Article By Michael Gruendner
As my search for new watering holes continues, I try my best to keep a lookout for spots outside my normal hunting ground. Keeping an open mind about anything is key to my success. I have succeeded more often than not. This time my hunt has brought me a bit closer to the south than my abode. So, for anyone looking to get away from the city center or just not wanting to go all the way downtown, I’ve got another spot for you to check.
Paul Beer is just south east of Gaoxin. At first, I was apprehensive as to whether I would be able to find it in an unfamiliar area. It’d be easy to say I found it right away, but that’s not true. That isn’t to say it’s hard to find—it’s the only bar on a street with barbecue and other restaurants littering your path, so all you need to look for is the red brick interior that adds a strikingly foreign aspect to this typical Chinese street.
This small, but well designed, beer house has a charm I haven’t seen in Xi’an. Most of the new bars popping up are moving towards the modern clean lines and metallic surfaces. In stark contrast, Paul Beer go for texture and impact with brick tile walls and arches covered with mini-kegs. This beer stop gives a warm, old-world feeling that’s been missing from most of the bars in South Gate. This atmosphere definitely hits the customer because conversations are quiet and a lack of overly loud music makes it the perfect place to relax with a beer and some friends.
Since this is a beer house, there won’t be any cocktails here, but don’t get discouraged. Their beer selection, while small has enough variety to meet any picky beer drinkers’ standards. From Blue Moon to those German ones I can’t spell, they have what you need and with prices ranging from 20-40RMB—that’s not a bad deal for the atmosphere.
I occasionally take trips out to the mountains with friends and when we’re coming back we generally have the urge for a nice cold beer, but the thought of going all the way into the city puts a certain damper on our prospects. Now that I’ve found this quaint watering hole I’ve solved my problem. A quick stop here and all my fatigue will be gone with a gulp. I find myself suddenly more excited about coming home from the mountains than I usually do.