A night out drinking in Vietnam used to mean sipping bia hơi on the sidewalk, a local draft beer. However, a challenge has been thrown down in recent times by craft beer, which is luring a rising number of customers.

Beer Phở… Lime left beer… or kumquat beer?

With craft beer, you can enjoy all such sweet, bitter, sour and even cinnamon flavours in sparkling golden glasses.

Different from beer that is produced in a production chain with similar flavour, craft beer production is quite small-scale, with different tastes coming from master brewers creating  their own brews.

Thomas Bilgram, Co-founder of Furbrew craft beer said: "We always combine new things. We have done nuoc mam sauce in one beer. We do another beer with chilli, we do with green mango. I have one rule. Everything you can make tea of, or eat in Vietnam, you can put in beer. And that is most things."

Furbrew opened its doors two years ago. Here drinkers can choose from more than 20 kinds of beer, including beer with flavour of Pho – a popular Vietnamese noodle soup, bringing a new twist for the taste buds.

Thomas Bilgram, Co-founder of Furbrew craft beer said: "Beer Pho was a challenge I got from my business partner. And it took me three months to research the recipe. It’s actually quite a sweet beer and not a lot alcohol in it. And then I added all the spices that we normally put in Pho: cinnamon, coriander seeds, ginger, chilli and star anise. And it turned up to be a nice beer."

Patrons come to savour craft beer rather than drinking to quench their thirst.  It requires a certain kind of subtlety just like wine or cocktails.

Oscar Lawrence, UK customer said: "The craft beer in Vietnam is excellent. It’s like a real taste of… back from Europe, you have delicious beer, everything from that part of the world. But they also have hints of Vietnamese culture, whatever it is food, spices. And also while you’re drinking, you are surrounded by the Vietnamese atmosphere. It’s a really nice blend of the two cultures."

To Nu, customer from Hanoi said :"The menu here is quite interesting. There something like phở or lime. Recently I drank beer with ilang-ilang aroma. It’s the flower season in Hanoi now. And that brings me a pleasant sense of closeness."

Thomas Bilgram, Co-founder of Furbrew craft beers said :"Craft beer is normally known by Westerners but we feel a lot of interest from Vietnamese customers. The plan we have now is to make a major player of craft beer environment in Vietnam, and also help to support other people that would like to do craft beer, and also be the one to introduce craft beer to people in Vietnam, so they start drinking good beer and experience good beer."-VNA