Beer In Situ: FurBrew (Hanoi, Vietnam)

The Pertinents

  • Furbrew Beer Pub
  • 8b/52 To Ngoc Van, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Founded in 2016

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Atmosphere

We took a cab out of the Old Quarter on 15 April (yes, I’m way behind here), and into the area where a lot of ambassadors live in Hanoi. It has a fancier air about the neighbourhood, and we spotted some English-language kindergartens.

Tucked into a former house is Furbrew, the major craft brewery in Hanoi. It’s dark in there during the afternoon, to save on power like in many Vietnamese places of business. The staff are attentive and pretty knowledgeable, and I think at one point the brewer came by to check on everything.

It’s clear from the prices that they cater to an expat crowd, but they really seem to be trying to adapt craft beer to the local tastes and ingredients! That’s really good to see because so much of the time ‘craft’ brewers try too hard to make US-style beers without taking local water and ingredients into account.

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Tasting Notes

It was early afternoon, and we went for our usual early afternoon quaff that leads to the Beer in Situ writings. They had tasting flights, and we tried every single thing on draught that day. I’ll spare the ones that were fine but unremarkable, and go for the best and worst of the bunch.

IMG_6805Early Bird 

  • Style: American Brown Ale
  • ABV: 5%
  • IBU: 30
  • Toffee and dates aroma, and quite bitter initially. It’s got 11 hop varieties in brewing and dry-hop phases. Surprisingly balanced, with a mega-finish.

Hanoi 

  • Style: Saison
  • ABV: 8.9%
  • IBU: 40
  • Belgiany- with marshmallow tastes. It’s cloudy, and has low carbonation. It’s still a little sweet despite the obviously long fermentation. Gorgeous.

Hoa (Flower) IPA

  • Style: Vietnamese Citrus India Pale Ale
  • ABV: 7.3%
  • IBU: 30 (This is an IPA?????)
  • The idea behind this beer is really cool, but the execution is awful. It’s meant to be a seasonally-rotating fruit and flower IPA based on the pungent flower markets found everywhere in Hanoi. Not bitter enough to be an IPA, and tastes of honey, a face-full of flowers, and Pine-Sol. Not awesome.

8.01

  • Style: Foreign Export Stout
  • ABV: 6.8%
  • IBU: 43
  • Very true to style, which happens to be not my style. It’s wayyyyyy too thick to drink in Hanoi, even in shoulder season. Tiny hints of mint in the overpowering raw sugar brownie taste. I’d call it ‘chewy.’

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The Verdict

I’m not sure that Furbrew has matured into itself yet. Maybe it will get better.

Russell’s One-Line Review

“BIA HOI!”

About the post

2017, Beer In Situ

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