Category Archives: beer holiday

Beer Culture – Sensing Opportunity, Vietnam’s Pasteur Street Brewng Expands

News by Jonathan Shikes – www.beeradvocate.com

There’s a street for selling just about every kind of product or service in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi. On Hang Bac, you’ll find silver jewelry, while Hang Duong is for desserts. There’s also coffin street, noddle stret, and beer street. That last one isnt surprising: vietnam’s largest brewery, Sabeco, estimates that the country’s 90 million citizens will drink more than 4 billion liters (about 34.2 million barrels) of beer in 2017.

As of yet, there isn’t a Craft Beer Street in Hanoi, but Pasteur Street Brewing, a pioneer in Vietnamese craft brewing when it opened in early 2015 in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), can change that. The company just debuted a second taproom and restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City and opened a third spot in Hanoi in July. Although it won’t brew there, Pasteur Street will serve least 12 draft beers, including Jasmine IPA, Passion Fruit Wheet, Dragon Fruit Gose, and Cyclo Imperial Chocolate Stout, which won gold at the World Beer Cup in 2016.

“Hanoi is craving craft beer right now. They have a few breweries, but none with restuarants and that pub-like atmosphere,” says general manager Brandon Watts, who moved from Colorado to Vietnam last spring to work for American founders John Reid and Alex Violette, former of Colorado’s Upslope Brewing. As the capital city, Hanoi was a no-brainer for expansion, Watts says. Pasteur Street already has 35 accounts there is still growing.

So far, the majority of the brewery’s customers are expats from the United States, Australia and Europe, but that’s changing. “The locals are coming around,” Watts explains. “It’s a status thing. If you are going out drinking with your buddies, you go for bia hoi [the local lager]. If you are taking a date out for dinner, you go for craft beer.” a few weeks ago, while comparing notes with one of the other dozen or so craft breweries in the country, Watts pointed out that “with the amount that the locals drink, if we can get just a tiny percentage of that, we will all be okay.”

In August, Pasteur Street will begin exporting cans of Passion Fruit Wheat to the US with Shelton Brothers. The brewery will start with Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, and California, but hopes to add others states and other beers by the end of the year.

North Korea Mysteriously Shuts Down Its Beer Festival

(Originally carried on NPR International)

North Korea Mysteriously Shuts Down Its Beer Festival

North Koreans enjoy beer and snacks last August during the Taedonggang Beer Festival in Pyongyang. The festival, the first of its kind in the country, was held as a promotional event for the locally brewed beer. Korean signs in the background read “Our country is the best.”

Dita Alangkara/AP

If an event is branded as annual but it happens only once, can it still be called annual? This is the case for Pyongyang’s “annual” Taedonggang Beer Festival, the second of which was slated to take place during August.

China-based tour company Koryo Tours, which is among the go-to tour groups organizing trips into North Korea, writes on its blog that it was “informed” North Korean organizers have canceled the event.

“The reason for the cancellation is unclear and we don’t expect full information to be forthcoming but it is possibly down to the ongoing drought in the country that has caused a great deal of trouble,” Koryo writes.

According to Koryo, last year’s event was a good opportunity to try some local brews and mingle with locals. A menu from the 2016 fest shows several types of draft beers, fried chicken and mutton on a stick available for purchase. North Korean alcohol is a curiosity for many connoisseurs around the globe, especially given its announcement last year that its scientists have invented “hangover-free booze.”

While it may suffer the label of “Hermit Kingdom,” North Korea does want tourism, offering surfing, rice planting and history tours. As Hawaii Public Radio found, “You can join the ‘Liberation from the Japanese Empire’ package tour — 8 days and 7 nights next month over the dates marking Japan’s surrender in World War Two.”

But forget about it if you’re an American passport holder. The U.S. State Department will announce a travel ban to North Korea for all Americans later this week. It follows the detainment of 22-year-old college student Otto Warmbier, who returned home last month in a coma and died days later.

Over the past 10 years, at least 16 Americans have been detained in North Korea.

Jihye Lee contributed to this post.