Hommel Beer Factory
BIA HOI CULTURE'S ORIGIN: FROM A COLONICAL DRINKING TO A CULTURE OF URBAN DWELLERS
Before the French colonization, Vietnam had a long history of rice alcohol production. The beer industry was created in 1892 by Alfred Hommel, founder of Hommel Brewery (Brasserie Hommel) in Hanoi. Along with the Larue Brewery (Brasserie Larue) in Saigon, the Hommel Brewery was one of the two biggest breweries in Indochina.
Beer was the drink that seemed most suitable in the Indochina climate. At first, beer was mainly consumed by the French, then it became more and more popular with local Vietnamese people.
Besides water, the ingredients used by the Hommel Brewery were malted barley and hops imported from Europe and a proportion of rice (preferably denitrogenated). The difficulty was not in the purchase of ingredients of first quality, but in purifying water used, acquiring expensive brewing equipment, and adapting it to the hot and humid climate of Hanoi. Another challenge for the production of bottled beer was transportation. The brewery came up with the idea of producing a draft beer called bia hoi sold in kegs instead of bottles. Over time, bia hoi became a staple of Vietnamese culture and it remains so to this day.
Name: Brasserie Hommel / Société de la Brasserie Hommel / Société des Brasseries et Glacières de l'Indochine / Hanoi Brewery / Hanoi Brewery Company / Hanoi Beer-Alcohol-Beverage Corporation (Habeco)
Location: 183 Hoang Hoa Tham, Ha Noi
Architectural and Urban preliminary assessment
Perspective / Thematic / Narrative point of view
[Cao - Xà - Lá: The condensed ambitions of a new socialist nation]
Hanoi Soap Factory
Before the colonial period, Vietnamese people commonly used locusts and soapstone to bathe and wash. The French brought soap to Vietnam. The spread of this product is part of the effort to conquer and "modernize" the colony: to repel diseases in tropical countries and "sanitize" the way of life of the natives.