Best Chinese Beer

Abbey Miller
Published on
by Abbey Miller

From hot pot and wonton soup to Peking roast duck, Chinese food is regarded as one of the most diversely delicious cuisines in the world.

For foodies, pairing these delicacies with the best Chinese beer brands can boost your overall dining satisfaction, and we’re here to help you achieve that experience.

Here’s our list of the best Chinese beer you shouldn’t miss this 2023: 

Best Chinese Beer

  • Harbin Beer
  • Wusu Beer
  • Yanjing Beer
  • Tsingtao Beer
  • Zhujiang Beer
  • Snow Beer
  • Kingway Beer
  • Laoshan Beer
  • Kingstar Beer
  • Shancheng Beer
  • China Pabst Blue Ribbon
  • Cheerday Beer

1. Harbin Beer

Harbin Beer

Harbin beer is China’s oldest beer and the flagship drink from the country’s third-largest beer producer, Harbin Brewery. It’s pale gold with hints of floral flavor complementing its malty sweetness. 

Harbin beer is a pale lager that combines European and Chinese hops with German yeast. At 4.8% ABV (alcohol by volume), it’s a light and refreshing drink perfect for summer and hot afternoons.

Brewery: Harbin Beer Group

2. Wusu Beer

Wusu Beer

Wusu beer is Xinjiang’s most popular Chinese beer, taking on 85% of the beer market in the region. It’s bright gold with a creamy white head and is slightly carbonated, giving it a refreshing taste.

Wusu beer uses top-grade local barley from Xinjiang, which is notable for having excellent soil and weather conditions for growing barley. This contributes to the drink’s delicate, sweet flavor and unique texture. It has an ABV of 3.1%, ideal for beer lovers who want a light, refreshing drink anytime.

Brewery: Xinjiang Wusu Beer

3. Yanjing Beer

Yanjing Beer

Yanjing beer is one of China’s most popular beer brands, thanks to its 30+ year history and official partnership with the Beijing Olympics. It’s pale amber in color and a savory balance of mild sweetness and bitterness.

Yanjing beer is a mainstay in Chinese restaurants and local beer menus. It’s also brewed using mineral water from the Yan mountains, known for its purity and mineral content. This light lager is widely accessible, and its 4.7% ABV makes it an ideal pick for light drinkers who want a drink or two on the go.

Brewery: Beijing Yanjing Beer

4. Tsingtao Beer

Tsingtao Beer

Tsingtao beer is one of the oldest Chinese beers and is the second best-selling beer in China. It combines German and Chinese brewing techniques, producing a refreshing taste, malty aroma, and subtle hop bitterness that local beer drinkers love.

Tsingtao beer also has several types with various ABVs for different preferences. They have draft beer, pasteurized beer, classical series, and even green-colored spirulina beer.

Brewery: Tsingtao Brewery

5. Zhujiang Beer

Zhujiang Beer

Zhujiang beer, also known as Pearl River beer, is one of the most beloved beers in China, which has also seen massive success in the U.S. Its subtle sweet and bitter finish, added with mild carbonation, makes it a classic go-to refreshment both for casual and beer connoisseurs.

This beer uses fresh spring water, Czech hops, and Canadian malt as its key ingredient, producing a well-balanced flavor profile that is easy to drink on any occasion. Zhujiang beer has various types, from non-alcoholic, fruit-based, and traditional, and featuring a 12.8% ABV.

Brewery: Zhujiang Brewery

6. Snow Beer

Snow Beer

Snow beer is the top-selling Chinese beer with a 22.3% market share and the best-selling beer brand globally. It is pale yellow with a notable white snowflake foam on top. The impeccable mix of sweet and bitter taste and its floral aroma is easy on the palate, making it a favorite among beer lovers of all age groups.

Aside from its partnership with huge breweries like Heineken and Budweiser, Snow Beer also has some of the most extensive and unique series like Brave the World, Opera Mask, Draft Beer, World SuperX, Craft Beer, and Stout.

Brewery: China Resources Breweries                                                            

7. Kingway Beer

Kingway Beer

Kingway beer is popular in the Chinese market and is produced using the world’s most cutting-edge beer production technology. It’s pale yellow and has a mild sweet or lemony taste that balances its hoppy taste.

While this beer has several variations, they’re all light and refreshing drinks averaging an ABV of 4.5%. It’s ideal for social gatherings and chilling out with friends at night.

Brewery: Shenzhen Jinwei Beer

8. Laoshan Beer

Laoshan Beer

Laoshan beer is nice if you’re trying out pale lagers with average alcohol levels. It’s pale yellow and has this light, grassy taste with a touch of floral hops.

This beer uses fresh spring water from Mount Laoshan, known for its natural cleanliness and sweetness. Laoshan has a 4.7% ABV, which is higher than many on our list but still light enough to be enjoyed with meals, especially with spicy food.

Brewery: Tsingtao Brewery

9. Kingstar Beer

Kingstar Beer

Kingstar beer is a must-try if you’re looking for Chinese beers with minimal alcohol content. It’s bright gold and has a mild taste with heavy carbonation. Its bitter taste is set to a minimum and unnoticeable in some variations.

Aside from availability, Kingstar’s also affordable, too! Most local restaurants and pubs have it, and with its low ABV, you can down a few cans or bottles without getting drunk.

Brewery: Jinxing Beer Group

10. Shancheng Beer

Shancheng Beer

Shancheng beer is a pale lager popular in the Chongqing region. It’s bright gold with a sweet and malty taste accompanied by a grainy aroma. It has a distinct but delicately bitter taste that blends well with its maltiness, producing a flavorful tang.

Shancheng’s ABV is at 3.3%, which makes it great for casual drinkers looking for a bit of buzz in their drink but not too much to get them drunk.  

Brewery: Chongqing Beer Group

11. China Pabst Blue Ribbon 1844 Beer

China Pabst Blue Ribbon 1844 Beer

Beer enthusiasts will recognize Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) as an affordable beer in the U.S. However, it takes on an opposite face in China with its identity as a luxury beer. It’s light yellow and has a nice balance of barley, rice, and hops.

PBR is an easy choice if you’re looking for a classic American-tasting beer with a touch of Chinese brewery. At 4.3% ABV, it’s packed with a decent buzz to give a refreshing feel without overwhelming your tastebuds.

Brewery: CBR Brewing Company

12. Cheerday Beer

Cheerday Beer

Cheerday is among the locally popular craft beers that use local ingredients, including fresh water from Qiandao Lake. It’s light gold and exhibits a sweet corn aroma with mild mineral hop. It’s light-bodied, with a watery texture and average carbonation.

While less popular than the others on our list, Cheerday is a fine pick if you want a beer with a purely local taste. It’s 3.1% ABV on the low end, perfect for trying out a couple of bottles to see if it fits your taste.

Brewery: Hangzhou Qiandaohu Beer Company    

Conclusion

Chinese beer brands have soared in popularity over the years, and many are now available on local bar shelves and menus worldwide. While some Chinese beers like Shancheng and Laoshan are only widely available in China, most are accessible anywhere.

Try out some of the best Chinese beers we’ve listed and share which you like most. Savor the classics and enjoy your new finds!

Cheers!

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Abbey Miller
Abbey Miller
Abbey grew up in a family with an appreciation for great beers, fine wines, and nuanced Scotch whiskeys. It's no surprise that she studied Hospitality Management and is now a professional working on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip.
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