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33 Export - VBL Tien Giang Limited (Fosters)

Not Rated.
33 Export33 Export

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

218 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 218
Reviews: 131
rAvg: 2.79
pDev: 20.79%
Wants: 2
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
VBL Tien Giang Limited (Fosters) visit their website
Viet Nam

Style | ABV
Dortmunder / Export Lager |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: jackndan on 08-17-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 218 | Reviews: 131 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.33/5  rDev -16.5%

Bright yellowish gold with a few large bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass and a few miniscule ones zipping up to an attractive cap. Brilliant white in color, the head has a great deal of character brought about by an impressive amount of stickiness. No crappy macro lager lid here. As expected, there's a fair amount of lace as well.

The nose isn't half bad. I'm thankful that no truly nasty odors are evident; never a certainty in beer from the Far East (or from the Near West for that matter). The beer smells of sweetish cereal grain and reminds me of a malt liquor minus the ethanol.

Things aren't so good on the palate. The somewhat sweet, semi-freshness of the nose has been replaced by an industrial, chemical-tinged graininess that isn't off-putting exactly, but neither is it enjoyable in any sense of the word. It tastes like a decent beer that was lagered in stainless steel drums that had previously held some variety of bug spray and that hadn't been scrubbed entirely clean.

That off-flavor isn't prominent enough to dominate the grainy maltiness of the beer, but neither can it be ignored in any given mouthful. The nose led me astray in another way as well. There's a slight corn syrupy sweetness, but bitter and ultimately dry rule the day. I wouldn't go so far as to call it crisp, but there is a certain brittleness about the finish.

The body is medium for the style (at best) and neither adds anything of value, nor annoys in any appreciable way. Carbonation impressions didn't approach me, I had to go looking for them; which tells me that there's nothing overly off-base about that characteristic either. What all of this blather means is that I consider the body/mouthfeel to be average for the style and less than average in a general sense.

I haven't been impressed with Vietnamese beer and 33 Export does nothing to alter my impressions. A colleague who eats a lot of Vietnamese food at a local restaurant swears by this beer so I had to give it a try. Thanks to the '33', when I order my reviews by beer name, this one will appear near the top of the list. When I order them by rating, however, it will be nearly as close to the bottom.

BuckeyeNation, Apr 13, 2006
Photo of blitheringidiot
2.28/5  rDev -18.3%

Picked this up just to try something diferent & cheap.

Pours a static light apple juice yellow with no cap and a few scant bubbles.

Aroma is rice adjunct and a touch of honey grain.

First swigs: Lightly sweet with a narrow flavor of rice grain and dry gentle hop. Some middle of candy corn.

Thin body and gentle carbonation.

Last swig: Regretable inedible and forgetable. Prob'ly beter out of the bottle.

blitheringidiot, Apr 11, 2006
Photo of AlexJ
2.42/5  rDev -13.3%

What else are you going to drink when you're waiting for your Vietnamese take-out order? This pours out very pale gold, the color of dried straw, with a frothy, noisy head of pale white froth that quickly sizzles away.

Aroma is grainey malts, grass, and a faint herbal note. Smells very much like your typical macro lager.

Flavor slightly better than the nose. Clean tasting corny malt sweetness throughout with hints of wet cardboard and a meagerly hopped finish of light bitter herbs and dry grass. Clean tasting, but certainly underwhelming.

Body is thin as expected, with active carbonation and a gritty, bubbly mouthfeel. I guess it would go well with the food, but not too great by itself.

AlexJ, Mar 06, 2006
Photo of HardTarget
2.8/5  rDev +0.4%

Bottle Inspection: Dortmunder?! Please, let’s not get out of hand… My bottle only shows the “33”, not the “333” in the picture.

Aroma: Some mild esters, mostly apple, but very mild aroma over all. The esters are out of place in this “lager”.

Appearance: Thick golden glass shows active carbonation streams that feed a good ring of off white that leaves a trace of lace.

Flavor: Wet paper. The apple esters come through a bit in the overall “clean” taste but there are not real “beer” flavors to hold my interest.

Mouthfeel: Lively carbonation but over the top. Lingering finish but reasonably dry.

Overall Impression: Not very enjoyable, but not awful. Much better than the last Vietnamese beer I had. Still, hard to recommend.

HardTarget, Feb 05, 2006
Photo of EPseja
3.08/5  rDev +10.4%

Served from a foil-wrapped 12oz. bottle in a pilsener glass at just above fridge temperature.

A - Pours the palest of pale golds with lots of active carbonation. Bubbles stick like crazy to the sides of the glass and rocket upward from the bottom. Even that, however, can not keep the head -- initally foamy and about 1/2 finger in height -- from sinking to a thin film. The bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass remind me of fish gently breaking the surface of a pond to nibble some floating food.

S - Cold and grainy with notes of sweet maltiness and a distinct European hoppiness. I might say that I smell some adjuncts, but that would only be a guess. That's about it.

T - Crisp on the intake with a hint of light maltiness, developing a sweetness in the middle that lingers through the finish, eventually becoming a touch cloying in the back of the throat. Light hop bitterness is apparent only in the swallow, but doesn't hang around for the aftertaste. As you drink this beer, the taste seems to get washed out and in the end winds up tasting like any old beer.

M - A bit too animated for my tastes, but given the style, it's not bad at all. Rises to a decent volume and goes down without feeling too gassy.

D - While this beer on its own is nothing too far from average, it is best suited for drinking either as a backyard BBQ thirst quencher or as a pairing to a nice, spicy Vietnamese (or any Southeast Asian) meal.

EPseja, Feb 02, 2006
Photo of shirfan
3.23/5  rDev +15.8%

Medium clear gold with a very thin head of large bubbles, this has an aroma of "cheap lager" -- sweet, grassy, corny, slightly alcoholic smelling.

Taste -- Surprisingly decent for the smell. Sweet (but not cloying) malt liquor upfront, dries slightly towards the finish. Little if any adjunct or off flavor, and no grain alcohol notes to be found. Very mild bittering hops, and a light, tangy, almost white wine note.

Not bad for a plain "vanilla" beer.

shirfan, Jan 06, 2006
Photo of badturtle
3.83/5  rDev +37.3%

I got this in a terrible sampler pack from World Market. I've been afraid to drink it because of the other beers it was bundled with. I was pleasantly surprised with it. The smell is fairly week, but dominated by sweet malts. It poured with little head, as it is lightly carbonated. There is little hops taste. It is mostly malts. It reminds me of sweeter version of Heineken Dark. It has a clean finish. The color is very similar to apple juice. I was planning on finishing it off with spicy food, but it was good enough that it outlasted the food and made me wish I had another. This would be a good session beer if it weren't so hard to find at a reasonable price.

badturtle, Dec 24, 2005
Photo of GnomeKing
3.53/5  rDev +26.5%

When in Rome...or in this case, a the Vietnam Palace restaurant in Philly, so I gave 33 a shot, and I'm glad I did.

The bottle was ice cold and the glass was frosted, which probably helped with this beer. The head was fluffy and creamy. When I just tasted the head, it had not just a creamy mouthfeel, but even a dairy cream kind of taste. (I suppose this provides a lesson in the effect mouthfeel has on sensory perception.)

The taste had the clean, crisp taste you'd expect from a well-made yet conventional lager, but it also had some nice, sweet grains, like a mildly sweet cake.

This would go well with spicy food. I think it had a strong enough taste to hold its own. I wouldn't seek this one out, but if you're in an asian restaurant and choices are scant, this one will do the trick.

GnomeKing, Nov 12, 2005
Photo of Eris48
1.93/5  rDev -30.8%

Bottle from a Vietnamese restaurant in Brookline, MA. "33" does nothing to dispell the stereotype that Asian nations make lousy beers. In fact, this even makes Singha or Tsing Tao seem tasty by comparison.

Poured a pale yellow color with little carbonation and even less head. Almost no aroma. The initial taste was inoffensive, if watery, but the aftertaste had a definite off-note, almost metallic.

If not for the idiosyncratic name, "33" would have nothing going for it.

Eris48, Aug 28, 2005
Photo of Dithyramb
3.2/5  rDev +14.7%

Sampled last evening at a pho joint in Columbia. Presented as an ice cold 12 oz brown bottle. There was no freshness date or info about the beer.

Appearance: Pale golden colored brew with an initial rush of fizzy carbonation feeding a tight bubbled, but short lasting, head. Okay lacing on the sides of the highball glass.

Smell: Had a very clean smell, with very faint echos of hay and malt.

Taste/Mouthfeel: This was extremely crisp and clean drinking brew. My wife called it "slick", though I wouldn't go so far as to call it buttery. Very nice malty brew that was quite grassy with a crisp hop finish that balanced pretty nicely. Finishes just as clean as it starts

If I was sweating my balls off near the Mekhong River, I'd definitely go for this brew before any rot gut local whiskey/rum. I really enjoyed the flavor profile, considering the crowd this beer travels with. It was actually more enjoyable than a cold Singha...

Dithyramb, Aug 13, 2005
Photo of WesWes
2.65/5  rDev -5%

The beer pours a pale yellow color with a thin white lace head and some yeast floaties. The aroma is average. It has a dry pale malt scent with some adjuncts and a slightly spicey lager yeast aroma. The taste is horrible. It has a light pale malt flavor that is watered down and slightly metallic. It goes down easy, but it has a dry and spicey finish; not very good. The mouthfeel is average. It is a low bodied beer with good carbonation. This beer is horrible. It's the first beer I ever tried from Vietnam. I hope for their sake that there are others available. It has less than average taste and drinkability. I'm on my way to the sink to dump this one.

WesWes, Mar 18, 2005
Photo of mynie
1.95/5  rDev -30.1%

Pours nice into a pilsner glass. Bright yellow with a huge, foamy head.

Slight smell of apples and apricots. Pretty nice, actually, but faint, and completely overpowered by an odor of metal once it begins to warm up. Smells a lot like Old Milwaukee, actually.

What a dull and lifeless taste! There's the slightest hint of grainy malts and then it goes into watery nothingness that's backed up by a very slight hop bite at the end that tastes like skunk.

It's like I'm drinking water that gives me dyspepsia. Waste of money.

mynie, Mar 16, 2005
Photo of merlin48
1.8/5  rDev -35.5%

I don't make a habit of sampling and reviewing such poorly rated beers, but I've always been fascinated by Vietnam, a country that only a high draft lottery number kept me from visiting, courtesy of the US government, over three decades ago. This beer pours a clear straw yellow body, with a minimal offwhite head that quickly falls into film and a few patches of lace. Aroma is ghastly, with burnt plastic, a hint of sulfuric hops, and some corn syrup. Mouthfeel is light bodied with medium carbonation. Tastes like a lower tier, adjunct lager. Biscuity maltiness has a corn syrupy sweetness and the hops are mildly "Euroskunk" sulfuric. This one was a chore to finish. Very little, if any, to recommend here and it seems to be an adjunct lager rather than a Dortmunder Export.

merlin48, Feb 27, 2005
Photo of BeerNutta
2.42/5  rDev -13.3%

What can I say, this is Vietnam's budweiser. Whats even sadder is the fact that Vietnamese people would rather drink Heineken instead of this. Most tourists give it a go, because well... they're tourists.

Appearance: Straw yellow.

Smell: Didnt really smell much. Slight fruity smell. Apples?

Taste: Bland. with a fruity finish.

Mouthfeel: Slight carbonization, but pretty average.

Drinkability: Guh, if you really want beer in Vietnam, drink Heineken. It might not be real Heineken, it might be if your lucky, but it will still taste better than 333.

BeerNutta, Feb 17, 2005
Photo of Gueuzedude
2.53/5  rDev -9.3%

Clear straw gold beer, with a medium carbonation and a pale thin head. The aroma is lightly grassy and smells of cider, it is not offensive but the apple notes are a bit out of place. This beer is light with a sweet grain character and a bit of hop bitterness in the finish. I don’t get any real flaws in this beer, which is good, because there is nothing worse than a poorly made pale lager.

This is definitely not something I will willingly drink again, but it is not so offensive. It is best drunk cold.

Gueuzedude, Feb 05, 2005
Photo of JISurfer
2.3/5  rDev -17.6%

Well, I saw this one for the 1,000 time, so I figured it was time to finally try it. I guess you could say that curiosity got the better of me. Sure, it wasn't as bad as I expected it to be, but it wasn't that good either. The taste was a little metalic and of scalded malt. The alcohol wasn't tasteable at all, which with such low numbers, shouldn't be anyways. If your going to drink this beer, it's way better to drink it cold. If it's warm, it just goes down from there.

JISurfer, Dec 30, 2004
Photo of Backer2004
2.88/5  rDev +3.2%

Tried this months ago from the tap at Flying Saucer Emporium and just despised it at the time. This time, received this as part of a Beer of the World's gift pack and said what the heck. Actually, this is much better than I remember. The head retention added some points to the low score in appreance (almost flat with no lacing). Color a bit darker than a BMC and a better option as well. No mouthfeel but easy to finish and perhaps order another.

Backer2004, Dec 28, 2004
Photo of hero27
2.68/5  rDev -3.9%

Appearance: Golden, straw color. Head holds remarkably well for such a light beer..I was impressed, even though the overall appearance was nothing too special.

Smell: Grainy aroma...reminds me of the mass-produced American macros actually...and yes, "American Macro" are two dirty words in general, but I really don't mind them once in a while.

Taste: Tastes very much like a simple pilsner..but slightly better than most I've had. I'm not a huge fan of the style in general...always tastes to grassy too me. Taste is fairly simple..crisp, clean taste of grains with very mild hoppy finish..

Mouthfeel: Light mouthfeel..kinda slick as well..probably the weakest character of this brew. Carbonation is good but couldn't completely save it here.

Drinkability: Drinkability is pretty good..and to say anything different would be a lie. If i was sweating in the jungles of Vietnam, I'd kill for a refreshing brew like this.

hero27, Dec 01, 2004
Photo of connecticutpoet
2.08/5  rDev -25.4%

This one started out looking pretty good... a pale yellow color with a very large head on it. The head took a bit of time to die down to some fluffy foam.

Unfortunately the appearance was the best thing about it. The aroma portended bad things... it was extremely skunky. My hopes went down.

They stayed there. The beer had a bitter foretaste, and that was all. Beyond that, it was like drinking carbonated water. It was incredibly bland.

Mouthfeel was very thin and watery. Much like seltzer.

Drinkability - definitely one to avoid, unless you just want to say you've had a beer from Vietnam.

connecticutpoet, Jul 12, 2004
Photo of kbub6f
3.23/5  rDev +15.8%

1" of crusty, coarse, noisy white head. Clear, clear, pale gold body. Smells of peanuts and some grass. Nutty start. Thin body, a touch sour, a little fruity. A little metallic in the finish, a little corny, but some nice bitterness. Sour alcohol. It's not bad: a nutty, pale lager with some alcohol kick.

kbub6f, Jun 24, 2004
Photo of jdhilt
2.5/5  rDev -10.4%

Pours with a one-finger bubbly white head that fades quickly to a ring leaving some lace. Very pale yellow color. Nose is skunky. Light bodied and carbonation. Not as bad as I expected really a good lawn mower drink, but nothing to go out of your way for. Malts and hops are not strong. I needed it for a new country (#54). $1.90 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits, Acton, Ma.

jdhilt, May 23, 2004
Photo of beergeek279
2.58/5  rDev -7.5%

Served in the 12 oz. bottle, into a pint glass. The color is straw golden, with a slightly foamy head. The smell is a slight malty sweetness. The taste is a very strong bitterness with just a bit of malt, which doesn't seem right in a Dortmunder, and leaves a lot of bitterness in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is average. As for drinkability, I probably wouldn't really have another.

Well, this isn't a bad beer, but not a great one either. I admit, I bought this one just to add a new country, and well...when you do that, 90% of them will be boring lagers. While this one isn't one that blows the mind, it's not terrible, and if I ever go to Vietnam, I'd probably drink it.

beergeek279, May 07, 2004
Photo of oelergud
2.25/5  rDev -19.4%

Pale golden, very clear body, rich carbonation and slightly off white head with retention and lace.
Smells sweet but still has some unpleasant sourness in the background, old socks.
Not much flavor, aftertaste is there but very subtle, kinda bland and hard to describe as not much is there to describe. A little sourness is pretty much all I can detect.
Mellow and round but with a slight sting towards the end.
Too boring to try again.


oelergud, Apr 18, 2004
Photo of donnebaby
3.33/5  rDev +19.4%

This beer reveals a pretty standard medium gold color, but wields a pretty cool fluffy marshmellow head with medium ring lacing. The smell is musty basement and lemon spritz--interesting. Some floral hops as well.

The taste is mild, with suggestions of baking flour. Not sweet. The finish arrives with faint hops and a fairly unappetizing sour taste that if I concentrate I can relate with the lemon smell--then I'm happy.

This is refreshing beer, from its light lemon scent, to its ease going down. I can imagine myself sipping this one like lemonade under an umbrella somewhere.

donnebaby, Mar 24, 2004
Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.5/5  rDev +25.4%

The beer poured crystal clear pale golden straw. The head was white and dropped like a rock, but laced the glass.

The aroma was slightly sour, Saaz hops, and slight malt in the background.

The flavor was slightly sweet and fruity. Not as crisp as expected.

The finish was off dry and fairly neutral. The body was light.

12 ounce bottle. Very easy to drink.

GCBrewingCo, Feb 22, 2004
33 Export from VBL Tien Giang Limited (Fosters)
66 out of 100 based on 218 ratings.