Article by Tim King
The Xi’an Craft Beer Festival, held by Xian Brewery, has fast become a highlight of summers in the city. It’s back again this year to save those of us caught in the boiling hot Xi’an summer doldrums, and it’s looking to be bigger and better than ever.
For the 2018 edition, the Craft Beer Festival is changing locale to an exhibition center in Gaoxin, so you’ll be able to enjoy beer and food both in the open air and inside in a more climate controlled environment. But you’re not here to read about festival logistics, you’re here to find out what wonderful things are in store for you if show up on July 13th, 14th, or 15th to party, craft beer style. So let’s get to it.
This year, 18 domestic and international breweries will be in attendance all vying for your and your liver’s attentions. Here are four to look out for:
Coming all the way from Taipei, Taihu Brewery says they make “no bullshit beer for people who want the good stuff.” Their beers historically range from broader offerings like the Taihu American-style IPA to more daring brews like the Kumquat Kolsch. It’s not clear what they’ll be bringing to Xi’an but it’s sure to be interesting.
Further across the pond, from California comes Stone Brewery. Famous for beers like Ripper (a very smooth, nice beer despite its spiky name), the fruity Tangerine Express and the big heavy, the Ruination Double IPA, if you love IPAs then Stone’s got your number.
In press releases, these guys have been described as “infamous,” but why would it be bad to be famous for making tasty brews? Their amazingly clever names, like the “Airpocalypse Double IPA” (IBU: “Beyond Index”) and the Tuhao Gold Pils perfectly suit the unique flavors in their beers, but you’re going to want to keep an eye out for their award-winning Flying Fist IPA.
Wuhan No. 18 Brewing
Wuhan No. 18 Brewing
Started by a brewer whose life was changed when he discovered craft beer, he ditched his original plan of working at Budweiser and, after spending some time traveling around and learning about the craft scene, he settled in Wuhan to open No. 18. Their aim is making delicious, highly drinkable beers, like their famous “TiaoDonghu” (jump in east lake) IPA and Hazy Wheat.
When your thirst is quenched, you’ll probably notice you’re starting to get hungry. Luckily there will be some incredible edibles, so here are some particularly tasty options:
Xi’an’s homegrown café chain will be on hand to serve up their tasty brand of western-style food. If you’ve never had the pleasure of eating one of their indulgent dishes, the festival will be a great opportunity to sample their sandwiches and other delights.
Pang Xiao Li Hotpot
It might be hard to imagine the logistics of hotpot at a big festival, but Pang Xiao Li seems to have that part figured out: they’re famous for their small hotpots, perfect for an individual person to hog all to themselves for a reasonable price. These guys are also Muslim, so you can expect quality, halal ingredients.
This being a summertime festival, you’re going to need to cool down, and Shaanxi 13 will be there with the scoop. A scoop of ice cream, that is, and if you’ve never indulged you’re in for a treat. For a taste of home, maybe the salted caramel is just what you need; for a more local flavor, you can’t go wrong with green tea or black sesame.
Tim King is the editor-in-chief of Xianease Magazine. He can be reached at email@example.com