It’s easy to be a beer peddler in Beijing. The tried and tested method goes something like this: buy up a fridge’s worth of imports; notify the local hipsters, preferably by posting an advert directly on one; perfect your triple backflip into your swimming pool full of RMB. It’s a tired formula, but it goes down smoother than Hoegaarden.
In fact, we’ve gotten so used to reaching for the same be-skeletoned Rogue ales that when our fingers close instead around the frosty neck of something new, we actually don't take the time to study what it is we’re drinking. At NBeer Pub, just a couple paces from Ping’anli Station, we did a lot of studying. It will make a beer nerd out of you, whether you like it or not.
Let’s start with the fridge, the biggest of its kind in Beijing. Inside, you’ll find such rarities as the ‘Sink the Bismark’, a 41 percent ABV bombshell that’s like sipping Xenomorph blood, but hoppier. Other fancy imports will run you upwards of 2,000RMB. Consult the staff before throwing down for the first thing that catches your eye; their eagerness to offer informed suggestions is a boon to boozers. Our attention was directed towards three excellent choices: O’Hara’s Leann Folláin (39RMB), Wells Banana Bread (29RMB) and Honey Brown Lager (33RMB). We were particularly taken with the Banana Bread; it tasted fresh-baked.
You’d be a fool to restrict yourself to bottles, though. NBeer Pub really shines as a battle royale of Beijing microbrews. During our visit, they had nine local beers on tap. Get a flight of six (68RMB) and your taste buds play referee as Great Leap Brewing
, Tipsy Face
and Nanjing-based brewer Master Gao’s face off. If you think you can do better, sign up for the 1,780RMB class to brew two 20-litre kegs of your own, custom designed labels included. How cool is that? To top it all off, NBeer Pub’s fries are salty sticks of awesome and the music is infectious. Thank heavens we’ve got friends who live in Xicheng district. We want every excuse to come back.