun) anywhere along the route.
A note on the price of craft beer in Vietnam
Though domestic beer is very cheap in Vietnam, craft beer remains about the same cost as in the United States or in Europe. You can expect to pay about 120,000 VND for a 500 mL pint-sized glass of any of the beers described below. Because these taprooms are mostly catered toward towards and expats, many accept credit cards.
1. Rooster Beers
Rooster Beers has the plainest beers of the breweries listed here, but that’s all part of their brand. This no-frills beer maker prides itself on making “classic beers” with names like: Blonde, Pale, Dark, Wit, IPA, and Pilsner.
You can find their beer at many locations throughout the city, but for this tour, I recommend the Chicken Coop in the Backpacker District.
Travelers on a budget: This is the place where you’ll want to eat. Their menu is full of fairly-priced options cooked at their other location and deliver to the taproom by motorbike—an experience in itself!
Daily, 7 a.m. – 2 a.m.
The taproom in the Backpacker District is actually C-Brewmaster’s second location. The first was in Hanoi.
Of the breweries on this list, C-Brewmaster is the only one first started by a Vietnamese brewer.
Go here to try some truly funky beers with Vietnamese ingredients like Pho Essence, literally made with the spices and herbs that go into pho. Others include Sticky Rice Stout, Vietnamese Litchi IPA, Belle Passion Fruit, Ginger Genie, and Cool Mint Pale Ale.
Daily, 4 p.m. – 12 a.m.
3. Winking Seal Beer Co. Taproom
Some of their year-round beers include the One-Eye Imperial IPA (10.1% ABV, 101 IBU), the Love More Lemongrass Blonde Ale (6.1% ABV, 19 IBU), and the Năm Năm Năm Cream Ale (5.6% ABV, 13 IBU) “patio beer.”
Winking Seal’s taproom also serves American food including fries, burgers, fried fish, wings, and desserts. For vegetarians, they have a Mediterranean “Garden Green” burger with falafel for 150,000 VND. View their menu.
Happy hour daily from 5-7pm and 10-11pm with 50% off all house beer pints.
Daily, 3 p.m. – 12 a.m.
4. BiaCraft Artisan Ales
BiaCraft Artisan Ales boasts that it has “the most extensive collection of craft beers in Vietnam.” And they’re right. You can find beer from every brewer on this list there, plus even more.
That’s what makes it such a great catch-all to round out your tour. It’s the perfect place to stop by and try the beers you might have missed during other stops on the tour.
Plus, they have a great food menu. You can get all sorts of familiar drinking foods like fries, nachos, burgers, and even oysters or mussels. Of course, all of these options are way more expensive than local street food, but for me, it was a welcome taste of home. The quality is amazing and so is the presentation.
Daily, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
5. Pasteur Street Brewing Company
Pasteur Street Brewing Company opened their first taproom in 2015. It’s located on, you guessed it, Pasteur Street in District 1. They also have a taproom across the alley featuring a rooftop terrace.
Oh, plus they also have locations in Thao Dien, District 7, and in Hanoi in Northern Vietnam. View the Taprooms page on their site for more details.
“That’s what craft beer is all about,—John Reid, Founder, Forbes Magazine
itsabout experimentation and innovation. We are basically doing a US-style craft beer but with Vietnamese ingredients.”
Their flagship beer is the Jasmine IPA (6.5% ABV, 50 IBU), which is also my favorite craft beer in Vietnam (so far). The flowery jasmine flavor is subtle but still distinguishable, which I love. You can find the Jasmine IPA and their Passionfruit Wheat (4% ABV, 15 IBU) at several higher-end restaurants across Ho Chi Minh City.
Other year-round beers include their Cyclo Imperial Chocolate Stout, Saigon Saison, and Coffee Porter.
Daily, 4 p.m. – 12 a.m.
6. Heart of Darkness
Heart of Darkness has two taprooms in HCMC—one in District 1 and another in District 2. They have at least 20 different craft beers available at any given time, according to their website.
This is another great location to grab a last bite of food before heading back for the night.
Their flagship beers include a number of IPAs and pale ales—my favorites—as well as a cucumber pilsner and a number of stouts/porters.
31D Lý Tự Trọng, Bến Nghé, District 1, Hồ Chí Minh City, Vietnam
Daily, 11 a.m. – 12 a.m.