Turns out there is more to drink at a bar than Heineken, qingdao or overpriced Guinness. As craft beers have become more popular worldwide, Suzhou has also embraced the craft beer mania. This is our guide on wehre to get craft beer in Suzhou.
At Naughty Beer they proudly boast that they have more than 400 types of imported beer in their fridges you'll have to take their word for it unless you really want to count. The decor of the bar is a mix between a sports bar with a large screen at the back and a beer bottle mausoleum with thousands of empty bottles decorating the walls. It is brightly lit and well situated for talking and watching a game on the big screen.
This bar employs a unique concept where instead of ordering from the menu you go to the fridges and select your own beer. There are five large glass door fridges with individualized temperature settings set for the style of beer contained within. Each bottle is labeled with the price and upon selecting your beer and taking it to your table the staff will open it and pour it into the correct style of glass based on the selected beer. The variety of beers available is truly mind boggling and prices are reasonable ranging from 25 RMB for a Stella to over 100 RMB for larger bottles of European beers with names you can't even begin to pronounce.
Since opening in June 2016, newbie bar Birdland - named after the anthemic track by rock icon Patti Smith – is already pulling in a loyal fanbase of serious imbibers, evidently tiring of the city’s cookie-cutter bars and their almost identical drinks lists. And with a choice of 12 beers on draught, all sourced from regional microbreweries (two in Suzhou), plus another 100 craft ales, porters and stouts from all over the world, it’s little wonder there’s standing room only on weekends.
School nights are therefore the wiser option if you’re looking for a more chilled-out session and chat. Strength-wise, you’ve got everything from 2.5% fruit beers, right up to an IPA charmingly named ‘Raging Bitch’ (45RMB) weighing in at a headache-inducing 8.3%. We also retain a soft spot for the Jasmine Tea Lager (35RMB) and the Hard Wired Nitro Coffee Porter (65RMB), if you’re looking for something a bit leftfield. And for the increasing number of gluten intolerant among us, this is one of only a handful of Suzhou hostelries that offers a gluten-free option, the Vagabond Pale Ale (45RMB) courtesy of Brewdog from the UK.
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