What to eat
It is possible that up to 90% of Hanoians refer to ‘bia hoi’ as being asked about the most alcohol product in Hanoi. Not only to be found in every street-corner establishments around the city, this kind of beverage is famous across the country and fully enjoyed by people from all walks of life.
1. What’s “bia hoi”?
“Bia hoi” can be understood as “fresh beer”, which is freshly made within the day. Normally, the beer container may be a bottle or can; however, “bia hoi” is directly taken from a so-called “bom bia”. If you hand out with many friends, you may offer a large portion and share; otherwise, you may need to call one cup and two cups of beer for yourself.
There is no preservative added to the beer and thus the taste is going to be bad very soon after 24 hours. The sellers try to estimate the amount of beer which can be sold out everyday so that beer always stay fresh as being served for customers.
2. What’s special about “bia hoi”?
Price is a really big reason attracting many beer-lovers to beer corners to taste some after finishing their work. Averagely, a medium cup of beer costs you only 5,000VND. However, you may find it little higher in areas near the Old Quarter. Some tourists even regard ‘bia hoi” as the cheapest beer in the world.
Places to drink
It is not usual to see “bia hoi” in bars or luxurious restaurants in the city. Conversely, the Vietnamese prefer small shops on the street or along the path with much airy and cozy atmosphere. Specially, serving beer now is more diversified with a wide range of dishes such as “nem chua” (fermented pork roll), “lac rang” (roasted peanuts) or “lac luoc” (boiled peanuts).
Rather than savoring beer little by little, people can drink beer as much as possible to satisfy their thirst. After work hours, the local people, mostly men have found that this beer helps them relaxed a lot especially in summer time. Several tourists also try some as they want to experience novelty of this stuff. Furthermore, this drink contains lower level of alcohol compared to others so drinkers need not be over-anxious about its bad impacts on our health.
“Bia hoi” is so well-known that you hardly ignore its presence in Vietnamese daily life as wandering around the streets in Hanoi. It is a product that is easy to find, to try but hard to forget in Vietnam.