Heart of Darkness Craft Brewery in Ho Chi Minh

The Center Of Saigon Nightlife

Rachel Tran
Rachel Tran | Published: October 31, 2019

The nightlife in Ho Chi Minh City has so many interesting places to explore. Instead of normal bars and cafes, foreign tourists can find a whole new sense of entertainment and excitement in the most unique destination – the Heart of Darkness craft brewery. With its one of a kind style and the best-rated craft beer in Saigon, tourists will surely have a memorable experience.

    Location: 31D Ly Tu Trong, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
    Opening Hours: 11:00 AM – 11:59 PM every day
    Map to the Heart of Darkness:

Highlights of the Heart of Darkness craft brewery

Architecture of Heart of Darkness
(Photo: @heartofdarknessbrewery)

1. The History

Heart of Darkness was founded by CEO John Pemberton, who had been spending his life researching and exploring the world of beer. He had traveled to many countries, from Taiwan to the US and China. When he came to Saigon and heard about tales of a craft brewery opening in the city, it inspired him. Along with his friends Toni and Andrew, John started his own brewery, creating a new history of delicious craft drinks in Ho Chi Minh City.

The Heart of Darkness craft brewery was established in 2016 with a factory in VSIP Binh Duong Industrial Park and a bar located in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. During nearly 3 years of development and operation, the Heart of Darkness has invented over 200 types of craft beer. The place also successfully develop a system of craft beer throughout major cities in Vietnam, as well as exported to top countries of East Asia and Southeast Asia.

Inside Heart of Darkness
(Photo: @jol.be)

2. The Style

The Heart of Darkness craft brewery was designed in a unique and mysterious style. Focusing on the adults as the main customers, the theme of Heart of Darkness has two opposite aspects: good and evil, sane and insane with a few hipsters and classical style. The place creates such a mysterious and dark vibe that arouses the curiosity of foreign visitors. In the night of Saigon, there is nothing more interesting than sitting in such a unique place, enjoying fresh beer and catching up with your loved ones.

The structure of the Heart of Darkness Brewery is a perfect combination of a warm brick interior and an airy outdoor garden. For those who are new to craft beer, you can try the Holy Fire Golden beer with a light and easy-to-drink taste. If you are already familiar with the concept of craft beer and want to try something stronger and spicier, the Chocolate Chili Stout is the perfect drink for you.

The Heart of Darkness craft brewery focuses on serving international visitors from all over the world. The design of the place was made in Western-style, bringing an impressive and outstanding feeling. That is why not only international but also local people are in love with Heart of Darkness as well.

drink at Heart of Darkness
(Photo: @pizza4ps)

3. The Delicious Craft Beer

Speaking of craft beer in Ho Chi Minh City, it is impossible not to mention Heart of Darkness. Ever since it started operating, the Heart of Darkness has never failed to impress customers with outstanding new beer recipes not only in Vietnam but also in the world. The menu of Heart of Darkness consists of up to 20 different styles of craft beers at any one time as well as delicious dishes to decrease your hunger, such as flatbreads, salads, sandwiches, wings, burgers and other snacks as well.

Many customers agree that Heart of Darkness has the most delicious craft beer in the entire Ho Chi Minh City. The Heart of Darkness tends to produce the beers with Western taste and style, the drinks often have a stronger and more fragrant flavor than Asian beers. That’s why the place is usually favored by Americans and Europeans, but some Vietnamese and Asian people have been stimulated curiosity as well.

One of the most significant craft beer of Heart of Darkness is the one called “Loose Rivet New England IPA”. This is a New England IPA with a rather opaque color, with a slightly bitter taste along with a fairly deep tropical fruit. For those who are accustomed to drinking craft beer, New England IPA may be a little difficult to drink. But once you get used to it, you will become more and more addicted to this new flavor.

Heart of Darkness has made its own upgrade with the original New England IPA craft beer to create a whole new recipe called “Loose Rivet New England IPA”. Instead of the classic opaque color, Heart of Darkness has invented a new characteristic yellowish brownish for the drink with a rich and fragrant combination of pineapple, tangerine and nuts, bringing a sense of relaxing and chilling. This beer is for everyone whether male or female, connoisseur or unfamiliar with craft beer, Eastern or Western. This is considered one of the must-try at Heart of Darkness.

4. The Special Location

The Heart of Darkness craft brewery is located at District 1, Ben Nghe Ward – which is the center of Ho Chi Minh City. Ho Chi Minh City is famous for its exciting nightlife, and District 1 is where you can enjoy it to the fullest. Sitting at Heart of Darkness craft brewery gives you the most wonderful experience of witnessing, participating in and taking in the bustling and crowded atmosphere of the evening in Saigon City.

Lying in District 1, the Heart of Darkness is near some significant tourist destinations of Ho Chi Minh City, such as Ben Thanh market, Nguyen Hue walking street, Reunification Palace, etc. After visiting those places, there is nothing better to do than sitting in a delicate-decorated craft brewery and taste the most delicious drinks.

Decoration in Heart of Darkness
(Photo: @einna.19)

5. Recognized by International Websites

The Heart of Darkness is considered to have one of the most delicious craft beer in Ho Chi Minh City, but that recognition was not only made by local people. Some famous travel websites in the world have also agreed that the craft beer in the Heart of Darkness is to die for. According to a website called “Love to Wander”, the Heart of Darkness is one of the five bars with the most delicious craft beer in Ho Chi Minh City in particular and in Southern Vietnam in general. The website Wandering Wheatleys also acknowledged Heart of Darkness’s unique style and appetizing drinks of all kinds.

Not only that, throughout the years of operating, the Heart of Darkness had been recognized many times by other famous travel websites in the world, such as The Bureau, CNN, the Culture Trip, the Crafty Beer Bros, the Rusty Compass, etc. That is more than enough to show the popularity of Heart of Darkness around the world.

6. Participation in the Craft Beer Festival

This 13 and 14th of December, at Saigon Outcast, Thao Dien, the exciting Craft Beer Festival will be held with the participants of Heart of Darkness craft brewery, along with other famous names in the craft beer industry of Saigon, such as Deme, East-West and many more.

This 2019 Craft Beer Festival promises to gather over 30 most popular beer and cider brands. In addition, at the festival, visitors are also served a lot of delicious and attractive dishes to have with beer. During the two festival days, food and drinks will always be fully served.

In particular, this festival is completely free, without any costs. If you are planning to visit Ho Chi Minh City in December, please consider participating.

How to Get to Heart of Darkness Craft Brewery

There are many ways for you to get to Heart of Darkness craft brewery. Being located at the center of Ho Chi Minh City, it is easy for you to find the way to this amazing bar.

If you are an adventurous traveler and wanting to hire a motorbike to explore Ho Chi Minh City on your own, you can easily find your way to Heart of Darkness by locating Ben Thanh market. There is only a 10-minute walk distance between two places, and the local people are friendly and hospitable to show you the right direction.

If you want to save money by traveling by public transportation, bus, for example, you can take buses number 03, 14, 18 and 31. These are the buses number that has routes going through Ly Tu Trong Street, Ho Chi Minh City.

Who Should Come to Heart Of Darkness Craft Brewery?

Craft beer is no longer a new concept in Vietnam and is currently popular trend mong beer lovers, not only in Vietnam but also in the world. This is not only a temporary fever but also a new cultural trend, with its own appeal. For those who don’t know, craft beer is a type of beer brewed or produced in small breweries, usually one that operates independently, and made from the traditional brewing process, combined with a variety of ingredients to create a unique flavor.

  • Those who haven’t got used to craft beer: If you just heard of this concept for the first time and don’t know where to start, Heart of Darkness is the right place to help you. Their menu has various types of craft beer, from light-tasted ones too strong ones. Also, the well-experienced staffs are often ready to advise and give you detailed information about the beers, helping you choose the right one.
  • Women and those who don’t like strong alcohol taste: Craft beer at the Heart of Darkness includes a number of moderate alcohol content with a floral scent, especially delicate floral aromas. This type of beer is very diverse in alcohol content, so anyone can find a beer that is both pleasant and easy to drink, especially women and those who are not interested in strong alcohol taste.
  • Trendy people: Craft beer first appeared in Europe, then spread to the Americas and today has become quite popular in Asian countries, including Vietnam. Today, any connoisseur knows and enjoys craft beer. Heart of Darkness is the perfect destination for beer lovers, who love to try new things and enjoy experiencing different flavors.

Things To Note:

  • Never spit the beer out in any circumstances, no matter how much you don’t like the taste. Some people believe that this is the perfect way to taste wine, but it doesn’t suit beer at all. For some craft beer recipes, the flavor comes in batches. You just have to be patient and take each sip, the true delicious taste will slowly come up to you.
  • It is important to smell the beer before drinking. The fragrances of the beer play such an essential role in the attractiveness of the beer, as well as help create the unforgettable taste. Besides, the value of craft beer is not only lying on the taste but also on flavor, color, and feeling as well.
  • Do not add ice to craft beer, even if the weather is extremely hot. Ice can be used with normal beers, but not with craft beer. It’s best to taste craft beer with its natural style and not adding anything else.
  • Visitors are encouraged to try something new. The flavor and style of craft beer is developing and changing every day, so it requires beer lovers to catch up with it as well. Instead of drinking the same thing over and over again, the staff of Heart of Darkness will advise you to try new drinks. You will never know when will your next favorite beer tastes completely different from your current hobby. The best way to try new beers is to order a tasting tray or buy a small glass first.

If you don’t know how to choose, ask the staff and let them know about your favorite type of beer. The staffs at the Heart of Darkness craft brewery are always well trained to help customers whenever they do not know what to choose. With a diverse knowledge of beers, they can easily choose to help you with the right type of drink.

With its unique style and absolutely delicious drinks, Heart of Darkness craft brewery has become a famous and attractive hang out destination for both local and foreign visitors, especially beer lovers. Coming to Ho Chi Minh City, don’t miss out on an exciting night sitting with a cup of fragrant craft beer, catching up with your partners or making new friends from all over the world. You will find the drinking culture of Vietnam quite interesting, and the delicate drinks shall give you such a great memory.

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