HO CHI MINH CITY | East West Brewing Co. opened early 2017 in about as central a location as you can find in Ho Chi Minh City – just behind Ben Thanh Market. Unlike many of the other craft brewery taprooms in town, East West is a huge venue with capacity for over 150 patrons. There’s the main bar, a rooftop terrace, a dining area, and a barrel ageing room. The space has high ceilings, lots of concrete and natural light, but enough in the way of decoration that it doesn’t feel too cold.
East West’s logo features the initial SG (Saigon) and SD (San Diego), and go to the ethos and founding of the brewery. It was started by Loc Truong, a Vietnamese native who studied in San Diego, California native Steve Gutiérrez, and two other partners. They’re aiming to fuse the best ingredients from Vietnam and around the world with American brewing knowledge to create a brewery that they hope will become one of Vietnam’s premier breweries.
To that end, they’ve brought in head brewer Sean Thommen, who has over 15 years of experience brewing beer in Portland, Oregon. The beers here cover a range of different styles. Favorites of ours include the Far East IPA, which uses American centennial hops and New Zealand’s tropical Nelson Sauvin hops, and the Saigon Rose, a light wheat ale with the forward profile of fresh raspberries. The Coffee Vanilla Porter, which uses cold pressed Vietnamese coffee beans is fantastic too. A tasting paddle will get you decent sized pours of four of the beers on tap.
Also of note at East West are the seasonal beers, made all the more interesting by virtue of the barrel ageing room. Upcoming releases include things such as the Pumpkin Ale Cassia Copper (October) and Christmas Tripel IPA (December).
Food is designed to work well with beer, and we’re not just talking bar snacks and the usual pub grub. Executive chef Cyndi Tran hails from the US and has Vietnamese and Scandinavian heritage, and blends together all of these influences to create food that’s “simple, fresh, and flavorful”. Think Nha Trang Oysters, meat and vegetable skewers, flat noodles, and seafood platters. For those who do want something more traditional bar food like, a selection of elevated bar food like steak, burgers (there’s even a Pho burger) and chicken wings are also offered.
East West Brewing Co.
185 Lý Tự Trọng
Ho Chi Minh City
Mon – Sun: 11:00am to 11:00pm