When it comes to beer clubs, we’re betting there’s still a large part of the population who’d prefer to give them a wide berth. The stereotype of loud music, “Towers of Power” and scantily clad “DJs” is an image that’s pretty hard to shake.
However, while they persist, beer clubs to us are nothing but good clean fun, and because there’s a bucket-load of them in Vietnam, they’re part of our Wordie Awards for the second year running…
Ho Chi Minh City
Our readers think that Vuvuzela is the number one beer club in Saigon this year; they were the creators of this genre, and they’re still the beacon of a phenomenon that doesn’t yet look like slowing down. Taking over from last year’s number one MOB, the original beer club with great aesthetics, Vuvuzela now has branches everywhere. Theirs is a success story, and they’ve been spreading it throughout the country. It must be said that voting this year was much more even, with newer names like Kingdom, POC, One Plus and Hops all garnering votes. TAPS, which we featured in the pages of this magazine recently, also received some love, the only bar we know where you can buy beer by the hour! Pre-beer club originals Hoa Vien Brauhaus and the similarly named Brauhaus were also not forgotten, part of a top 10 that just couldn’t find room for the likes of 1820, Beer & Grill, Dmax, Shooter Beer House and Yoyo. Anyone want to form a superstar rap group?
The Czechs, it seems, are everyone’s favourite this year, with Vietnam’s original microbrewery Hoa Vien topping the list. Although now grouped in with beer clubs — essentially it’s the same concept, just without the scantily clad DJs — Hoa Vien owes more to its Central European roots than to the Vietnamese adaptation so famously created by Vuvuzela when they mixed Hooters and nightclub-style EDM with the concept of the traditional brauhaus.
That Vuvuzela finished third in our list suggests that despite their almost clichéd popularity, they remain one of the beer clubs to go in the capital. However, it’s another Czech-influenced brewery that has knocked them out of the top two — Pilsner Urquell. And you know why? Well, the beer’s good.
And let’s not forget the growing chain of Hanoi favourite, Beer 2KU, which came in a close fourth — beer club meets the cheaper, wooden-styled quan nhau drinking restaurant. Yet don’t be fooled. Their recently opened creation on Quang An in West Lake even has a swimming pool. Perfect for cooling off after a night of too many beers? Hmmmm… With pool parties all the rage these days, maybe it is.