Home Brewing in Vietnam

by Jonathan Gharbi of BeerVN
There are a hopeless group of beer enthusiasts in Vietnam who doesn’t drink industrial beer or satisfy themselves with a visit in one of the 40 local microbreweries that we have in Vietnam. People who just have to make it complicated by mixing several kinds of malt and hops with other ingredients to make real hand crafted beer.

Above:  Charlie, Ludo and Jonathan from Hanoi home brewers are tasting some hand crafted Belgian saison based on pilsner malt and some hand roasted malt, premiant hops (Czech) together with orange peel and hibiscus. 
Can you have a proper IPA in Vietnam?
Yes, only if you are a active member in the brewing clubs in Saigon and Hanoi. But their activity is increasing and since the demand for other beers than lager styled beers are high, its just a matter of months before we all can go somewhere and have a proper IPA or a tasty belgian styled beer on tap. This summer, happiness was spread to a bigger crowd than a few beer enthusiasts on a small roof top. Two kinds of ale was delivered on keg and served to an enthusiastic crowd at the Swedish embassy in Hanoi.

Above: Charlie delivered 40 liter IPA on tap for the national day event at the Swedish embassy, 6 June this summer which was very appreciated. Goldmalt was also delivering their Czech styled black and blond beer on tap, so it was like a small beer festival this evening.
Hobby brewers Vietnam Saigon                                                                                                A group of brewers that frequently make beer together since 2008, the oldest brew club in Vietnam. Visit their webpage: http://hobbybrewer-vietnam.de.tl

They have a lot of experience when it comes to both brewing and distilling. They do also many other things, above are some bottles with hand crafted whiskey. They rotate their meetings between one of the local microbreweries in Saigon and do also have the latest updates on the local beer scene. They have attended at a number of events and exhibitions in Saigon and experiment with a big variety of malt and hops. You can buy most things here in Vietnam and there are a couple of importers of malt and hops.

Above: Fermentation barrels and hand crafted beer served from a bottle.
Hanoi Home Brewers                                                                                                                  Started up a few months ago and have hade weekly brews the whole summer.  A few years ago we had the Hanoi brewers guild active in Hanoi but since they ended their activities, there was a few years without any home brewing club in Hanoi.  Hanoi home brewers meet every week and make a new batch of beer, from Belgian styled beers, to different ales and a few experimental beers too. Watch a video clip from the latest brewing session in June: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6jo7aD7vAY

Above: a simple machine for malt roasting and some beer kegs and glass bottles.

Above: malt waiting to be used. Mashing and boiling barrel. John and Ian making a experimental beer with orange peel, chili, hibiscus and cardamom.
Forum for home brewers and beer interested people                                                There is a forum for all beer interested people and specially for home brewers in Vietnam. Here you can come in contact with others or get the latest info about beer and local breweries in Vietnam. Web: beervn.freeforums.net
Is there any craft brewery i can visit today?                                                                         There are about 40 local microbreweries in Vietnam that produce 2-3 kinds of beer, but none that experiment and try to find new recipes. There are a few entrepreneurs that have plans to open a craft brewery and offer several different styles and beers, in particular some IPA which can’t be found yet. There are plans and there are brewers. Some told me that they will open after this summer, i wish them all the best in their preparations and hope their (and mine) dreams will come through.

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