Beerlao — Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Best Beer in Laos
One cannot travel through Laos without being exposed to Beerlao. Signs, tablecloths, and of course ample amounts of Beerlao beer can be found in pretty much every corner of the country.
In my personal experience, I had my first taste of Beerlao even before I got into the country while I was still on my Lao Airlines flight into Luang Prabang. That was the first of many Beerlao to come over the course of the next month that I spend in Laos.
As essentially the official beer of the country since the Laos government holds a 50% stake in the company, Beerlao is cheap and readily available.
In this blog post, you'll learn a bit more about the Beerlao brand as well as Lao Brewery Company who makes this and other varieties of beer.
In addition to their flagship beer, Lao Brewery Co, abbreviated LBC, has a lineup of six other beer varieties. In order of their release date, here is a list of all Beerlao beer brands along with their alcohol content.
- Beerlao: introduced in 1973, this pilsner has a 5% ABV
- Beerlao Dark: introduced in 2005, this strong pilsner has a 6% ABV
- LaneXang Lager Beer: introduced in 2008, this pilsner has a 5% ABV
- Beerlao Gold: introduced in 2010, this pilsner has a 5% ABV
- Beerlao While: introduced in 2018, this white lager has a 5% ABV
- Beerlao IPA Limited Edition: introduced in 2019, this India Pale Ale has a 5% ABV
- Luang Prabang Beer introduced in 2021, this lager has a 4.5% ABV
LBC is associated with Carlsberg and locally produces beer from Denmark including Carlsberg, Tuborg Green, Somersby Apple Cider, and Somersby Blackberry. From France, LBC also brews 1664 Blanc.
As you might imagine, all of these brands can be bought throughout Laos.
How Much Does Beerlao Cost?
The price of Beerlao throughout Laos is 10,000 kip ($1 US) for a 640 ml (21.6 oz) bottle and 5,000 kip ($0.50 US) for a 330 ml (11.1 oz) bottle or can.
As you can see from the drink menu below, you are encouraged to buy the Beer Lao big bottle at this Laos restaurant in Phôngsali since regardless of size, all Beerlao prices are the same.
|A small and big Beerlao cost the same at this Laos restaurant.|
In some cases, Beerlao costs the same as a bottle of water.
Beerlao Ingredients and Calories
Beerlao is brewed with rice, malted barley, hops, yeast, and of course water.
Other than rice and water, Lao Brewing Co sources its ingredients from other countries. In particular, the hops and yeast are brought in from Germany while the malt comes from France and Belgium.
Although Beerlao doesn't publish nutrition information for any of its beer, a typical 330 ml serving of a pilsner contains around 145 calories.
Is Beerlao Gluten Free?
No. Although the primary ingredient is rice, since the beer contains malted barley, Beerlao is not gluten free.
|Stacks of yellow Beerlao beer crates are a common site in Laos.|
Where Can You Buy Beerlao?
You can of course buy Beerlao pretty much everywhere in Laos, but what about the rest of the world?
I was pleasantly surprised to find that Beerlao is sold locally in Tucson at an international supermarket called Lee Lee with a few additional locations in the Phoenix area. I would imagine that other large international grocery stores carry Beerlao in the United States.
The United States alcohol retailer Total Wine sells Beerlao cans and bottles in select locations. Depending on where you are located, you can have it shipped to you.
The American tavern chain World of Beer also has Beerlao available for purchase at some of its restaurants.
According to their website, Beerlao exports to the following 12 countries:
- United Kingdom
Lao Brewery Company Information
Lao Brewery Co., Ltd came into existence in 1973 under the name Lao Beer and Ice Factory. Ownership and investments changed over the years, but today the Lao Government owns 50% of the company while Carlsberg Breweries owns the other 50% according to their website.
The headquarters of Lao Brewing Company is in Vientiane. The second brewery was opened in May 2008 in the Champasack Province.
You will soon be able to do a Beerlao brewery tour, but as of the time of this writing, Lao Brewery's website says "coming soon".
Until then, I'm curious what your thoughts are about Beerlao. Love it? Hate it? Let us know below.