Guidebook Beer is everywhere


Beer is everywhere

The French colonial oppressors introduced beer to stop people wrecking themselves on dodgy rice spirit, explains Travel Dudes. “The pilsner beer halls are a result of people studying in former communist nations back in the days when everyone still knew the words to the Internationale … but the leftovers of colonial rule -- the bia hois -- are still working men’s brew halls while the results of the egalitarian international brotherhood are there mostly for the rapidly emerging middle class.” Initially the French were “only interested in importing wine from the motherland to Vietnam,” says Food Republic, “but they switched first to importing beer, and then to brewing it themselves at the end of the 19th century after a devastating case of phylloxera disease wrought havoc on the French vineyards.”

A night out drinking in Vietnam used to mean one thing, says By Dan Tham on CNN -- “sipping Bia Hoi, a local draft beer with 3% alcohol content, from a tiny stool on the sidewalk.” But “feather-light lagers aren't the only game in town anymore … the country's craft beer scene is booming.” While stalwart brands such as Tiger, Saigon Beer, and Bia Hoi still account for the lion's share of that consumption, artisan brewers “are providing a real alternative.” Bia hoi has a 24-hour shelf life, explains Rough Guides, “which means the better places sell out by early evening, and that you’re unlikely to be drinking it into the wee hours.” In the south, “you’re more likely to be drinking bia tuoi (‘fresh’ beer), a close relation of bia hoi but served from pressurized barrels.”

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