33 Export | VBL Tien Giang Limited (Fosters)

275 Ratings
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33 Export33 Export

Brewed by:
VBL Tien Giang Limited (Fosters)
Viet Nam

Style: Dortmunder / Export Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jackndan on 08-17-2002

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Reviews: 148 | Ratings: 275
Photo of McFinniganOfTheFinnigans
3.4/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

My number choice of beer at any Vietnamese restaurant if they got it. One of the few beers you almost can't buy anywhere. There's a Vietnamese grocery store in San Diego with them on palettes.

However if you find it in most places it's $10.99 and over per 6pk. Yet that place had it at 7.99. Worth it. It's a beer. But the feeling is why I love it.

 350 characters

Photo of tlema1
3.01/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

L: crystal clear, slightly carbonated, very little head
S: slinky, corn, light malt
T: sweeter than I expected
F: has a funny aftertaste
O: better than expected, would take over a Heineken

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Photo of Beginner2
2.93/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had at a very good French Vietnamese restaurant. 33 went well with 5 of 6 dishes ordered, the hold-out was spicy. 33 is a malted, sweet accompaniment to a good kitchen; but not an beer aficionado's friend.

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Photo of hophugger
2.91/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

It is what it is. Lots of aromas of malt, sugary sweetness and rice. Basically a low level AB produce. Feel is not that bad, but too many cheap additives make this beer a well below average drink..

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

$ 2.03 (Including tax)/12 oz bottle ($ 0.169/oz) at State Line Liquors, Elkton, MD
Filled 8.4.15 Expires 8.4.16 at 42 degrees into a hand washed and dried JK snifter
Aroma – very faint wet grain, lasts
Head – small (< one cm, aggressive pour), white, fizzy, rapidly gone leaving neither ring nor layer
Lacing – none
Body – gold, clear, some effervescence
Flavor – slightly bitter, very light malt flavor; no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate light to medium, watery, lively carbonation

Not bad for a nearly year-old lager or for any lager, for that matter. One and done.

Appearance 2.75, Aroma 2.75, Flavor 3, Palate 3.25, Overall 3.25

 644 characters

Photo of teromous
3.23/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I don't see any date listed on the bottle.

Appearance: The beer is a light-to-medium shade of gold with amber hues on the edge. The beer is very transparent. The head develops into a very short white cap that quickly fades to a ring and a small film of white bubbles. No lacing.

Aroma: I get a faint sweet cereal grain smell and a bit of sulfur.

Taste: It does have a slight bit of caramel flavor with somewhat of a cracker taste. There is a bit of hop flavor in here but it is very light.

Mouthfeel: High carbonation, light body, crisp but off-dry finish.

Overall: The beer tastes alright enough that I could sit down and actually enjoy the beer. This is mainly because there is a hop presence and a touch of caramel malt sweetness. What really did start to negatively impact the drinking experience was the presence of sulfur on the nose. It just isn't the cleanest smelling lager. I doubt I would buy it again and aside from the novelty of having a beer from Viet Nam I don't think it warrants importation. If I were actually in Viet Nam I would probably buy it though. I can't say that I would recommend it unless you want to see how beers from Viet Nam taste. If that is the case then you will probably be glad to know that this beer actually has some decent flavors.

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Photo of Ronbo56
2.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Bought a case of 25cl bottles here in France for about 6€. I think I got what I paid for. I had never heard of this beer before and I (stupidly) assumed that it was brewed *somewhere* in Europe. Ha. I do research for a living and I didn't research this, so it serves me right.

However, it isn't a disaster. It doesn't taste weird or spoiled. It looks and tastes like a cheap adjunct, and a lot of American versions are worse. It certainly tastes OK on a hot day by the pool. And every sip is a teachable moment.

 514 characters

Photo of BranfordBound
2.41/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

Poured from the 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. My friend bought this stuff bragging about how cheap it was, something like 2 bucks for a six pack, which made me nervous about the quality of this beer. Pours a straw color, clear, with a fizzy soda-like head that fades fast.

Smell is adjunct grain, sweet, very mild. Taste is a big blast of sweetness, followed by some tea-like notes. Finishes slightly bitter with a bit of a chemical/plastic note. Body is light and the beer is somewhat smooth on the tongue.

The flavor in the end is pretty terrible, and the aftertaste is worrisome. Cool to try a few sips of but now I'm concerned for my health. You get what you pay for here!

 680 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.16/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle served cold.
Honey colored body is clear with nice highlights but minimal head despite continuous rising carbonation.
The aroma has some caramel, butter and faint hops. More hops in the flavor.
Clean and refreshing but meek.

 242 characters

Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
3/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From the bottle, it pours golden with a small head, quickly dissipating. Scent of grain tickles the nose. Light malt flavor in the mouth. Drinkable. Probably outstanding on a hot muggy day!

 193 characters

Photo of hman43
2.15/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 1.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

Look: It pours straw and clear. The head is extremely white and disappears quickly.

Smell: It has aromas of grass and that’s about it.

Taste: It has flavors of grass, with a bready malt character.

Feel: It has a light character that is balanced with a sweet, yet dry sting to it.

Overall: It is just like many other lagers that are non descript with the exception of the malt character that actually has a slight flavor.

 429 characters

Photo of MichialTanner1
2.9/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

I bought this one for all of the wrong reasons: I wanted to tick a style I had never rated/reviewed (Dortmunder) from a new country (Vietnam), and the bottle was only $1.59.

Dortmunder is just a golden lager and this one had all of those typical characteristics. I was a bit surprised by the first few sips--it's actually pretty good. However, the one finger of head dissipated after a couple of minutes and it just went flat after a few minutes. After it sat for a while and warmed up, the taste worsened like a cheap malt liquor does--almost as if there was a drop of gasoline in the glass.

Still, not the worst beer I've ever had and would be okay on a hot day if you put it down while ice-cold.

 704 characters

Photo of ordybill
2.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. The appearance is a clear light golden yellow, not a good start. The aroma is watery with a grain smell. The taste is stale and not good at all. Incredibly poor quality beer.

 225 characters

Photo of jmasher85
2.66/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

In a West African country with fewer-than-most good beer options, this was one of the middle ground beer. It's everything you expect a sub-par lager to be, and I probably liked it even more than I should have because of all the other terrible beer around me, but hey, it was drinkable and that counts for something. Probably better than some of the the local options in much of the developing world.

 401 characters

Photo of woemad
2.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle purchased at Huckleberry’s in Spokane for $1.79. Purchased solely because I’d never had a beer from ‘Nam before. According to the label, “Fill & Expiry Date: See On The Bottle.” It’s not there.

Poured into a Budge Bros. nonic pint glass, this was a clear, golden color, with a thin, fizzy white head that collapsed in seconds. What little Lace that was created was sparse and spotty.

Mildly grainy, with a little bit of diacetyl, which wasn’t to a point to make things unpalateable but did give off a little bit of an apple juicey aroma.

This tastes like a really mild apple cider. Again, it’s not to the point of being downright unpleasant, but it can’t be what was in mind when it was brewed. This tastes like it spent a long time coming to America and/or sitting in a warehouse once it got here, and with no freshness date to show otherwise, I’d be willing to bet that’s exactly what happened.

Mouthfeel? Oh, who cares for this one?

No great surprise. A bland macro-style beer from a country not know for brewing beer that showed some age possibly due to the long distances it would have travelled. I’ve certainly had worse beers with similar origins, but this wasn’t exactly miles ahead of them either.

 1,250 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3/5  rDev +7.1%

Bottle received in trade.
Clear golden color with a decent sized but short lived bubbly white head. Light sweet grain with a hint of bread and melanoid. Not bad for a pale lager.

 179 characters

Photo of biegaman
2.93/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

*This version is brewed in Cameroon by Les Brasseries du Cameroun*

"33" Export looks like it may have endured a long voyage; bubbles are few and lazy, head is non-existent and its golden complexion, despite maintaining perfect clarity, has a somewhat tarnished colour. Looks conventional, but far from irresistible...

It's a lamentable thought that when it comes to beer most people in the world know only insipid, industrially-produced lagers. Many are put-off by the smell of beer and it's no wonder - I don't care for that corn syrup-laden stench neither. A good lager is not supposed to smell this way.

The use of adjuncts and cheaper fermentables equate primarily to two things: cutting down on production costs to allow more money for advertising, and a weaker, lamer beer. In place of tastes of fresh-baked bread or wholesome cereal grain, lagers like "33" Export have bland, monochrome notes of corn kernels and refined white sugar.

Now, if intensely chilled and desperately parched, these kinds of simple, uninspired lagers can be highly satisfying. Indeed, most drinkers of popular mass-produced brands won't have any issues with this one and, if anything, will find it highly agreeable. Heck, I don't find offensive. But I repeat: a properly made lager will have far more character and body than this.

Contrary to conventional beer geek opinion, pale lagers (even mass-produced ones) *can*be a source of uncomplicated scrumptious - provided they're done right. That's the caveat. "33" Export isn't so poorly made that it couldn't be enjoyed given the right conditions but, by and large, it is a beer I'd only buy again with counterfeit money.

 1,669 characters

Photo of cyclonece09
2.99/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a mug. Pours dark straw orange with a white head that dissipates quickly. Smells of weak grain not much else. Tastes of watery grain, but with a tad of fruitiness. Beer is heavily carbonated and light bodied. Overall an ok beer.

 260 characters

Photo of DaveBar
3.25/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Purchased at the LCBO for $1.35 for a 330ml bottle. Served at 5deg C in a draught glass.

A- Opens well. Pours and looks like a mass produced beer

S- Rice and sugar

T- Rice and sugar.

M- Dry like a rice beer should be. Tart too believe it or not

O- Pretty good beer. Like a Sapporo.

Food Pairing

How you can you not try this with... Pad Thai


 356 characters

Photo of flagmantho
2.93/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: medium golden hue with no haze and a very strong effervescence. Head is a finger of frothy white foam. Not too bad.

Smell: sweetish malt with a little bit of an adjuncty and plasticy character. A bit bland; not the worst thing in the world, though.

Taste: like the aroma, there's not a lot going on in the flavor department past a little bit of sweetness and a little bit of bitterness. I would not go so far as to say there is any hop flavor, though. It's not disgusting, but it doesn't really appeal to me.

Mouthfeel: light body with a decent carbonation and creaminess.

Overall: this beer is uninspiring to me, but it's also not terrible. It's hot out today, which is contextually appropriate, but even that doesn't strongly help its drinkability.

 810 characters

Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
3.2/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

A: Clear, light gold color, with half a finger of white head; lacing is nil.

S: Grassy notes, with faint grain aromas. Hints of floral hops. Nothing powerful here.

T: There's a brief moment of sweet and bready malt, but if you blink you'll miss it. It's followed by another brief moment of tartness, then a mild but lingering bitterness from slightly spicy hops takes over through the finish.

M: Moist, but nicely carbonated. Refreshing, with a hint of dryness. By far, the mouthfeel is the best attribute of this beer.

O: Decent for what it is: A thirst-quenching lager designed to cool you down on a hot day, or pair with a salty, spicy bowl of Vietnamese phở noodle soup.

 680 characters

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.09/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance - standard macro yellow/gold with a thin head. Decent beading from below but still losing the battle to keep the cap on.

Aroma - clean, grainy, a hint of...gunpowder??

Taste - a slight apple sweetness to an otherwise blase brew. A whisper (if that) of balancing hops. Even working though the beer, the apple maintains a pleasant enough enhancement. Finishes fizzy, some fruity astringency, not bad.

Mouthfeel - very upbeat and crisp, smooth lager body.

Overall - I liked this more than I thought I would, enough to have it again even.

 549 characters

Photo of Durge
3.15/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A clear golden brew that shows lots of bubble activities throughout and clinging to the sides of the chilled pint glass. The modest head is snow white but holds on reasonably and leaves similar traces of lace. The aroma offers a mild but balanced rice/wheat grain. Very clean, nothing unusual but fine for the style. The flavor brings fairly simple wheat and light malt with a rice-lemon theme and maybe even some sweet corn and a cardboard kiss. But it’s a light bodied beer with a fairly dominant carbonation that makes for a very bright, crisp feel. Very refreshing, perhaps overcarbonated and a little under-flavored. But adequate to wash down your Viet Namese chow.

 672 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
2.81/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a crystal clear pale yellow in color with light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a half finger tall soapy white head that quickly reduces to a very thin layer over most of the surface of the beer and a ring at the edges of the glass. Light lacing is observed.

S: The aroma of this beer is just like that of an American Adjunct Lager rather than a Dortmunder/Export Lager. There is a heavy presence of adjunct malt sweetness - leading with rice and some lighter amounts of grain.

T: The taste follows the smell but underneath it all is a metallic taste. The flavor is dominated by the adjunct malts - mostly rice but also with a heavy dose of grain. The beer has a decent amount of sweetness and I get something akin to apple juice as well. There is some light bitterness in the finish.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Some very light dryness in the finish.

O: The slightly metallic taste is definitely off-putting in this beer and to me makes it less than enjoyable and not a sessionable beer. I do not want to have more than one of these, never mind more than one in a single session.

 1,165 characters

Photo of bogus564
2.68/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 fl. oz, poured into a tall pilsner glass.

It wasn’t a particularly good Valentine’s Day for this author, for a couple of reasons; (1) I don’t have a valentine right now; and (2) I underwent a prostate exam. This is a good time for a beer or two.

A: Golden in color, actually more gold than yellow – that’s a pleasant surprise. It produces a 3 cm head with a careful pour, and it holds much longer than most beers of this type. The head is wheat-colored, and dissolves into lace. It’s also very, very bubbly. I’m starting to wonder about this one…

S: As I’m reviewing, I usually set the glass down about 18 inches from my nose after I pour it. In quite a number of cases, I can smell the beer from that far away. With this one, I can’t smell a thing; I don’t know if that’s good or bad. Nose in – I’m suddenly teleported to my Army days, when I was stationed in Korea. This is what beer smelled like there; very grassy and hoppy, with a citrus note in the background. Wow.

T: At this point, I’m committed, so I’m going in for a taste. Man, that’s disappointing. All the ingredients I smelled are there, but in weak proportions, and they don’t play well together. What a bummer. The balance is off, and that’s noticeable immediately. Yuck.

M: Mouthfeel is not even good. It’s light in body, the carbonation is kicked up to the point that it foams in your mouth, the palate does not like this, and the finish causes you to make the kind of face that makes people think you smelled something you didn’t like. I’d like for my mouth to forget this particular experience.

O: I wouldn’t drink this beer again on a dare, or if paid less than twenty bucks per sip. You wouldn’t believe how many potato chips I had to eat to nullify the effect on my tongue. I know this doesn’t make me popular with the maker, but that’s my true opinion; better luck next time. I’m immediately going to another beer. Until the next time.

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33 Export from VBL Tien Giang Limited (Fosters)
2.8 out of 5 based on 275 ratings.
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