How I Visited 55 Craft Beer Establishments in China’s Capital So You Don’t Have To
With 35 craft breweries and counting, Beijing is clearly the craft beer capital of China. However, that’s not to say you can swing a cat and be assured of hitting a pub or bottle shop that offers something other than Chinese industrial light lager or “premium” imported suds. It’s still early days in the industry’s development. The capital city’s brewpubs and taprooms are also spread out, requiring some guidance and planning to fully appreciate the local brews without fruitless searching wasting your valuable time.
As part of my research into China’s craft breweries for my book, The Great Hop Forward, I recently visited Beijing to evaluate each of its local producers and their various branded taprooms. Beginning with 京A Brewing’s excellent 8×8 China Beer Project, I resolved to evaluate 50 establishments in 14 days. Setting aside two days for the festival, this amounted to an average of just over four stops per day.
By the numbers, my Beijing Beer Quest may not seem to be extraordinary. However, take into consideration the language barrier, the need for accurate location information, the necessary travel between stops, and having to drink for hours daily for two full weeks. It’s not as easy as it seems. As it were, this turned out to be an unprecedented achievement for even those who live there.
How did I do this? Continue reading