Midway along the on-ramp up Hoang Hoa Tham Bridge on the Binh Thanh District side heading over to the Da Kao neighbourhood of District 1, is Midway Cafe, a “beer bar” dedicated to metal music and the rock n’ roll lifestyle.
I don’t know if Midway is named because of its location alongside the bridge, but it’s the best I could come up with after the staff at this popular kerbside venue drew a blank when I asked how it got its name.
But what’s in a name, right?
This place rocks for some #QuickBeers and has been doing so since 2013!
On the menu is quite an eclectic mix of beers, a few of which I’d never come across before, like the Schorsch Weizen weighing in at a whopping 13% ABV with a price tag to match at VND350,000.
But within the VND75,000 to VND95,000 range there are other imported and local craft beers, like relative newcomer to the market Steersman Brewery’s Flying Bees honey beer (4.9% ABV | 13 IBU) at VND90,000 and Hoprizon’s Full Sail white ale (5% ABV | IBU 12) at a cool VND85,000.
Still, as a lowly scribe who often pays for beers with the ones, twos and five thousand dong notes floating around under my motorbike seat, I promptly scrolled on down and across to the far right-hand-side reaches of the menu until my eyes landed on the much more accessible and familiar local classic 355ml bottle of Saigon Red lager at 4.9% ABV priced at VND30,000.
Beer geeks will have noticed by now that the menu has a decidedly European hue to it with plenty of easy drinking white beers, pilsners and lagers, which reflects the type of clientele (young, fresh, rock n’ roll) that is attracted to the place.
There are also tempting “combo” beer packages for those nhau sessions with friends where you can get food thrown in if you spend above a certain amount.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times – we’re extremely lucky to be living in a place where having a beer is just what you do, whatever time of the day, which also goes a long way to ensuring this incredibly intricate (some might say complicated) social fabric that we find ourselves enmeshed in remains tightly woven together.
And perhaps there’s no better place than here, at Midway Cafe, sitting amongst the young punters on repurposed oil barrels adjacent to the busy bridge and listening to one of the more obscure playlists I’ve come across in Saigon drowning out the din of the traffic over a couple of #QuickBeers, to enter the fray.
The metal amps up from 8pm till late each night.
Featured beer: Saigon Red lager 4.9 ABV
Find Midway Cafe HERE
Find out more about Midway Cafe at https://www.facebook.com/midway.beer/
Video: Matthew Cowan & The Bureau Asia
Feature photo: Matthew Cowan
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