Article By Ji Kai Rui
Southeast Corner of An Xi Street, Beilin District.
7:00pm – 1:00am
Average Price per Person /人均消费: 44RMB
PROS: Knowledgeable, casual, great world cup spot
CONS: Small selection, somewhat hidden location
Some of you may be familiar with the Wuben Taproom, a cozy little spot that has been providing some great foreign beers on draft for a while now. Their newest project is Outer Face Craft Beer, and it is a great, well-implemented idea. Rui and her husband Gao are true beer connoisseurs. They travel all over looking for unique, amazing beers, and have dedicated themselves to bringing those beers to Xi’an. Outer Face aims to do this as well, only with a focus on Chinese craft beer rather than imported.
Outer Face is a bit tucked away, but didn’t take much work to find. I was excited to see that they have a small beer garden surrounded by trees, creating a sort of drinking haven away from the bustle of the city. Interior seating is VERY limited, but the beer garden will be an amazing place to hang out in the summer, especially since they will have a screen showing World Cup matches.
They have a very interesting approach to stocking beer. Each month, their 6 taps will feature beer from a different Chinese craft beer maker. When I stopped by, they were pouring brews from Guangzhou’s Bravo Brewery. I went straight for Bravo’s Pick-up Golden Mandheling Coffee Porter (4.8% ABV), and was very impressed. Although the ABV was a bit lower than I would expect for this type of beer, the coffee flavor was very prominent. I also tried the Fairy Peach Blossom Amber Ale (4.9% ABV) which, despite the decidedly un-manly name, went down very nicely. The peach blossom taste was quite strong, and stays with you for awhile after taking a sip. Also on tap were a Lychee Ale and an IPA coming in at 6.8% ABV and 80 IBU.
Next month they will have brews crafted by No.18 Brewery in Wuhan. June will bring in some Beijing deliciousness from Slow Boat Brewery, which I consider to be a national treasure on par with the pandas or the Great Wall.
The prices are what you’d expect for this type of place in Xi’an, and the decor is both casual and comfortable, but the true star of Outer Face is its two knowledgeable owners. These guys know their stuff, so don’t be afraid to chat them up about anything beer-related, up to and including recommendations for a delicious craft beer.