Craft beer is hard to find in Sanya, but with some deep research on the Interweb and a little Untappd help, I knew that there was some sort of brewery in a food court in or near a Mall. Fortunately for my son, the Summer Mall was close to Dadonghai Beach, our last surfing spot for the trip. I just hoped that the brewery would be 1) obvious and 2) open. My well trained spotted the Yahe Brewery first. In an outdoor food court where every other outlet was closed, the word Beer screamed from a hoarding.
On our last and only visit to Sanya 10 years ago we embraced the custom of Chinese tourists of wearing pyjamas with tropical designs. I updated my wardrobe with this season’s pattern. We also noticed that the large number of Russians that frequent Sanya didn’t participate in the practice and that this time really no-one does except for a nostalgic Australian tourist. My outfit probably explained the brewer’s wry grin as he served us.
The brewer couldn’t speak English and all the laminate menus were in Russian, so I pointed at the first of the four beers listed. 22RMB for 500ml. Heaps better than the 52RMB for 330ml Tsingtao at the Hilton! It was only when my sons turned over the laminate menu to reveal an English side that I realised I was drinking an excellent Pilsner.
The brewer and I started talking by iPhone and he revealed that the brewery had been going since 2011. When he realised that we were Australian he was excited because he uses Australian malt to make his beer. I doubt the beers will remain at 22RMB for long because he was also aware of the impact of the drought on the price of barely.
He chose my next beer. Listed as a Red Beer, he called it an IPA. Lovely looking beer in its frosted glass, it had wonderful amber ale maltiness with a smooth bitterness. To knock off the list was tempting but three hours of pushing an 11yo onto waves lay ahead.
It’d be a fun place to drink in the evening. The Russians remain plentiful in number and love a drink and Sanya is a party town.
Yahe Brewery: Face the Summer Mall looking South from Yuya Rd. The outdoor food court is in a semi-circle on the left of the Mall. Yahe is in the middle of the semi-circle