Fu Bai Craft Beer Bar 浮白精酿小馆

Article By Mike Leaner

No.101, B1, Jin Ke Tian Lian Cheng, Feng Cheng 2 Road.
5:00pm – 2:30pm

Average Price per Person /人均消费: XX RMB

PROS: Good atmosphere, great beer

CONS: No English menu

They say that beer saved civilization. “They” being your most insufferable beer-drinking friends, who are usually content to just drop the cliché like a fart in an elevator and sit there basking in their own smug. But it’s inarguable that beer holds a special, significant place in many cultures around the world. Not just the fact that most countries produce beer in some amount, but for its ability to bring disparate people together. I’m risking boring you with this musing for a specific reason: I both points were a factor while visiting Fu Bai Craft Beer—and my visit was all the better for it.

Firstly we have to get the location talk out of the way. Fu Bai is just a block or so from the Yujiazhai stop on Metro Line 4. For me, this was an exercise in extreme frustration trying to get from my house, but if you live up north in the Fengcheng Roads or have convenient access to Line 4, it should be a breeze to get there. It’s on a small walking street there, down the escalators below street level, about halfway through the complex. It’s a subtle place so you might miss it if you’re not looking—but if you hear the singer warbling the same songs you hear at every Chinese bar, stop. Then don’t go to that place and instead go across the way to Fu Bai, because it’s quieter and has better beer. It’s a small-ish place with indoor and outdoor seating, all in black and very sleek and modern. All the better to keep focus on the star of the show: the beer.

Fu Bai has a selection of beers from all over the world, both bottled and draught. It has some unique brews that I haven’t found anywhere else, and I have been to a lot of beer bars in town, so believe me when I say that this is something of a feat and a treat for me. The first beer I had was a “Swedish IPA,” an enjoyable and highly drinkable, only-bitter-enough-to-keep-things-interesting pint. Then came the highlight of my trip: a peanut butter milk stout imported from Belching Beaver in San Diego. I know a lot of people don’t really like sweet beers or whatever, but I could’ve put down a whole gallon of the stuff. Put it in my veins. There were at least a dozen others on offer, but my liver couldn’t possibly have handled all of that in one night.

So now, the caveats: the beer list is all in Chinese, which is fine for me but might not be fine for you. There is no food, unless you consider guoba a meal. And location is going to be a sticking point for some. But the boss is very hospitable and talkative, and is a wiz with his phone’s translator when communication breaks down. Come after dinner. It’s subway accessible. It’s a gem. I like this place—what more can I ask for than a nice, comfortable place with good beer and friendly people?

Mike Leaner likes to get dirty but not for free. He can be reached at reviews@xianease.com