Beer....have they faked that too.

Hi,
I've often wondered if the brand beer, ie Tiger, Heinekin, Carlsberg etc is the same quality & alcohol content of the same product back home.  I know Tiger prints 5% on the label but this stuff tastes like low alcohol beer.

I'm not a regular drinker at all, but I do notice that it's no problem having several beers here with little effect.   I go on visits to other countries and notice the strength of their beer instantly.  And it's labelled less than 5%.

I'm in Cambodia now, was in Malaysia 3 months ago, Thailand and Australia last year AND found that after 3 beers I was feeling the effects.  Here in Vietnam, 3 Tigers .....it's like lemonade.

I've read that Heinekin is the most counterfeited beer in Vietnam.  It's well known the spirits here are bootlegged also.   

Ah well, I suppose it's no surprise if the "brand" beer is faked as well.   Just add that to the Watches, Shirts, bikes, shoes, bags, wives, sunglasses, etc etc..

and wine, too !  I have bought bottles with reproduced French wine labels on them and found that they were filled with Dalat wine and Hanoi fruit wine.  FRUIT! Not even grapes!

Yup - even at the higher end bars where they keep your bottles for you until you get back..

The new bottles are fine, once you put them at the bar and come back and get them - its been replaced with fake liquor.

I don't know about the beers but for what it's worth ......
I owned a small bar here for nearly 4 years and in that time emailed Jack Daniels in the USA to advise them there was an awful lot of fake Jack in Vung Tau. The first time they sent a Rep from Singapore who advised us ...
1. to look on the back of the front label and there will be a number in reasonable large print - but damn hard to see while the bottle is full.

2. Look of the bottom of the bottle and on one of the four sides there will be a tiny number that looks like it was printed with a dot matrix printer.
They said the numbers should be the same. (On all but 5 bottles they were not.)

The second time I complained they sent another western expat rep. He said it was pretty well impossible to police as
(a) Many cleaning staff from bars sell the empty bottles to bootleggers (30 to 40,000VND each) so even if the number match, that only tells you the bottle is real. It doesn't guarantee what is inside the bottle.
This fellow also advised that as the official channel for import of Jack Daniels into Vietnam, they only imported 750ml bottles. So if you have a 1 or 1.1 litre bottle it is likely from Cambodia and may or may not be real.

That's the info I was given, but it seems every man and his dog has a story about fake Jack.

JohnMak's post is helpful.I'm also bar owner for 7 years.We took of the labels of empty bottle after used and broke them to prevent fake alcohols.We had contacts with the main importers and asked them which agent should we buy their products from.I hope there will be more bar owners who are care about this so no one no buyers for fake alcohols.

Heineken and other somewhat more expensive beers are often diluted or replaced with cheaper brands in HCMC. There was an article in one of the local papers about this not too long ago that showed a circle of people whose job it was to pour real Heineken in one old dirty bucket and cheap beer in another old dirty bucket. Next they refill the bottles and some extra empties with a mix of the two and profit that way. Dunno about Tiger. There are far more dangerous substitutes used in fake liquor. Some advice from a friend, who knows much more about this than I, which I follow is to avoid mixed drinks like the plague.

If this is the case, which I tend to believe, shouldn't it be visible on the bottle in a way? If you know then tell me here. I keep to my choice of the Vietnam brewn 333!  And one DOES feel it in the head.

Good posts on this topic...

I agree, and i stick with beer in cans to be safe.  I buy bottles of hard liquor at the bigger grocery stores like Metro or Giant in HCMC.  Methanol poisoning is serious stuff, and people die from it every year.

Ok, in my time in Asia Ive noticed the same thing as the original post, that beer is like lemonade. 5% feels like 0%. There was something I bought here in Malaysia, 9% beer, it sure had a kick but that kick wasnt beer and I never bought it again. It was an underlying taste, way under the beer taste and i just thought uh-oh, no no....

Tiger and Carlsberg and all local produced beer here IS beer as far as I can taste but the alcohol content is a frickin' lie. Drink as many as you like and no effect at all. Except maybe a pretty sour stomach. Why do they lie? Is it because Asians cant hold their liquor? Who knows. I only know that in Europe, US, Mexico even, a beer is a beer is a beer, no complaint at all.

While in Asia I read repeatedly that China produces wine with petrol or related spirits and you can die. I bring wine from US only. Hard liquor, i dont know as i seldom, if ever, drink it.

That's scary! 
What about Budweiser and Saigon beer?

Just checked in Metro Anh Phu yesterday.

Two Bottles of Jack Daniels.  BOTH had mismatching numbers.
And yes they are hard to see.

Also the comment about the "diluting" of Heneken Bottles; sort of explains why Cans are dearer in some places.

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