There are a lot of reasons to visit the countries of South East Asia, but tasty beer probably isn’t on many people’s lists. Temples, markets, street food, jungles, and … fizzy flavorless lager. The general traveler consensus is that Beer Lao, the eponymous beer of People’s Democratic Republic, is the best available. And not only is Beer Lao quite good, but there is a Dark Beer Lao that is very nearly decent.
Vietnamese beers (meaning, precisely, the beers available in Vietnam more so than beers brewed there) do not have as heady a reputation. However, we found them to be the best in South East Asia. Firstly, they’re cheap–as little as 50 cents for a big bottle. Secondly, they have hops and malt and actual taste. Thirdly, that beach bastion of Russian holiday makers, Nha Trang, has a microbrewery!
Without further ado….
Bia Lao Cai: North Vietnam lager
Festival Beer: Full of that Skunky Euro Flavor
BGI – Doesn’t stand for “Barely Good, Innit?” but maybe should.
Bia Saigon – A little grapey.
Huda – Not terrible
Hue Beer – Good stuff
Biere Larue – Quite okay beer.
Bia Ha Noi: Our favorite beer in SEA
You know the drill. I drink a bunch of sodas and tell you lot how good they were. While Myanmar didn’t have the variety of Malaysia or other SE Asian countries, soft drinks were at least quite cheap. (as low as 250 kyat/ 28 cents) Also, like other poor countries, glass bottles more common.
Blue Mountain fruito. Weird. 4/10
Star Cola. Dependable, decent cola. 5/10
Max Cola. Not too different from Star. 5/10
Lemon. Not as good as sparkling, but nice. 6/10
Max + Lychee. Good, if you like fake lychee flavor. 6/10
Max + Cream Soda. A bit bubblegummy. 6/10
Max Sparkling – So good that Rach had some. 8/10