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We Go In Search For Vietnam's Winking Seal


Vietnam is the land of beers, well, coffee as well, but beer's more fun.

The country ranks as top 10 in the world in terms of beer consumption, with the malty refreshing beverage about as ubiquitous as water.

Make no mistake, in Ho Chi Minh beer can be consumed most anywhere. There's no required decorum and no faux pas can be made - drink it anywhere, anyway you like it - on a plastic stool by the roadside, have it in an upscale restaurant, how about at the Winking Seal taproom?

With beer consumption enviably high, you can be sure that craft beer brands are sure to follow, and one of the stalwarts has an unbearably loveable mascot - the Winking Seal.


Brian Kekich and Mark Nerney started the Winking Seal in 2016, named after Mark's favorite childhood soft toy. (Image Source: Winking Seal)


The Winking Seal was started by two friends, Brian Kekich and Mark Nerney in 2016, naming it after Mark's childhood soft toy - a cutesy seal that lost an eye.

Today, the company has a whole bunch of expressions they've created, and also run a taproom that plays host to other local (and friendly) craft beers.

With a night in Ho Chi Minh, we had to check it out.


That's some good Banh Xeo.


After getting some freshly fried Banh Xeo nearby, we took a walk through the bustling night time streets and wandered our way through a park and several rows of meandering shophouses and found hope that we were not lost - a glowing signboard with the seal we were in search of.

We made it.



We stepped into the taproom, located at 50 Dang Thi Nhu Street, Nguyen Thai Binh Ward, District 1, and found a cozy hideaway.


Are these not the cutest beer taps handles?


We grabbed a seat by the bar and was greeted by two lovely bartenders and got our pick of the beers of the month.



We had to go with the Winking Seal house special - the Lagerlicious Craft Lager. After all, we gotta have what the winking seal is having.


The Lagerlicious. 

Tasting Note

Color: Passionfruit Yellow.

Aroma: Light honey with a farm fresh note of straw, all very crisp.

Taste: A real creamy mouthfeel, that's lightly sweet with bright tropical fruity notes of citrus, passionfruit, mango, satsumas, and a dash of light honey.

Finish: Lightly bitter, but again clean and crisp, with a spritely pine freshness.



The Lagerlicious was absolutely refreshing and thirst quenching - incredibly smooth and creamy with such easy to love tropical fruity notes that takes you through a fruit bazaar. Wonderful stuff! 

After several pints of the stuff, we headed off for supper - Banh Canh Cua or Tapioca Noodles in Crab Broth!



But not before we picked up some merch - a pint cup and a t-shirt with the loveable mascot.



It was time to bid the Winking Seal farewell, for now.







Winking Seal Beer Co. Taproom

Address: 50 Dang Thi Nhu Street,
Nguyen Thai Binh Ward, District 1,
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Contact: +84 (0) 28 44581350

Email: hello@winkingseal.com

Instagram: @winkingseal

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/winkingseal

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