Friday night I was on a mission: Sample as many works of art as possible, in less than five hours. With over 70 beers to choose from at the 3rd Annual Craft Beer Fest here in Shenzhen, this was going to be a challenge. There definitely wasn’t enough time to properly try them all so I focused on beer that I wouldn’t normally be able to drink on a regular night out in Shenzhen. I consulted with experts along the way to help tap some of the hidden gems of the fest.
Those of you going to the festival today are in luck. Doors open at noon so you’ll have eleven hours to try plenty more beers than I could. After trying just under 20% of the beers, I decided to sit down to make my list. It was good timing as I was starting to feel myself stuck in a perpetual Alfred Hitchcock dolly zoom type state of mind.
Before I get to the list, I’d first like to mention that if you’re one of those puritans that believe beer shouldn’t include anything but water, hops and barley than this article isn’t for you. Second, this list is not intended to be a definitive list of the best beers available at the beer fest. There was no way I was going to be able to try all the beers in less than 5 hours. That’s your job today! I’d love to hear from you which great beers I missed so I can try them next time.
So here it is. The numbers I’ve added don’t correspond to any numbers you’ll see at the festival. These are mine and are assigned based on which I suggest you focus on if you can’t drink at least eight while you’re there:
#1: Passby Bourbon Barrel Aged Barleywine (40 IBU, 12% ABV)
by 牛啤堂精酿｜NBeer of 北京 Beijing (Booth #17)
#2: Myth Monkey X Chocolate Peanut Butter Stout (goes great with chocolate chip oatmeal cookies from HH Gourmet available right in front of the booth)
by 佳卡哈精酿｜Craft Head Brewing of 深圳 Shenzhen (Booth #18)
#3: Champion’s Coffee Saison (25 IBU, 5.8% ABV) Winner of the Experimental Beers category gold medal, and the champion for New Generation Beers at the International Beer Cup 2017 in Tokyo
by: 18号酒馆｜ Eighteen Brewpub of 武汉 Wuhan (Booth #8)
#4: Hutong Clan CDA (75 IBU, 9.0 %, ABV)
by 京A精酿 ｜Jing A Brewing Co. of 北京 Beijing (Booth #19)
#5: Pumpkin Mask，Pumpkin Saison (6% ABV)
by 保霖精酿｜ Bravo Brewing of 广州 Guangzhou (Booth #6)
#6: COW ON A BOAT CREAM ALE (18 IBU, 5.1% ABV)
by 悠航鲜啤｜Slow Boat Brewery of 北京 Beijing (Booth #15)
#7: Hot Dry Noodle Stout (20 IBU, 5.9 ABV) I’m recommending this one because I found it pretty amazing how they got a beer to taste just like dry noodles.
By小恶魔精酿｜Devils Brewing of 武汉 Wuhan (Booth #4)
#8: Food. I know, this isn’t beer, but I couldn’t write about the Beer Fest without mentioning some of the food there. Aside from the chocolate chip cookies mentioned earlier from HH Gourmet, a few of the items I had the pleasure of trying were pizzas from Artisans, falafels from Evil Duck and Andy’s Craft Sausages from Beijing. There’s a lot to choose from so plan on eating there to help pace your drinking.
Well, that’s my list. Before I close, I’d like to emphasize that the only reason I didn’t have any beer from Fubar BrewPub, Bionic Brew, Peko, the Home Brewers and a few others is because I have them regularly and I was on a mission to try new stuff. I absolutely recommend you try their great selection of beers as well.
I apologize to the other great brewers there I left out from the list. I look forward to trying your beers next time.
Enjoy the festival!
Tickets available for 100 RMB at the door and include entry to the festival, 1 free beer, 1 commemorative beer mug, and a custom designed bandana.
How to get there
To get there, Take line 9 to Yuanling station, exit D. Walk along SunGang East road (笋岗东) to the firstcrossroad then turn left into LiYuan road, keep walking for about 3 minutes. Halo Plaza is on your right side. If going by taxi, show the driver this: 广东省深圳市罗湖区梨园路8号HALO广场. Click here for a map. Halo Plaza is item #1.