Over a year ago, when I was preparing to move to Vietnam, I had some emotional preparation to do. Coming from the land of plenty, (of beer) to Asia, I knew the choices would be slim, based on my time in Korea. I was not wrong. Vietnam has several breweries, but they all made basically the same thing. Not to say I will not spotlight some on here. I do believe there are some worth pointing out. Just, the idea of having a nice hop balanced IPA or even a Saison was expected impossible to get. Sure, some bars would offer "American" beers, but only the usually crap I have tried to avoid my whole life. (Interesting side note, it was here in Hanoi I tried, like really tried, a Bud for the first time. Needless to say, it was gross. Didn't help it was warm)
My last night in New York was spent with friends, enjoying some thin crust pizza and the last of my beer stock. That which of course included finally opening that rye barrel aged stout I have been saving for a couple of years, making it four years old at that point. Convinced that would be the last one for many months to come.
It was only a couple of months in that I found out about a craft beer festival. I would have thrown any amount of money at it for a ticket. Luckily, it was not expensive as most things here. Your usual expat price. It was there I had a craft beer for the first time, Kingtide IPA from Bach brewing. A New Zealand brewery. It was such an amazing thing just to smell an IPA again. I will say, the taste only left me with more to desire. Then I came across Pasteur Street brewery. The guys from down in Ho Chi Minh City. I was blown away. For the next few months, I equally enjoyed their Jasmine IPA and Saigon Saison.
Still, part of me felt a hole in my heart. To me, craft beer was something improved by choice. Sure the brews from Pasteur Street offered some relief from the average offerings of Asian beer, (though I will say I do not mind a session of Bia Hoi on occasion.) but I still desired something more. That is when I heard from a friend of a new brewery was on its way. This was back in May, and we had to wait until June for a taste, and then July for their brew pub to open. Furbrew was the arrival of craft beer Hanoi needed. Sure, Barrett came about in that time, but Furbrew was the craft culture I missed. Republic also joined the race with now ten tabs of local microbrews, including Barrett. Craft beer had arrived.
At first, it seemed daunting where I begin my posting of which brewery. Sure Pasteur Street was first, but look at my blogs name and it would be a sin to start with someone from down south. The only logical answer is Furbrew. Look for my next post of my feelings opening night.