Here at Foodiggity, we’ve tried to keep up with the ongoing ‘most expensive’ beer competition. At the time of this writing, the current title holder was an $800 bottle of Antarctic Nail Ale, which was made with the finest ice from Antarctica — seriously.
But consider the other side of the spectrum, and one can’t help but wonder, ‘What is the cheapest beer in the world?’ Most would argue that some mass-produced American piss water such as Natural Light would be the ultimate beer of shame. However, as far as the cheapest beer per serving, it is actually an ale from Vietnam that reigns supreme.
Bia Hoi, most commonly found in Hanoi, is the most budget-friendly brew on the planet. Commonly described as having the appearance and flavor of Bud Light (go figure), Bia Hoi can be found for 3,000 VND per 12 oz. glass, which is the equivalent of about 16 US cents.
Gullible tourists and Vietnamese hobos seeking the beverage, need look no further than the ‘Bia Hoi’ or ‘Fresh Beer’ signs scattered throughout the city. Fresh beer is actually Bia Hoi’s English translation, and it is indeed brewed fresh daily — presumably in someone’s bathtub.
So the next time that you find yourself in Vietnam, and have a dime, nickel, and penny burning a hole in our pocket — stop in to any one of the dozens of fine establishments serving the cheapest beer in the world.
Then you can check it off your ‘drink bucket list’ along with the terribly overrated Hurricane in New Orleans, or the Mint Julep that you had in Kentucky.
I’ve bought “Silver Sword” beer in chinese supermarket only 1rmb per 640ml bottle. Beer was ≥3,6%. Dunno was the cheapest? Atleast cheapest in the bottle, hard to beat..
Mark Easen says
You are close….very close, but thats NOT the cheapest beer in the world. I found CAFE 41 next door in Hoi An is now doing buy 2 get 3 on 3000vnd fresh beers so that makes them 2000vnd each, or 6 English Pennies. Have pictures to prove. Can anyone beat that?
Rumor mill has it that Miller Brewing Co. is working on a new offering with the World’s Lowest price point: 10 cents US for a 12 oz serving! It’s not even going to be in an aluminum can, the packaging is going to be similar to a milk carton, plastic-lines cardboard no less. Their slogan: “If you’ve got a DIME, we’ve got your beer!” (Miller Low-Life)
600ml bottles in rural China do run about 2rmb, but at 6.39rmb to the dollar, that’s a wallet stretching 15.4 cents per 10 oz. glass! Go to a Bia Hoi spot without English signs down a standard Hanoi alley and you cna park your rear in a kindergarten stool and sip 10 oz. glasses of Bia Hoi for 1,000vnd a piece, which is less than a nickel at current rates!
Chris Durso says
Thanks John… That is awesome. Of all the people who’ve seen this post, there is finally some dispute over whether Bia Hoi is indeed the World’s Cheapest Beer. However, the caveat of drinkability is an important detail, so we’ll let our vietnamese brew hold on to the title for now.
John Marsau says
You can get a 600ml bottle of knock-off TsingTao in China for 2 yuan, or about 15 cents. That equals 9 cents for a 12 oz. glass. And if you collect 4 bottles you can get a full bottle free… or 7 cents for a 12 oz. glass. Just one thing… don’t drink it. Makes brew 102 taste good.