5 Beijing microbreweries to discover

Great Leap isn't the only place in town to get a homebrewed pint

Great Leap Brewing started something of a trend when it opened at the end of 2010. But it’s not the only place in town where you can pick up a decent homebrewed pint...

Slow Boat Brewery Slow Boat Taproom is set to become a Beijing favourite. There’s plenty to praise in the considered surroundings (under-floor heating, functional benches, the hutongs’ cleanest sit-down toilet), and Jurinka promised simple pub food would be available by the beginning of this month. But this is really a place for concentrating on the artisan beers on offer for 30-55RMB.

Highlights are the fruity Monkey’s Fist IPA and Sea Anchor Imperial Vanilla Stout, which has a herbal taste giving way to bitter, coffee-like notes. With seasonals regularly added and tasters available at half the price of pints, there’s something to please all palates here. Beijingers should be happy this boat is at last sailing at full speed.

Owned by Jeff Ji (the man behind Mai Bar), Malty Dog offers up home-brewed beers for Beiluoguxiang's drinking set. We're always happy to see new brews in the hutongs. They've got plenty, and at reasonable prices, too.

The good people of the CBD can now access tasty beer for low prices. Don’t be put off by the name, Central Park’s Fresco Bakery turns into a restaurant-bar at night and likes to keep things yeasty by offering homebrews. An amber ale, an American pale ale, a Belgian ale, an English bitter and a classic stout mixing bitter and chocolatey notes, all made by Russian brewmistress Anastasia Kornilova (a graduate of the Beijing Homebrewing Society), go for just 20RMB here, and there’s even a buy-ten-get-one-free card (not that we’re encouraging anyone to drink 11 in one go).

The Vine Leaf – the closest place Beijing has to a British gastropub – sells brews made by the owner. There’s a rolling menu with usually four kinds on offer (prices range from 30-35RMB), including, this month: the Pilgrim’s Progress (an American amber ale) and Blonde on Blonde (a lager referencing Bob Dylan).

Mexican joint Saddle Cantina also has a 35RMB home brew on the menu.

For more reasons you should go out tonight, check out our Rediscover Beijing Nightlife feature.
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