We are excited to kick-off our #BeerTalks interview series with a craft beer pioneer in Vietnam: Tim Scott.
Tim is the co-founder of BiaCraft Artisan Ales & Quán Ụt Ụt. Both brands make Vietnam’s craft beer fans & foodies alike tremble with excitement.
Introducing Quán Ụt Ụt & BiaCraft
Fusing excellent cuisine (think huge platters of succulent American BBQ, metre-long sausages named after pornstars, and surprisingly tasty burgers) and a vast beer selection, Quán Ụt Ụt & BiaCraft have been leaders in elevating Ho Chi Minh City’s food & beverage scene.
For beer lovers, BiaCraft have their own range of craft beers with hilarious Vietnamese names. From always on core beers like Tram Pham Tram (Bottoms Up) Crush Ale to Coi Do Ra (Let’s Get Naked) Wildberry Wheat Ale through to seasonal releases like Khong Say Khong Vay (F*ck Me Up) Triple IPA.
Taking a different strategy to others in the Vietnam craft beer scene, distribution is limited to BiaCraft & Quán Ụt Ụt venues. This helps them drive footfall into their venues, ensures a great final product for end-consumers and allows the best pairing of food and beer.
Beer Asia’s Interview with Tim Scott
Where are you originally from? Any local brews you miss?
I’m from Brisbane, Australia. I left Australia before craft beer had become a big thing, but in my return travels I have found a soft spot for Stone & Wood Brewing’s Pacific Ale.
What inspired you to move to Vietnam?
Believe it or not, a big part of my inspiration came from Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential.
I was working in restaurants in Brisbane and thought that Vietnam sounded very exotic. I came and fell in love with the food.
What was the beer scene like when you first came to Vietnam?
There was a lot more bia hoi! Mostly we drank Saigon Special or Tiger draft back then as it was very cheap, with the occasional visit to Hoa Vien to live it up a bit.
There was not much choice, so we made do with what was available.
You co-founded American BBQ & beer restaurant brand Quán Ụt Ụt, which Lonely Planet, Adam Richman & CNN all say is one of the top spots in Saigon. Tell us how your culinary journey started.
It really started when a few of my friends got jobs at a restaurant back home washing dishes.
It sounded like they had a lot of fun at work, so I signed up.
Working in kitchens was fast-paced and energetic, which I loved, and I soon found my way onto the line cooking food.
expat scene in Vietnam is incredible. 1 of them opened a formidable restaurant w/ 3 kinds of delicious bacon pic.twitter.com/SClSkwfJep— Adam Richman (@AdamRichman) January 27, 2016
Once you’ve had the rush of a busy service in a kitchen you get addicted. So I pursued cooking and worked in a few other restaurants before I decided to come to Vietnam.
You’ve gone on to build the BiaCraft brand into a mecca for craft enthusiasts and regular drinkers alike. How have you been able to win over the local market to craft?
We offer nice places for people to drink in with the best selection of what’s available from all the brewers, and awesome food.
BiaCraft’s own range of beers has gone from strength-to-strength. What are the plans for the future: export, more distribution, unusual new flavours?
We have a few interesting beers in the works, as well as a few collaborations. We only release a couple of new beers a year, so we try to make sure they’re really amazing.
On Craft Beer in Vietnam
Are you excited about the prospects for craft in Vietnam in 2019?
Absolutely. We will continue to grow and bring new experiences for the craft drinkers. And we expect new players to come in and shake things up a little.
Your favourite beers at the moment: one of your own and one from another local brewer.
I really like our new Cái Ngàn Vàng Golden Ale that we brew together with Lac Brewing Co.
It’s wonderfully drinkable in Saigon’s climate. Another of my favourites is Platinum Beer’s East Sea. I really, really like that beer.
Thanks from all of us at Beer Asia, Tim!
Join us for the latest Vietnam craft beer related instalments of #BeerTalks with Avi Yashaya of Mahanakhon/Sivilai (Thailand) and Phuc Tran of Hoprizon and Brewlliant (Vietnam).