What can you say about China’s beers? Beer experts across the globe have never been quick to compliment Chinese produced beer. To lay it out plainly, even the best beers in China still have a light flavour and are mediocre, at best. Let’s put this way: If the beer compares to those watered-down American household name beers like Budweiser or Coors, then it can be regarded as quality when compared to other local beers. For those expats in Chengdu, know that one company dominates, and that is the Snow Beer Company in Sichuan. Sichuan’s Snow beer has household status and its various types dominate the rankings for Chengdu’s best local beers. It’s really too bad that the local Sichuan brewed beers do not possess as much flavour as the fiery Sichuan cuisine. But what can you do? You have to take what’s given or change what’s given. For the time being, I choose the latter. So scroll on down to find out about the top five local beers in Chengdu.
1) Snow Jing Zhi Beer 精制雪花啤酒
This beer, albeit not brilliant by any means, really has no negative points. Yes you can argue that the flavour lacks substance, but a review among many locals and foreigners have all led to the same response: the beer has no negative aftertaste, goes down smooth and has more hops and pizzazz than other locally brewed beers. A crisp and somewhat minty lemon-lime touch lands this brew the number one spot.
Average store price: 3.8 RMB for 500ml bottle
Alcohol Percent: 3.6%
2) Blue Sword 528 蓝剑528
This beer gets mixed reviews among foreigners and local Chengdu beer drinkers, but the reality is that it is a solid choice in comparison to Chengdu’s other beer options. The 528 beer possesses a somewhat fine and rich flavour by beer standards in China. And it’s stronger than most other local Sichuan beers. The flavour of this beer reminds one of the aromatic smells of Chengdu noodle restaurants. Maybe the yeast is of a higher grade. And perhaps then it is best enjoyed with a nice bowl of noodles too. Go buy a bottle and eat a bowl of Niu Rou Mian if you don’t believe me!
Average store price: 4 RMB for a 528ml bottle
Alcohol Percent: 4.0%
3) Snow Draft Beer 雪花纯生啤酒
This is the all gold bottle Snow beer. Advertised as the “draft beer” with a fine a relaxing taste, this beer carries with it a splendid presentation that mesmerizes the eye. It’s the golden beer in the golden bottle! And it’s best enjoyed by those with gold teeth. The moment you buy it you will be thinking you have the world in your hands. Then you drink it and realise that it’s like a car dressed as a Ferrari with the engine of a Toyota Corolla. Don’t get me wrong. It is number three. And that’s because its somewhat refined, pine-like taste beats out the other local Chengdu beer competitors.
Average store price: 3.8 RMB for 500ml
Alcohol Percent: 3.1%
4) Kingway 金威啤酒
Is Kingway Beer “supercool” as it proclaims? No. Is it tasty? Maybe. Kingway makes an attempt at combining a lot of hops with a fruit flavour. You can’t complain about the effort. It certainly is not a boring beer. It tastes like a mixture of parsley and semi-rotten berries. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s too bitter.
Average store price: 3 RMB for 500ml bottle
Alcohol Percent: 3.3%
5) Snow (the original) 雪花啤酒
This is the all green bottle snow beer. It’s not much too talk about but it’s always the cheap option at your local corner store or supermarket. While the taste is pretty bland and not really impressive, the fact is that this beer is easy to chug and perfectly compliments a meal filled with fiery chili. There is no bad aftertaste, as long as you ask for a cold bottle. It is also the choice beer for after bar BBQ festivities.
Average store price: 2.8 RMB for 500ml bottle
Alcohol Percent: 3.3%
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Keywords: Local Chengdu beers snow beer China Sichuan local beers best beer Sichuan best beer Chengdu
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