Saigon Export | Saigon Beer Company

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Saigon ExportSaigon Export

Brewed by:
Saigon Beer Company
Viet Nam

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by slitherySOB on 01-27-2005

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Reviews: 96 | Ratings: 202
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #34 (Nov 2009):

Bubbly, pale-golden clarity shines in the light. Green apple skin and dried grass hit the nose hard. Delicate crispness balances on top of the light body. Green apple splashes down and leaves quick, dried, husked malt; a hop bitterness with muted flavor is all that really comes to the top. Dry with a nearly clean finish and more dried grass, which is at this point a little astringent, seems to not want to leave ... not too much of a bother.

On its own, this beer will become tiresome; better off just pairing it with a piping hot bowl of canh Chau (Vietnamese sour soup) to counter the astringent finish of the beer.

 678 characters

Photo of matjack85
2.99/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I found this single 12oz brown bottle at the Binny's store in Plainfield, IL for $1.79. No freshness date but the label tells you that this beer is made with rice as the adjunct grain, which is not surprising considering where it comes from.

The beer pours a clear golden/amber color with a 1 finger white head that doesn't last very long and leaves zero lacing.

The smell is pleasant enough. It has a touch of sweet malt, some grassy hop aromas, plus a touch of lemony citrus.

The taste is nothing special. It leans more to the sweet side although it's not sugary sweet. Rice and grassy hop flavors are evident wth no bitterness at all. A touch of lemon rounds things off. There's nothing offensive here, but nothing memorable either.

Light body without being watery. It could stand a little more carbonation and the finish leaves a bit of a metallic aftertaste.

It's not great but it's drinkable with no alcoholic taste.

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Photo of BradLikesBrew
2.33/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Crystal clear, light yellow body with a fizzy white head. Sounds like I just poured milk into a bowl of Rice Crispies.

Faint aroma is sweet with notes of green apples and DMS.

Acetaldehyde, DMS; a real bundle of off flavors for a beer with so little flavor. Carbonation provides more stimulus for the palate than either the hops or the grain. Slightly sweet on the finish.

Fizzy and thin.

Imagine if you paid for Stone IPA but got Hamm's instead. That is Saigon Export. It is the very definition of a flawed Adjunct Lager, but it retails for about $10 a 6pk. I feel sorry for Viet Nam if this really is their national beer. Budweiser is clearly MUCH better than this.

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Photo of shambeano
2.56/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank a lot of this when i was in vietnam, saw a bottle and though id give it another try.

L- pours a clear yellow, about 2 cm of head, that subsides a little quickly to nothing.

S- i little sweet, with a beeryness, but nothing is really descript. smells like beer and not too much else.

T- very very sweet, a little beery, but nothing really going on, taste like beer, but not much else happening.

M- light and bubbly, but again little else.

D- Easy to drink, could down several without thinking. and in extreme heat and humidity, its pretty good. but other than being in vietnam i probably wouldnt buy this.

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.44/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My review is based on the AAL style guidelines.

A: Bright, clear golden yellow color. Poured a 2 finger coarse white head with poor retention to a thin skim. Decanted continually. Just a little lacing at the start.

S: Sweet corn and wet crackers. Faint hay and grass noble hop aromas.

T: Slightly sweet, very subdued malt character. Mellow noble hops for an even bitter. A slight oxidation in the finish.

M: Light body. Ample carbonation. Crisp and refreshing. Good balance (slight of-flavor not withstanding).

D: Solid for the style. Need to try another as maybe I had a bad seal or it was old.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
2.36/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Ok, I'm trying to review this based on style, so....

A: Yup, looks like a typical AAL. Pale yellow/straw. Fluffy head that doesn't last much at all. Gotta knock it down a point

S: stale feet and wet straw. Malt is...well, isn't good.

T: About what I expected. The first impression isn't bad, but the aftertaste is socks and wet tarp. Hoping carbonation cleanses this out...

M: nope. pretty flat.

D: nope. Can't finish it. Need some Ruination to exorcise my palate.

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Photo of beertunes
3/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I picked this one up just to check Viet Nam off my country list and it turned out to be a typical "Cheap American Lager". Bright, clear yellow with a fluffy white head that had decent retention and no lacing.

Typical grainy-sweet scent. The flavor was perhaps sweeter than most of this style. Body was typically thin. Drinkability was OK for the style. Not a bad beer to try if you see it, but probably not worth seeking out.

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Photo of PEIBeerGuy
2.88/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A very bright, pale gold with a few "floaties" in it. A bit of head at first pour, which is gone in no time.

Its smell reminds me a bit of some white wine with maybe... wet dog?

Taste is pretty unremarkable. I pick out corn and a bit of citrus / lemon. The aftertaste is actually somewhat citrus-y. A hint of bread.

Especially if you hold it in your mouth for a second, it's a bit of a fizz attack on the tongue. Your tongue still feels it well after the swallow. It feels pretty smooth, and not watery. The finish is a little dry.

Not bad. Not undrinkable. Nothing remarkable, though, or anything about it that should make anyone desire this beer in particular. I picked it up because I never had a Vietnamese beer before.

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Photo of wordemupg
2.18/5  rDev -19%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

330ml bottle poured into pint glass july3 2010

A clear straw yellow with a crazy amount of carbonation that leads up to a cola like head that fizzes out before you know it with no time to leave any lace

S some wet sour rice cake and some rancid lemon

T sadly it tastes as it smells but with some added skunk

M thin and over carbonated

D hard to enjoy a beer that tastes lousy, I don't think I'll be drinking this again unless it's a safe alternative to some jungle water

I swear I've reviewed this beer before and I don't think I cared for it then either, don't go looking for this one it's not so good

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Photo of Mora2000
3.57/5  rDev +32.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a clear macro yellow color with a white head. The aroma is unmistakably full of adjuncts. I get a lot of corn with some earthy and grassy hops. The flavor is grassy hops with a lot of corn and wheat. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. As bad as the adjuncts sound, I actually didn't mind the beer and finished my 12 ounce bottle pretty quickly. It is certainly not a great or even an above average beer, but if you have to have an adjunct lager, this one is not bad.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.5/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours yellow with a light white head, solid look.

S: Corn, Euro lager malt smell.

T: Nice light malt flavour, with some noble hopping. Nice taste, nothing too substantial, but a lot better than most in this category.

M: Clean and crisp. Smooth, light-bodied.

D: One of the better adjunct lagers I've had; no off-flavours, a pleasant experience.

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Photo of brownbeer
2.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a typical pale lager color. Yellow water, not much to get excited about there.

Pale grains in the aroma with traces of lemongrass.

The taste is about the same, not much going on, and not the cleanest taste either. Lingering grain taste into the finish. Light bodied, not as watery as some american examples, if that's saying anything.

Pretty blah, but not super offensive. Pass.

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Photo of glamphetamine
1.45/5  rDev -46.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

A - Pale golden yellow with a half-finger head that dissipated to a light foam.

S - Weak. All I can smell is a hint of cereal grain and a slightly sour smell. After a few tries I got a hint of skunk.

T - Overly sweet and slightly metallic with a hint of grain. Again, a grainy and bland aftertaste with a touch of alcohol. The burp had more taste than the gulp.

M - Left my mouth feeling slightly dirty. It didn't finish clean, instead leaving a sickening foamy feeling lining my mouth.

D - If I saw this in a cooler in a party, I might throw myself on the grenade and drink it so someone else doesn't have to. It's not the worst beer I've ever had, and part of me wants to find something to like about it, but I wouldn't buy it again. One and done, folks. Buy it, talk some smack about it, then chug it and go grab a good beer.

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Photo of lstokes
2.68/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Did it wash down my vietnamese curry adequately? Yes.

Is there anything else to be said about it? Not really. It looks yellow, it smells sweet, the taste is grainy and a little bit tart, the mouthfeel is light and clean and dry.

I would order it again with pho.

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Photo of IronDjinn
2.23/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

From a 355 ml brown bottle, gold foil around the neck and cap, abv listed at 4.9%. Pours out a clear straw colour, lazy carbonation, two fingers of tight foamy white head that settles quickly.

Grainy at first on the nose, some light bready malt, some tart/sour adjunct, light spice, some veg.

Rough, husky, grainy malt up front in the flavour, sour tartness from the rice in the middle, veg and salt on the finish and lingering aftertaste.

Light mouthfeel, very prickly abrasive carbonation, dry salty aftertaste.

This barely hits the radar, not overwhelmingly offensive, yet enough flaws that it doesn't do much to redeem itself for another round or another look. Bland.

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Photo of BeardedBoffin
2.88/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first beer from Vietnam, Saigon Export out of Ho Chi Minh City. Why not HCM City Export? Probably because it is bottled for export. In any case, I peeled the gold foil from around the cap and the dried glue holding the foil in place created a powder which dispersed itself all over the table. Not a good start.

The beer poured a pale golden with an inch of dishwater foam that receded to a wispy ring. The aroma is crisp with hints of grass. Light and fleeting on the palate as it moves to the gullet. Faint grainy flavors turn into detectable bitterness. By the time you notice the flavors, they are gone. However a dry residue is left on palate which is a little harsh.

This isn't my favorite beer, but it is not the worst one I have ever had either.

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Photo of DerekP
3/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into 20 oz mug.

From Vietnam comes Saigon Export. Rice is a utilized adjunct, creating a yellow, piss-like color. This beer smells and tastes like Heineken, but an obvious difference lies between the IBU's, with Heineken having a lot more.

Saigon Export goes down friendly, but the beer is very bland, even more so than Heineken. I'm guessing it is the Miller Lite of Vietnam. The gold foil presentation that surrounds the neck and bottle cap is definitely out of place. The head and lacing of this beer is just like any light beer from the U.S. Yuppies could drink this and feel trendy.

I don't like this beer, but I don't hate it. On a positive note, it shares qualities of a typical European beer. There is a hop characteristic in the taste that I'm familiar with. In that respect, it reminds me of Pilsner Urquell, Stella Artois, even Carlsberg or Grolsch, but every one of the beers I just mentioned are superior to Saigon Export. Still, it has a good carbonation level, a nice feel, and a light body that, surprisingly, doesn't disappoint me. And for a beer that lacks a lot of flavor, it doesn't really taste watered down.

In retrospect, I can't complain. I bought an imported Export from Saigon that traveled a hell of a long way, and for one single it only cost me around a $1.93. Not bad for an Import.

This review was originally posted @

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Photo of Zorro
3.1/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear yellow beer with basically no head formation.

Smell is biscuit malt and grassy hop and that is about it. Not a lot of smell here.

Starts out a little malty with a light lemony hop flavor. Light flavored but clean with no off flavors. After about the middle of the glass it starts tasting like it smells. Very much drier than any of the other Asian Lagers like Singha.

Mouthfeel is light.

A good choice for beer when you want something drier than most Asian Lagers.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
2.42/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle with no freshness date and a rusty cap, awesome. Pours a very clear light gold color with a pretty thick cap of white foam. Retention is not too shabby but it leaves no lacing on the glass.

Smells like Welch's grape juice with a hint of cardboardy stale malts. There is room for improvement on the aroma, to say the least.

Taste still has some vinous characteristics, but not as much as I feared upon smelling it. Stale malty graininess pervades the flavor and the body is lightened up significantly by rice additions. The body is so light that the modest 4.7% ABV can easily be detected. There is some grassy hop bitterness on the finish, but not very much. I could see this being refreshing served cold in the hot, humid climate of SE Asia. In the context of American beer, it is a slightly below average AAL. Glad to have tried a beer from Vietnam though!

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Photo of biboergosum
2.58/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

355ml bottle. I remember searching over half the city for this a few years back, as part of my contribution to a Vietnamese-themed dinner party. Now, its gold-foil encased neck lends a bit of bling to the SAigon BEer COmpany, apparently.

This beer pours a clear medium golden apple juice yellow colour, with two fat fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and duly soapy off-white head, which leaves some random patchy branched lace around the glass as things quickly dissolve.

It smells of sweet, overripe corn mash, bready rice pudding, cooked veggies, and dead leafy, weedy hops. The taste is a pretty simple reiteration of the aroma - gritty corn husk and glutinous white rice, some acrid stale vegetal essence, and stale leafy, scorched earth grassy hops.

The carbonation is a bit on the high side, but settles to an agreeable enough frothiness soon enough, the body a kind of surprising medium weight for the style, and plain in its work-a-day smoothness. It finishes well off-dry, the cheap maltiness holding true, with some grassy, weedy hops lingering weakly alongside.

Another United Colors of Benetton world lager that is so-so on its own, but which I would imagine goes much better with some of its associated Diaspora's culinary offerings, such as fried noodles or oh-so-spicy pho, as has been my experience with most of these Asian lagers.

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Photo of MisterDeeds
3.27/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from abottle into a pilsner glass.

Light golden straw color, with almost no head, and LOTS of bubbles.

I was expected that same old skunky smell that you get from all of the lesser-known imports, but this one smells surprising clean. Almost floral.

Taste is what it is. An imported beer from Vietnam, so I guess it's not supposed to blow my mind, but it is far better than most other odd imports I have had. This could be attributed to the brown bottle, rather than the prefered green glass of most others.

You could do much worse than an enjoying an ice cold Saigon with a bowl of noodles.

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Photo of nighthawk
1.96/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

355mL bottle with no apparent freshness date (though a code on the foil could be interpreted as a date of some kind) poured into a pint glass.

Body is clear yellow, lots of carbonation and a few floaties. Head is generous at first pour, but quickly settles to a thin ring. Retention's good, better than many in the style.

Aroma is a little sugary, maybe some hops in there. Really mild, almost nothing there.

Taste is watery, tangy apple juice.

Mouthfeel is light and bubbly. Par for the course here.

I'm not choking on this, but I'm far from enjoying it either. Maybe if I was in Saigon, chowing down on some cha gio I'd go for this, but there are too many AALs that taste better to waste my money and palate on this stuff.

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Photo of BigBry
2.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

355 ml brown bottle, silver foil over cap. Ordered with dinner at a local Vietnamese place.
Label ingredients list malt, rice, hops and water. Looked OK, light yellow, white foam, some head retention, no lace. Grassy aroma, light and crisp grainy flavor, adjuncts come through, but not enough to make it overly offensive. Light body, crisp mouthfeel, and nicely drinkable paired with some spicy Vietnamese food. It does the job, fits the style. Prefer this over Tiger or green bottles of Tsing Tao (the other 2 usual options).

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Photo of EatsTacos
2.1/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a fizzy light yellow with almost no head. I'll admit that I read the label and saw that rice is listed as an ingredient before hops


Taste:...rice, malty...

Mouthfeel: not bad at all really. Sharp, biting carbonation with a thin to medium body is pretty much what I expected

Drink: It did the job and washed down my pad tai

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Photo of micahgoldfus
2.48/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured very clear and very yellow, with a half-decent looking head. Lots of carbonation bubbles running up the side. The smell was of soapy malts and grains and some very basic hop bitterness. Pretty blah. The taste is about what you'd expect from an American-style Asian macro-brew: mild, a little bitter, but mostly dominated by grainy and grassy malts. However, this beer was a pinch sweeter than the others. The mouthfeel was thin and the carbonation high. I wasn't expecting much going in, so I enjoyed what I had. I know that if I was in a bar on a hot day in Vietnam, this beer would taste a lot better.

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Saigon Export from Saigon Beer Company
2.69 out of 5 based on 202 ratings.
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