All bars and restaurants aside, where do you buy beer?
What beer do you find the best 'bang for your buck' so to speak?
I'm really tired of chinese beers.
A luke-warm bottle of 2.3% Xuehua (snow) makes me nearly vomit.
I see tons of German imports around, but that's about it.
German beer is mostly a bit skunky for my taste. The world of beer is so much larger than Germany.
Any suggestions on a beer that's over 5% alc. but not 20 yuan per bottle/can?
i rarely drink beer, but my money is on the asahi silver dry in bottles at selected 7 ELEVEN
isaac did a little cheapo beer test a while ago
if you have time try the DIY
Yeah-I buy the Japanese Asahi Dry silver 500ml. cans at 711-8rmb. They are something like 4.3% and the taste is a little bitter-but the quality is good. You can depend on 711 most times for a cold beer.
Not german, <20RMB/bottle, >5%. Gonna have to brew your own for that, I'm afraid.
You can find plenty of decent german brews in different stores for 8-15 RMB but anything else is going to be hard to find and not cheap. I'd check taobao and JD just to see what you can see. Pretty much any imports you can buy in a store are available on those sites.
7-11 is pretty reliable.
The best one I've found is the Korean beer Cass.
I buy the tallboys for just under 10 kuai.
What's even better is Cass Red, which is almost impossible to find.
(Supermarket under Global Center had it)
It clocks in at about 8%, and is still around 10 kuai for a big guy.
Maybe if enough demand is generated, it will be more available .
But I'm beginning to think there are restrictions on real beer coming into China.
I'll have to give Cass a try. That store in the Global center had the best selection of beer I've seen outside of Beijing, but they were mostly German and Belgian beers.
****LONG RAMBLE WARNING****
There could be restrictions, but in all reality the biggest restriction is economics. It's a simple fact that tasty beers are expensive to make, and high cost for manufacturers results in high prices for the consumer. Snow beer, harbin, Chinese budweisers, etc. are all made with sub-par ingredients, and are also watered down for local consumption, making their production costs low which allows for lower consumer prices.
Another issue that you're facing is lack of demand. Yes, there are a lot of expats and western thinking locals in Chengdu, but by and large the millions and millions of people who make up this part of country don't a have a taste for delicious beer. Even if a distributor wanted to bring some awesome British and American beers to Chengdu, they wouldn't be able to sell enough (despite how hard we'd try) to spread logistics costs out to make the prices comparable in the west.
That's why you can only find a few British (Youngs, and a few others) and American beers (North Coast, Rogue) and they retail at 26RMB/Bottle, but even in the US you're buying those in a $8.99 sixpack at the cheapest (like sale at Kroger cheap).
Best "place" for beer in Chengdu:
Passed a new beer shop yesterday. M99 - they have a crazy selection of more than 400 imported beers which you can also try in the shop/ bar.
They are at the new Meixi Plaza at Tongzilin Donglu first floor
The best bar to drink imported and local craft beer is The Beernest I & II.
Auchan and Carrefour have some imported beers if you'd rather sit home and drink beer.
Just stepped into M99 BEER yesterday (Hongpailou).
Truly is a shocking collection of beers for this side of the ... uh... river Huai?
Mostly European brews, yet with a pricey American craft section.
Tables to sit and drink, order food in, and - get this -
Beerlao and Singha of course were the best value, but delicious nevertheless.
Just stopped by M99 for a much needed fine IPA. Dogfish head 90 minute IPA. Paid 130RMB for it. Yeah I know but i'm desperately craving this. Sit down to drink it, and it tastes like sour Pabst blue ribbon. I take it back and them there is no way this is dogfish head. I'm from the USA and know better. They scatter like roaches and suddenly speak no english.
I'd suggest staying away from this place!!
Wow, interesting story.
Now that you mention it,
the vast selection at M99 does seem a bit fishy.
And switching out contents of the bottle is certainly not unheard of in the bar/KTV scenes.
You remind me of my brother.
He almost will not leave Michigan because of his beer demands.
I haven't been to M99 for months.
I've started buying this white beer at Hongqi from beijing, BaiRen Bahe.
It's 7 kuai and pretty tasty.
4-5% or something.
Tigerman is completely right on the supply/demand factor.
Chinese just don't care about beer that much.
Though I have to say, an ice cold chinese lager does seem to hold it's own at a table of hot pot or shao kao.
Intertwine with bai jiu/pao jiu for hallucinations.
I've also tried the Dogfish head 90min IPA from M99 and I personally didn't like it, but my friend did and he's more of a beer fanatic. Considering the mark up and the concept of M99 I don't think the dogfish is fake, but I noticed that the imported beers can taste rather differently depending on how they were stored (fridge or out on the shelf, and if it went back from the fridge to the shelf and back into the cold) and I can say I've tried my fair share. But that very beer is selling rather well because it is expensive and has a reputation among the Chinese beer snobs so there is a significant amount being sold in that place alone from what I've gathered by observation and chitchat with the manager.
Btw the brands Tigerman mentioned (Rogue, Young, but also Brewdog, Sierra Nevada, Old Rasputin etc) in his post are also available at Grandma's Loft Gallery just a floor up from the M99 in question (Tongzilin) and are Buy 1 Get 1 Free till the end of May if you order a steak, lamb chop or duck confit. Cheers
I feel pretty confident there was nothing from dogfish bead in that bottle. Even it it had sat for a year or two, I should at least taste some hops right? I made sure to destroy the bottle so I couldn't be repeated with my bottle.
I don't know about a year or two. Is it filtered? Because Metro sold me a two year old Duvel. Yeah, I got lazy and didn't check expiration dates, well since I assumed Metro wouldn't sell me expired beer, but it's China Metro, so lesson learned. Turns out 18 month Duvel is drinkable, but it tastes slightly off and then you lose your lunch in next few minutes.
If you feel confident you could contact the importer that is labeled. I went to M99 wanting to check the 90min, but it was sold out. I assume however it's the same Beijing company like the 60 min.
Duvel usually lasts at least 3 years, so 2 years should be fine.
I went in to M99 yesterday for the first and last time. Crazy overpriced beers (more than what you'd pay around the corner at Red Beard's for the exact same beer with restaurant mark up) and obnoxious staff.
I had 2 people standing a foot behind me the whole time I was in there, hovering around, looking over my shoulder as if I was on the shampoo Aisle of a Walmart or something.
Not really sure who can afford it, or what their market is, but I have no desire to go back.
For a bar it's not expensive as the mark up is about 2.5 providing cold beer - usually restaurants and bars have a mark up of 3 or higher, depending on location up to 5 (Taikooli, 5 star hotels). That place is packed any day of the week starting from 8 btw, and the other day there was a guy who bough the most expensive beer at RMB3000. Btw there is another place east of Jiuyanqiao called Coolbeer with similar and even higher prices than m99.
For a shop the prices are high, but the idea is to try different beers and then you can shop for the ones you like on taobao for much cheaper, but you'd have to order a 6pack or go the wholesale shop and actually lots of special beers you can't find online or are "out of stock".
Grandma's Kitchen has a happy hour in June, buy 1 get 1 for all imported beers daily from 8 - 9.
Thanks for the tip Invisible, I'll have to check out the selection at Grandma's. Do they do take away or only for drinking in there?
I guess I caught M99 on an off night, as my friend and I were the only customers in there, but there were about 8 employees so management
must have been planning on a larger crowd too.
The story about the guy who paid 3000RMB for 1 beer tells me everything I need to know about the place and their target demographic. Good for them on making that sale, I hope the sales person gets a bonus or commission!
Either way i don't think anyone would stop you at the door and force you to drink inside:)
If you want to get the cheapest beer try to find the HC store somewhere neer the South Train Station and the Cancer clinic.