Bia Hoi is more a social experience than a beer. In large cities, including
Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, Bia Hoi is brewed and delivered daily to small
This refreshing, light-bodied beer is served in a plastic
jug, usually by the liter. (Although I've also been served Bia Hoi in a
5 liter gas can!) The locals then pour it into a mug over ice. In Hanoi
it is frequently served by the glass without ice. (Of course it's not nearly
so hot in Hanoi!)
Bia Hoi is most often accompanied by light food, such
as peanuts, cha gio, dried squid and even Thit Cho (dog meat).
Bia Hoi establishments are informal, the type of place where you throw the
peanut shells on the floor. They range from a collection of stools on the
sidewalk to large beer-garden type Venues. What they all have in common
is friendly camaraderie, cheap food and of course, Bia Hoi!