Bia hoi is a unique kind of Vietnamese beer. Literally ‘fresh beer’, it’s brewed daily and taken in barrels to the multitude of sales outlets early in the morning and placed in a bed of ice to keep it cool. Bia Hoi is popular all over the country: each local brewery produces its own version as well as the more familiar bottled variety.
The name is also applied to the establishments where it’s sold. They range from a few chairs and tables laid out on the sidewalk to large buildings seating several hundred customers. The smaller places serve bia hoi as it comes. The larger ones serve bia tuoi (draught beer), the same stuff, but pressurised to add fizz. Bia tuoi is generally considered superior, and is slightly more expensive.
Bia hois are good places to eat everyday Vietnamese food. Not only is the food generally good, but it’s a good opportunity to experience the reality of Vietnamese life first-hand.