Breweries in Xian

After three nights of roaming around Xian, I managed to visit four different breweries and needed a day on the wagon to recover, the beer scene here did not disappoint. I started with the most popular one, Near The Wall Bar and Brewery, which is run by Xian Brewery and located just on the inside of the south city wall. Being the most popular place in town, I found it a bit hard to find a seat and ended up crammed next to a hookah smoker at the bar. The good side to this was that the bartender was glad to pour me a small serving of each beer to test, after reviewing them all I decided to alternate between the wit and the stout while my exhausted twitching body calmed down from lugging a backpack around all day. Although a bit over popular, the beer was pretty refreshing here and it's a perfect stop for someone who is still getting their bearings in the city.

Xian city wall
Bar @ Near the Wall
Outside Near the Wall
Night two I made it over to Wumu Craft Brewery, which from Near the Wall is located due west about two blocks on the same road. This establishment has three floors each with their own unique purpose and feeling, floor one is a place to stop in for a quick drink in between errands, floor two is where the party is, and floor three is a calm dark place to come find serenity.

I made it up to floor three and took a look at the incredibly long beer list, when the bartender saw that I wasn't sure she immediately offered to sample them all. After offering feedback about the beer and selecting one to drink, a glass of wine was sent to my table on the house, and then the owner of the place showed up at my table to pick my brain. He expressed his appreciation that I enjoyed his coffee stout and extreme frustration that none of the local Chinese clientele ever orders it, as we worked our way through several more beers he offered to show me over to another place run by a friend called Beer Storm, which just finished a batch of something similar.

Outside Wumu

Beer sample

What I learned by talking with all these guys at Beer Storm was that all locals only appreciate the simplest beer, something more like Tsing Tao just to wash down food basically. So when I show up and ask to drink their porter or coffee stout, for them it's like winning the lottery or something. They were excited enough to talk to me that free rounds kept coming all night and we managed to come up with solutions to all the worlds problems till about 4am.

Outside Beer Storm

Brew tanks @ Beer Storm
Night three I made an effort to go and locate a place called Well Beer south of the old town on Ti Yu Guan Dong Lu, my effort failed, however, I stumbled instead into a place called Great Grain Brewery. This place has only been opened for two months, but the beer they are producing already tastes like years of experience has gone into it, most likely due to the fact that the brewer here worked previously for four years at Great Leap Brewing in Beijing. Here again, the staff was quite interested to talk, and let me sample all the taps for free, interestingly all the beers here had a consistent similarity to the vibe you get drinking US craft beer. The ipa and pale ale held up quite well, and the siason which always is difficult to get right was even drinkable.

Outside Great Grain Brewery
Black IPA

Brew tanks @ Great Grain
From my little exploration, it appears Xian's brewing community is chomping at the bit to grow, the only thing they need is for public curiosity about craft beer to catch up with their enthusiasm.

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