Beer drinking in Vietnam - A unique traditional culture
beer drinking in vietnam cover

Beer drinking in Vietnam – A local tradition that you should know

Beer drinking in Vietnam is in the top 3 in Asia since the expenditure volume reaches 3 billion litres per year. Therefore, it is not strange that you see so many taverns on the streets, along with the rivers or under the streets inside the city. And the more interesting thing is that they all are always crowded no matter it is the weekday or weekend. So why Vietnamese people drink beer that much? What is the beer drinking culture in Vietnam?

beer drinking in vietnam

The culture of beer drinking in Vietnam has lasted for hundreds of years – Image: Financial Times.

When did beer drinking in Vietnam start?

The culture of beer drinking in Vietnam started when France invaded Vietnam. The French brought beer to Vietnam by opening a beer factory in Sai Gon (nowadays is Ho Chi Minh City) in 1875 by Victor Larue. He is an industrial engineer and maritime officer. Therefore, from the first days, the factory produced beer with a very good taste. Later, it developed into the BGI beer brand which has been so famous in the local market for a very long time.

beer drinking in vietnam

BGI was the very first beer factory which established by a French in Vietnam – Image: Anh H Pham.

The BGI stands for Brasseries Glacières d’Indochine. It means the Beer and Ice Factory in the Indochina. Later, the d’Indochine was replaced by the Internationals. The BGI beer has not been in the Vietnamese market anymore. However, it still develops well in the French market today.

In conclusion, beer drinking in Vietnam came from the beer culture of the French. However, by time, it has changed and become a unique culture of the local people.

Why does beer drinking in Vietnam become an essential skill of every adult?

The images of a group of men sitting down together on the small plastic chair with a cup of beer on hand might become the feature image of a unique culture in Vietnam. And it is sure that most of the foreigners coming to Vietnam also know the beer slogan of the local people. It is “Mot, hai, ba, do!”.

beer drinking in vietnam

Ta Hien – A very famous beer street in Ha Noi, Vietnam – Image:

To the local people, beer drinking in Vietnam has two main types. One is for relaxing and another is for business purpose.

Beer drinking in Vietnam for business purpose

Beer drinking in Vietnam is said as a great catalyst for a successful business. The ferment in beer makes the drinker excited. Therefore, it creates a desire for sharing and built a good relationship with others.

beer drinking in vietnam

Beer drinking in Vietnam is the most important procedure in business relationship – Image: Hoang Dinh Nam.

Additionally, in the Vietnamese business culture, the feast is an important procedure which the businessman would like to treat their partners. In contrast, the business partners also want to treat the other side with the feasts. In these meals, there are always beers which the Vietnamese people say that it is the main part of the feast. Hence, feast with beer is the perfect space to discuss and exchange the information which it is difficult to share in working place. This mindset leads to a fact that everyone who wants to join the business market must have beer drinking skill. That is the culture of beer drinking in Vietnam.

>>Drinking beer with bait made from dog meat? What does the local think about dog meat?

beer drinking in vietnam

The ferment in beer makes a comfortable space and encourage people to share more about their thought.

In fact, the Vietnamese will not sign the contract or go to a deal with you at the first meeting. They have to learn more about your business, your conditions and consider every factor that can impact the business result. Thus, cheer beer cups is an essential procedure in a business corporation. If your partner invites you a cup of beer and he drinks it up, you have to do the same. And after that, you should invite him back with the same etiquette. That is the local culture in Vietnam that you should know when corporating with a local business.

beer drinking in vietnam

Feast with beer helps people share things that they usually don’t in the working place.

Beer drinking for relaxing purpose

Besides the feast with beer for business purposes, most of the beer drinking in Vietnam is for relaxing. To this type, people usually come to the street taverns or the popular drinking places (quán nhậu). The price of these places is much cheaper. Furthermore, space is open and comfortable for chatting about any topics that you want to share. No business! No work! There only friends and relaxation! Moreover, these places are also where people are easy to get drunk rather than the taverns for business purposes.

beer drinking in vietnam

Drinking beer after a long day is a good way to relax to the local people. It is also time for friends gathering and share about their life – Image: Zing News.

beer drinking in vietnam

Peanuts and crispy rice paper are the perfect drinking bait – Image: Zing News.

beer drinking in vietnam

Beer brings people closer – Image: Zing News.


Taverns in Vietnam has become a famous image of culture. The culture of beer drinking in Vietnam is a unique experience that you should learn about it and try at least once. By doing it, you can see the friendliness and the generousness of the local people. Drinking beer is not a bad thing in Vietnam, in contrast, it is the local tradition that people should respect!