Anyone of you may once drink beer. But have you ever heard about Ha Nhi beer? It is produced by Ha Nhi ethnic people in Y Ty, Bat Xat district, Lao Cai province. Many people may think a new beer brewery has just been built here. It’s not true. Every household in the village has been producing beer for hundreds years now. Even the old villagers could not remember when beer production was started in their village. Does it sound strange? Let’s come to Y Ty to try the delicious beer produced by Ha Nhi people.
Beer is produced by Ha Nhi people from sticky rice. Beer brewery process is so complicated and unique. In order to have a jar of tasty and good beer, the most important thing is the use of conventionally grown sticky rice, which is round, sun-dried and the use of ferment made from nuts taken from the forest. Sticky rice is thoroughly sifted and dipped in water for an hour before steaming. As the sticky rice gets done, it is spread onto a basket for natural cooling. And then, cool boiled water is used to spray over the sticky rice in order to split out the rice and thereby making the sticky rice ferment well-absorbed. After the sticky rice cools down, ferment is sprayed over the sticky rice, which is then placed into a glazed jar. The sticky rice is kept in the jar for fermentation to take place. Fermented sticky rice will produce fluid extract and the waste rice will float up. The dark white fluid extract is tasty and soft sweet. By now, cool boiled water will be poured into the jar to continue fermentation for 15 days before the final beer is produced. Every 10 kg of sticky rice will produce approximately 7 liter beer. The longer the brewing process is, the better the beer is when the dark white fluid extract turns into yellow color.
Beer is a conventional drink among Ha Nhi people. It is normally used during family big events such as funerals, weddings and visitor’s treat. It is made from natural material such as sticky rice, conventional ferment, stream water and especially that no distilling process is involved makes the beer tasty and retaining the sweet flavor of sticky rice. Not as strong as alcohol or other types of beer that we often see, Ha Nhi beer has soft sweet taste and good flavor. In particular, everyone can drink and enjoy this beer. Once trying this beer, people will remember its flavor forever.
Many people say that if one comes to Y Ty to exploring the culture of Ha Nhi people without trying this type of beer, he or she will be deemed as not having visited the village.