Beyond Beer: Unveiling the Saigon Craft Brewery Experience
When it comes to craft beer in Vietnam, Saigon unquestionably wears the crown. Nowhere else has witnessed the transformation of craft beer into a shared passion uniting both artisans and connoisseurs. Picture this: on a splendid day, casually scrolling through my Facebook feed, an enticing ad for a craft brewery nestled in the city's heart beckoned me. Admittedly, I'm not one to be easily swayed by ads, but what truly piqued my interest were the gleaming rows of beer fermenters, reminiscent of a European brewery. It felt as though they were speaking directly to me. And so, I couldn't resist the temptation to step inside and embark on a tasting adventure with these intriguing "craft" brews, all for a wallet-friendly 250K, with four hours of unlimited exploration. It was as if they had tailored this experience just for me.
Phu Thuy Brewery
Phu Thuy craft beer workshop244/1 Huỳnh Văn Bánh, Phường 11, Phú Nhuận, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
The experience at this charming little brewery piqued my interest, and it lived up to my expectations. This brewery welcomes visitors from 11 am to 9:30 pm, and should you decide to linger past 9pm, a modest 100.000 Dong additional fee applies. The ground floor of the establishment boasts a cozy ambiance with tables and chairs. All you need to do is inform the owner ahead of time, select your preferred seat, take charge of pouring your own beer, and relish it – much like a beer buffet.
What truly sets this 'brewery' apart is its exclusive focus on beer. You have the freedom to order food separately, opt for delivery, or even bring your own, all without incurring any extra charges. It felt tailor-made for folks like me who relish pairing their favorite dishes with exceptional beer. Finding a place that excels in both delectable cuisine and outstanding beer is a rare gem.
While it's a bit regrettable that this brewery is discreetly nestled within a narrow alley on Huynh Van Banh Street, with limited space and greenery, you'll find yourself seated in an air-conditioned room. Admittedly, the room size can be somewhat compact, allowing the scent of food to occasionally dominate the atmosphere
When it comes to beer, tap beer stands as the ultimate expression.
Despite the label of "craft beer," many breweries opt to package their creations in bottles or cans, making them supermarket companions to mass-produced factory beer. The drawback of such packaging lies in the fact that, while the flavor may be superior to ordinary beers brands, sipping from a bottle or can falls short of the immersive experience that comes with pouring from a tap – even if it comes at a higher price point compared to market beer.
The true charm of craft beer shines when you find yourself in a vibrant ambiance, surrounded by like-minded souls who share an unwavering passion for this brewed elixir. In these settings, beer flows freely from taps into 5 or 6 glasses, leaving ample room for the frothy crown. The beer is served at a crisp, ice-cold temperature, a delight for connoisseurs.
The proprietor revealed the simple trio of ingredients that give birth to beer: malt, hops, and yeast. Malt is the primary source of fermentable sugars, making it the cornerstone of beer. Hops, on the other hand, not only act as a natural preservative but also bestow each brew with its unique aroma. Lastly, yeast takes the reins in determining the alcohol content of the beer.
While this may sound elementary, the brewing process, fine-tuning of ingredients, and the craft of crafting a brewery's unique recipe all fall under the watchful and innovative eye of the brewmaster. This sets it apart from the consistent taste found in the offerings of major beer brands on the market.
The question of why high-percentage beers often carry a bitter undertone arose. The answer lies in the varying preferences for hop-induced bitterness among beer enthusiasts. High alcohol content doesn't necessarily translate to a bitter flavor profile; it's entirely feasible to craft a high-alcohol beer with a sweeter disposition.
Seizing the moment, I embarked on a photographic journey through the brewery upstairs, a scene reminiscent of a meticulously organized.
I took the opportunity to capture numerous pictures of the brewery upstairs
Weekend Bonus: Indulge in Pizza and Music at Indika
Indika Saigon (House of Curiosity)43 Nguyễn Văn Giai, Đa Kao, Quận 1, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh 710359, Vietnam
After enjoying several beers at the Wizard Brewery, I hurried over to Indika to grab a pizza and listen to some music. Although this place doesn't offer as many beers as the Wizard Brewery, it makes up for it with a vibrant, unique atmosphere, and the indie vibe that Saigon is known for.