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Pasteur Street Brewing Keeps it Local with Ba Gác Grill & Beer

Vietnam’s first craft brewery continues to ingratiate itself with local audiences. 

When Pasteur Street Brewing first opened in 2015, many here saw it as a western establishment reserved for foreigners. That view was understandable considering the novelty of artisanal beers in the city at the time. But a lot has changed in the more than five years since the brewery first opened, and its core customer base is now overwhelmingly Vietnamese. Their newest partnership with Ba Gác underscores its position in the local market.

Pasteur Street Brewing’s iconic logo hangs from many a restaurant’s doorways across the nation - from taco joints to burger shops. However, the availability of their beers at all eight Ba Gác locations beginning this January symbolizes the direction the brewery is headed. They want to assert themselves as an authentically Vietnamese company, and there is no better place to do so than at a nhậu joint that caters to locals.

Vietnamese notoriously enjoy to nhậu, or eat while drinking which differs from Westner's often separation of the two activities. The practice has evolved over the years as venues open and close across the country. In recent years, large beer hall chains took attention away from smaller street-side restaurants. Many of them have since closed, but people's appreciation for comfortable and reliable restaurants remains. Since opening several years ago, Ba Gác has thrived thanks to their friendly service and delicious foods. 

From grilled stuffed eel to salt-and-laksa leaves to grilled chicken to grilled pork rib and grilled Hokubee sirloin steak in a signature sauce, Ba Gác offers an unquestionably Vietnamese menu. The locations across Saigon attract office workers escaping the daily grind not quite ready to head home for the night, as well as groups of friends that want to celebrate special occasions. The restaurant’s salty, shareable dishes can now be savored alongside glasses of Pasteur Street’s most popular ales. 

While Pasteur Street has always wanted to serve their fruity, flavorful brews to locals, it’s taken a few years to introduce them to Vietnamese palates that are more accustomed to mass-market lagers. Now that Vietnamese constitute the majority of the brewery’s customers, it only made sense to bring Pasteur Street to one of their favorite places to drink. Mischa Smith, Pasteur Street’s Domestic Sales Director, says: “One of our biggest goals for 2020 was to get Pasteur Street's Jasmine IPA available for Vietnamese customers.“

In addition to their best-selling Jasmine IPA, the brewery is bringing an exclusive Ba Gác Bia. Mischa explains: “Based on feedback from the market, local craft beer drinkers were looking for something malt-forward but not too sweet, dark but not too strong, and with low bitterness. This beer is all of those things. And then for the more adventurous or seasoned craft beer drinker, our flagship Jasmine IPA is there to satisfy more hop-forward desires.” The beer is thus an ideal companion to a combo of chicken wings, sausages and grilled beef. 

Walk past any of Ba Gác’s locations at 7pm and one will likely notice many tables featuring a three-liter beer tower. The vessel is ideal for sharing pours and uniquely popular in Vietnam, but virtually unseen in western establishments. It thus serves as another sign of the ways Pasteur Street is reaching out to local drinkers.

 When craft beer first arrived in Saigon years ago, its success was far from guaranteed. Without appreciation from local drinkers, it would have forever remained a niche novelty, yet, with a little time and some education, Vietnamese have come to appreciate it. Pasteur Street’s collaboration with Ba Gác is a natural step in its growth. “The Vietnamese craft beer industry is still in its relative infancy - this partnership is pushing things to the next level. Their stated focus on customers, creativity, action, and their own people is perfectly aligned with our own internal vision,” Mischa says. 

Ba Gác's  website 

Ba Gác's Facebook Page

Ba Gác's phone hotline: +84 028 9999 6268

Ba Gác Le Quy Don: 31 Le Quy Don Street, Ward 7, District 3, HCMC

Ba Gác Le Van Sy: 183 Le Van Sy Street, Ward 14, Phu Nhuan District

Ba Gác Nam Ky Khoi Nghia: 61 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, HCMC