This month, we decided to sample a selection of South China’s best craft suds. Below, we give you the boozy details for each beer.
How many have you sampled? Did your favorite make the list? Sound off in the comment section at the bottom of this story.
1. Wuyang IPA
Dave Strand has been brewing the Wuyang IPA since he opened The Strand Beer Cafe back in 2013. The beverage serves as the bar's signature IPA and boasts a light floral nose with a piney, citrusy, hoppy flavor. This beer is well balanced and very drinkable – a perfect summer quencher.
Cost: RMB45 per 470-milliliter glass
Where to purchase: The Strand Beer Cafe (Guangzhou)
2. The Hoppy Lager
The Hoppy Lager at Rozz-Tox is a delightfully flavorful number, offering the curious tippler a crisp and elegant take on oft-maligned lager (you know, because lagers are ‘boring’ and ‘watery’). At 32IBU, this beverage is a great introductory beer for patrons working up to Rozz-Tox’s bitterer offerings.
Cost: RMB55 per 470-milliliter glass
Where to purchase: Rozz-Tox (Guangzhou)
3. Blueberry Chocolate Milkshake Baltic Porter
A smooth and strong porter, the Blueberry Chocolate Milkshake Baltic Porter at Bravo is brewed with oats and lactose sugar and conditioned atop heaps of blueberry puree, Madagascar vanilla beans and cocoa nibs. This beer is the perfect post-meal drink and we reckon it would pair decidedly well with a slice of cheesecake.
Cost: RMB55 per 473-milliliter glass
Where to purchase: Bravo Brewing (Guangzhou)
4. Bionic Ale
Bionic Brew's namesake ale is the Shenzhen brewery’s first and favorite American pale ale. It’s lighter than an IPA, with a low bitterness (28IBU), the full flavor of its Belgian malt and a mild sweetness that reminds Bionic’s founder of the muscadine berries of his Alabama youth.
5. Angry Alien Double IPA
Riffing off the alien that shares initials with E.T.’s Erique and Terry, this potent double IPA is out-of-this-world on the bitter spectrum (110IBU). But tart citrus notes around the edge and a full-frontal spice profile help make this brew really enjoyable. The eponymous alien may have been angry at all the flavorless brews he found, but in this, he found a beer to phone home about.
6. Sassy Lassy
Brewer Leo Luo takes inspiration from the seasons when crafting new beers, and gave this light, fragrant brew a Chinese name meaning “flowers blooming in summer.” His American assistant found that a bit too poetic for the beer-drinking crowd and rechristened it with a name that’s proven as popular as this moderately balanced (45IBU) IPA.
Cost: RMB40 per 500-milliliter glass
Where to purchase: Cheer Bar (Dongguan)
7. Paulaner Weissbier
Paulaner is known around the world for its premium quality wheat beer. In its Shenzhen brewery, brew masters from the venerable German brand use wheat malt in a unique yeast suspension process. The result is a slightly cloudy, consistent brew with abundant notes of banana and golden malt.
8. Rich Kat Sesame Milk Stout
The Shenzhen-based brewers offer up a comforting dessert beer with this mild sud. It’s filling and not too boozy (4.0ABV), perfect for sipping at the end of a long day or after a light meal. The sesame flavor is not strongly pronounced, but produces a little sparkle on the tongue that balances the stout’s heaviness.
Cost: RMB40 per pint (American) 473 millimeters
Where to purchase: Evil Duck (Shenzhen)