Article By Ji Kai Rui
East of Wanda One, Keji 7 Road and Gaoxin Road Intersection, Gaoxin District.
5:00pm – 1:00am
Average Price per Person /人均消费: 120RMB
PROS: Beer. Food. Beer.
CONS: May be a bit far for some
Down in the southern end of Gaoxin on Keji 7th road is an absolute gem of a craft brewery called Red Chairman. Don’t be fooled (like I was) by the Chinese name Zhuque Gate and assume this place is actually at Zhuque Gate, as it is not. Despite the strange choice of name, a lot of planning clearly went into Red Chairman, and it shows in the quality of food and beer as well as the decor.
The place is tastefully decked out in red and black, managing to be stylish without any of the gaudiness that can often take over local businesses. The entire design from the seating to the stainless steel wall of taps to the giant stained glass mural wall all give the place a modern, clean, and comfortable look that comes across as very classy.
The brewmaster here clearly knows his business. They have a wide selection of self-brewed selections, and all 7 that I tried were excellent. The “Red Chairman Bubbly Wheat” is refreshing and crisp, with a slight hint of apple tartness on the aftertaste that almost made it feel like a dry cider. The “Blossoms and Willows Under Rosy Clouds Amber Ale” has a warm and full-bodied flavor completely at odds with the fanciful name. The “Luntai Chocolate Milk Stout,” with an ABV of 6.1, was my favorite of the night, with a good rich chocolate flavor and very little bitterness on the aftertaste, despite claiming an IBU of 30.
The food here, simply put, is done right. They have a mix of western and local offerings, and everything I tried was done well. The roast chicken was tender and flavorful, and the little baked potato balls on the side were an interesting deviation from the standard French fry. They also had an excellent Spicy Beef Rice Crust Wrap, which is basically a small burrito. The flavor was excellent, and the addition of little bits of the local guoba inside gave it a great crunch. The only real disappointment was the BBQ skewers, which were a little bit on the dry side.
Red Chairman is a bit off the beaten path in terms of location, but it is definitely worth the trip. A cool vibe, food and beer on par with any brewpub in the city, and decent prices all make Red Chairman an excellent addition to the ever-growing Xi’an brewpub scene.
Ji is a singer, maker of Ejuice, and lover of all things drinkable. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org