Today’s subject is the brewpubs in Xiamen. Xiamen is a tourist city known in China for its beautiful seascapes. It has long been an important seaport in China as it is far enough south not to freeze with its deep gulf water port.
Xiamen people are outward looking compared to other mainlanders. As a consequence of its seafaring heritage thus it name meaning “the gate of China” is an apt fit.
People call Xiamen “China-Lite”, as a result of its sunny weather 10 months of the year, great range of seafood and different suburbs all with their own unique feel. Simply put it is a family friendly city worth exploring.
Anyway enough with the background information; we have more important matters to discuss…BEER!
So let’s begin our discovery of brewpubs in Xiamen. As a matter of fact why don’t we take a look at one of our favorite breweries in the whole of China…Fat Fat Beer Horse.
The Brewpubs in Xiamen
–> Fat Fat Beer Horse
Fat Fat Beer Horse is a Xiamen institution (founded 2013) located in the trendy Shapowei Art Zone. It is one of the main tourist areas of Xiamen having its own unique charm and vibe.
It is owned by a lovely German/Chinese couple; who make Fat Fat Beer Horse a welcoming craft beer oasis in a beer desert. The bar is in a an old seafood factory; with the ice making machines still standing in place making for a unique but interesting atmosphere.
Thankfully the ice machines are no longer in operation and have been converted into seating areas where customers can enjoy a brew or three.
Fat Fat Beer Horse has a core range of beers offered alongside unique one-off specials as well as returning favorite seasonal brews.
The Brewery and Now a Distillery
In an effort to keep up with growing demand for their brews; Fat Fat Beer Horse moved their brewery out of the bar to a new location. However the new site is still within Xiamen and so their beers are still fresh and tasty.
However the good news doesn’t stop there. Additionally the new location allowed Fat Fat Beer Horse to add a distillery alongside the brewery with all the extra space they now have.
This means you can know drink handcrafted spirits from their Balang spirit range alongside craft beer.
#1 For Brewpubs in Xiamen
The price of the beer starts at 25 RMB for a 330ml glass which of course depends on the beer style. Their stronger hoppier offerings such as 7Horses of the Hoppocalyps made with more expensive ingredients will cost more.
7Horses of the Hoppocalyps contains 7 different types of hops (hops are expensive) and is a delightful beer/hop journey in every sip for a reasonable price.
When you have a German brewer overseeing the operations you can be sure the beers are tasty. When you add to the fact he studied architecture back in Europe and his creative brain has now been channeled into beer recipes. It is leads to some pleasant surprises.
Therefore you can expect some interesting brews every visit. As a matter of fact Fat Fat Beer Horse uses a the wide variety of fruits available in Xiamen in their beers. Leading to specials in the past that have included Trioka Tripel, Mulberry Beer and Berlinne Weise!
So this is why we recommend Fat Fat Beer Horse as a must visit. Of all the bars in Xiamen you simply can’t get the range of great beers they have on offer anywhere else.
–> Fat Fat Beer Horse – The Details
Address: Shapowei Art Zone, Daxue Road, Siming District, Xiamen 361005
Phone number: +86 187 5023 0350
–> Black Sheep
We must start by saying that Black Sheep beers aren’t brewed on site however they are still brewed in Xiamen so still make the list.
The beers Black Sheep offer are a stout, IPA. American pale ale, wheat beer and blonde ale produced by foreign brewer on Xiamen island.
As mentioned before Xiamen is a craft beer desert with few options. Therefore the fact that Black Sheep have five local brews on to try is worthy of writing about.
When it comes to feedback regarding Black Sheep beers; people who have tried their beer rate the stout the best by far. They say it is has lovely chocolate notes and a pleasant smoky aroma.
As for the other beers such as their IPA it gets down-voted for lack of flavor with some people calling it “watery”. However this can be explained by the fact Chinese people don’t really like bitter tastes.
Brewers have to brew to suit local tastes so it would make sense for their IPA to be less bitter than US counterparts.
As a matter of fact IPA’s are becoming popular in China after Xi Jinping drank IPA with UK Prime Minister David Cameron a few years ago.
So we can hope as local Chinese owned craft breweries develop they will make IPA’s closer to their US and UK counterparts.
Black Sheep has a decent stout making it worth a visit if you happen to be in the area and overall their beer has a respectable rating of 3.52 on Untappd.
–> Black Sheep – The Details
Address: No.1703, Huandao E Road | 1F, B Building, JFC Mall, Siming Dist, Xiamen
Phone Number: +86 592 552 0636
Paulaner Bräuhaus Xiamen
Paulaner Bräuhaus Xiamen is a German themed brewpub. As a matter of fact it is part of a brewpub chain which has several locations across China. Additionally they are all based in 5 star hotels.
At the time of writing they have two beers on tap a Helles and a Dunkel being brewed by a European brewer. The beers are decent enough being a-typical of the style.
The brewery is based in a large room on the ground floor of the hotel. We must also add all food will come with a 15% service charge.
Want a glass of traditional German beer? Paulaner Bräuhaus represents a good option however expect to pay a premium as the brewery is inside a 5-star hotel.
People also note that the service isn’t great. When ordering food as a group it often doesn’t all come together. So maybe just beer is the order of the day.
Paulaner Bräuhaus do events where they have free-flowing beer (for a one-off price). If you are in town when one of these events are on it could be a good time to visit.
If you phone them they will be able to tell you if one of these events are on. Often there will be many local expats at these events making for a good atmosphere.
–> Paulaner Bräuhaus Xiamen
Address:98 Hubin Midlle Road, Kempinski Hotel, Xiamen
Phone number: +86 592 235 1613
–> Friends Restaurant – Peng You Can Ting – 朋友餐厅
Friends Restaurant is only worth noting as there isn’t many other brewpubs to write about. This is a Chinese restaurant with their own brewing kit
The beer isn’t anything to write home about tasting like not so good homebrew but the prices aren’t steep less than 20 RMB per glass. So for the craft beer completest maybe worth the trip.
Friends Restaurant appears to be in Block 6 and is at the bottom end of Shigu Lu next to the Dragon Pool. Also right next to bus stop Shui Chan Xueyuan Zhan, buses 923 and 901 among others stop there.
–> Friends Restaurant – The Details
Address: BLOCK 6, SHIGU LU, JIMEI, XIAMEN, FUJIAN
Phone number: +86 15659812138
To Round Up About Brewpubs in Xiamen
So that completes our list of brewpubs in Xiamen as we say it is a craft beer desert with few options. The shining light and saving grace being Fat Fat Beer Horse with its range of delicious brews and now spirits.
If you know of any breweries or brewpubs we missed then please comment below so we can add them to our list…thanks for visiting and have a great day!
I was in Xiamen in October 2019 and, except for Friends Restaurant, visited the brewpubs you list above, as well as 52 HZ Beer Factory, Old American Legend, Taihu, and True Bearing Alehouse. There are also a number of Min Tiger Opera locations, but the beer is of similar quality to what Friends sounds like, so I don’t bother to mention those if recommending brewpubs/taprooms to those visiting Xiamen. I believe Gänstaller has a brewery in Xiamen, but not a taproom. I came across their beer on draught at a cafe in Siming District on Yundang Lu.