Article By Mike Leaner
- 25#, Xishi Bei Lu, Near Gas Station, Lianhu District. 莲湖区西市北路25号老机场路加油站对面
- 136 3680 6544
- 6:00pm – 2:00am
- PROS:Huge beer selection
- CONS:Slightly expensive beer selection
Sometimes, I don’t want my life to be downtown. Sure, South Gate is great, but once in a while I just want a beer, not all the things that tend to come with it. Imagine my good fortune to find a hidden gem in my neighborhood. Denizens of the area around the Tang West Market (大唐西市), I bring you good news: the beer supermarket with the most variety in town is right in your backyard.
Craft Beer has a simple name because it has a simple purpose: to put import craft beers in your face hole, one bottle at a time. Its barroom boasts a nice simplicity as well: tiny bar/register counter, a few tables, some coolers, and a small platform above it all with a few more tables. All in all, it’s a fantastic use of space, which you don’t see a lot around here. Of course, with summertime upon us there is also the compulsory patio-cum-sidewalk seating, so you can get your open-air drink on.
All things considered, beer is the star here. If you can’t find a beer you like at this place, you’re insane. You’ll find some familiar beers for sure, but you’re just as likely to find something you can’t find anywhere else in Xi’an. I, for one, was shocked to see Samuel Adams on the shelves, but the rabbit hole went way deeper than that. Literally, there was a brew called “Chocolate Bunny” in the fridges. Like a lot of places with rarer craft beer, you’re going to pay for your exotic brew, but prices are, in general, on par with its competition around town.
Bars that aren’t in the usual downtown cluster generally get a bad rep. Not for no reason I suppose; they’re out of the way, unknown quantities. Craft Beer makes a really spectacular case for giving your local hole-in-the-wall an honest try. But, really, if you’re looking for one of the most diverse beer selections in town, doesn’t matter if you live around the Tang West Market or not—you owe it to yourself to have a bottle or two at Craft Beer.
Mike Leaner likes to get dirty but not for free. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org