We always thought Vientiane is a cool little city. However there is not a ton of things to do here. So, today we thought, we’d check out the Beer Lao Company and do their factory tour.
What does the Beer Lao Company factory tour cost?
The price per person to partake in the tour is 40,000 kip. This will certainly not break even the tightest budget!
What does the tour entail?
Firstly, you get to watch a basic corporate video in their private air-conditioned cinema.
The video details the Beer Lao company history, investor statistics and what awards the beer Lao has been awarded. I would call it beer propaganda! It talks a lot about the company’s future plans. In contrast, there is not enough information about the ingredients and how the beer is brewed.
What we would have found really interesting, is how the beer impacts its people and Laos as a country.
Phase 2 of the tour
Afterwards, you will be led to the cafeteria where each person can choose a 640ml bottle of Lao Beer Company Beer.
The choices were the standard Beer Lao, Beer Lao Gold, Beer Lao Dark or Lane-Xang.
We were rushed to drink these quickly. They were however accompanied by some complimentary chips.
Afterwards our guide took us to cross the very busy highway. This is where we saw the actual Beer Lao company factory. However, once within the gates, the tour guide apologised and said that we would not be allowed to take any pictures inside.
We were also not allowed within the production line.
We passed some giant metal vats, and were then led into a small room where a guy was operating the computer that controlled the production of the tasty Beer Lao. He seemed to control everything via a computer system. Each measurement of production and the all important temperatures.
This was all very hi-tech and he even showed us a few buttons on his computer.
We then left the factory and had a picture taken outside.
Our tour guide was very friendly. In the same vain, she did not have the answers to any of our questions. She also did not offer up any additional information during the Beer Lao company tour.
Check out the company’s official website
How they could really improve the Beer Tour
Firstly, instead of screening the very corporate video in the beginning, it would be more interactive if the tour guide explained the history of the beer and the company. I understand that some of the production process is a secret. In other words, there simply isn’t that much to see.
The alternative to the tour is to sit in the cafe, and try out their varieties of beer. The beer is cheaper than anywhere else we’ve seen at 8,000 kip a bottle. The tour guide had told us at the start that we were welcome to do this if we did not want to pay for the tour. Therefore, it even seems encouraged by the company.
Random bits of memorabilia are featured in the lobby area. Furthermore, this section features a detailed map of where minority tribes have come from. This is all free to read and see. Further, this seemed much more interesting and informative than the paid tour.
My Final Thoughts
I love beer and so does Lionel. Therefore this was an easy decision for us. While it is not the most exciting tour out there, the Beer Lao Company factory tour was worth it for us. It is a very tasty beer afterall. It is also world famous! So learn how to say hello in Laos and have a cold one!