An Essential Guide To Brewpubs In Shenzhen

Craft beer seems to be expanding everywhere in Shenzhen as of late, but what exactly is all the fuss about? Is it really any better than cheap commercial lagers? Is it worth the price difference? For that matter, what exactly is craft beer?

In the US, there is a legal definition as to what constitutes “craft beer”. Unfortunately, in China, there less of a universally accepted standard and the word can often be applied in questionable circumstances.  Sadly, most of what’s out there still leaves a lot to be desired.

Beer is unlike wine or whiskey in the sense that it is far more susceptible to travel stress and it’s quality can rapidly decline if handled poorly.

As a general rule, the closer you can get to where it’s made, the better it is, at least in terms of it not having been subjected to travel stress.  You’ll have a better chance of having a beer as it was intended to taste if it was brewed on site, but might also find a good experience with a beer made off site providing it was transported right.  The further and further you get away from where it was made, the more risk there is that it no longer tastes as it was intended to, especially when it comes to crossing the border with potentially lengthy customs delays.

We are of course talking about the good stuff, fresh beer, which is unpasteurized and often unfiltered.  Fresh beer needs to be kept cold, time and temperature are far less forgiving to it than its mass-made pasteurized counterpart.

A few red flags to look out for when searching for a craft beer bar;

1) If they serve beer from flash chillers and the kegs aren’t always kept cold, don’t pay the extra money for it.  The way to spot this is to see if the kegs are kept outside of a fridge or coldroom on the floor.  In these cases the beer is chilled only on demand by a flash chiller as it is sent to the tap.

2) If the bar doesn’t put the brewery name on the menu, you might not be getting what you expect.  Is it really a craft beer, or is it a commercial beer with an inflated price tag?

3) If the bartender doesn’t know which brewery the beer came from, find another place to frequent.  An educated barman will not only give you a better more educational craft beer experience, they’re more likely to know how to take care of the beer and how to recommend a suitable beer for you based on your preferences.

4) Be careful with the imports. No matter how great the beer tasted when it was first made, it often gets ruined by the transportation process. Importing beer into China is notorious for its difficulty in making sure the proper temperature controls are in place. Fresh unpasteurized beer should be kept cold as overheating can cause flavors to go off and also spoilage.

Over the past year, we’ve seen an increase in awareness regarding the transportation process and overseas breweries have started to manage their own product transportation to China. Even with the best efforts, however, imported craft beer will never be able to compare to a product of equal quality that is freshly made locally.

That being said, let’s take a look at some of the top brewpubs in Shenzhen…

  1. Bionic Brew
Shenzhen’s first craft brewery opened in 2014 and is just as famous for its beers as it’s rollercoaster ride with the authorities. It’s been featured in CNN, South China Morning Post, Travel + Leisure and in Lonely Planet as an unmissable experience, just to name a few publications.
Distribution is limited to around Shenzhen and most people go to its gritty urban village taproom in Baishizhou or B10 Live house to sample the brew. They are best known for the Bionic Ale, American Pale Ale, Crickside Golden Ale, and Metropolis IPA, but they also make dry cider and other rotating beers.

Their taproom features guest taps from all over China and they organize the Shenzhen Craft Beer Festival, which is now in its 4th year.

Address: Shang Ye Bu Xing Jie, Baishizhou, Nanshan, Shenzhen (深圳市南山区白石洲沙河街商业步行街)

 

  1. Taps Brewpub
This brewpub made a big splash when it opened a few years ago and was even featured in Fortune magazine as one of the top 5 craft beer brands in China. Taps was also featured on CCTV national news and is one of only 7 brewpubs listed in the Lonely Planet’s global craft beer guide, the only one in Guangdong on the list.  This brewpub offers a clean and comfortable environment and is nestled near Haiyue subway station in Nanshan.In addition to a large draft list, they have many food items available from their kitchen to try whether you’re feeling peckish after a few pints or looking for a full-on meal. Be sure to try their famous End of Days IPA which was recently called one of the top 5 beers in China by Lonely Planet.

Address: Shop 136-137, Anwanwu Rd, JunHuiXinTian Garden, Nanshan, Shenzhen (Behind All City North) (深圳市南山区岸湾五路君汇新天136137号商铺(太古城北区后面))

  1. NBeer

NBeer originates from Beijing, brewed in Chengdu, but you can find all their latest beers at the bar in OCT Loft right here in Shenzhen.

They are most famous for their sour Goose Beer, but they are no one-trick pony, and make dozens of other styles of beer. Don’t be surprised to find these beers pop up at other locations across the city, but to get the full NBeer experience, head to their bar in OCT Loft.

Address: OCT Loft, Building A2, No.101, Nanshan, Shenzhen (深圳南山华侨城创意园北区A2101)

  1. Plus Nine Brewery

One of the more recent bars to burst on the brewpub scene is Plus Nine Brewery, situated in the up-and-coming area of Shuiwei. They brew onsite to fuel their 11 drafts, but they also have some guest taps on rotation.

It’s worth noting that the taps are not always well marked so be sure to ask the bartender who made the beer if you want to know if it’s one of their own brews or one of the well-known guests beers.

Address: 1368 Intl Culture St, Shuiwei Village, Huanggang Park 1st St, Futian, Shenzhen (深圳市福田区皇岗公园一街水围1368国际街区144栋)

  1. ET Brewery

Located in Houhai between the shops of Coastal City and the offices of Tencent, ET Brewery is a great little option for those looking for a pint or two. Although this brewpub has tanks onsite, most of their beers are actually brewed at their place in Foshan.

The drafts available often take inspiration from the extra-terrestrial nature of the brewpub with drinks like Starfrunova and Space Cow Porter. They don’t usually carry guest beers on tap, but occasionally you will find other great beers from around the city or China.

Address: No.60 Haide 3rd Road, Nanshan District, Shenzhen (深圳市南山区海德三道60 )

 

The 4th Annual Shenzhen Craft Beer Festival!

November 9th to 11th, Bionic Brew presents Electric City, the 4th Annual Shenzhen Craft Beer Festival. The festival, which is an invitation only event for Guangdong and Greater China craft breweries, began in 2015 with just six breweries and expands this year to 21 of China’s best craft breweries. As well as great beer, expect plenty of food vendors and live DJ sets all weekend.

Where:

Halo Plaza, No. 8 Liyuan Road, Luohu District, Shenzhen (深圳市罗湖区梨园路8号HALO广场)

When:

Friday 9th November, 17:00 – 23:00

Saturday 10th November, 12:00 – 23:00

Sunday 11th November, 12:00 – 19:00

How Much:

1 Day Ticket (includes entry, 3 beer taster coupons, 1 commemorative beer mug, 1 beer koozie) – Pre-sale RMB80, At door RMB100

Weekend Pass (includes entry, 6 beer taster coupons, 1 commemorative beer mug, 1 beer koozie) – Pre-sale RMB120, At door RMB150

Buy Tickets:

https://www.247tickets.com/t/electric-city-4th-shenzhen-craft-beer-festiva

 

 

Check Out The Buzz Surrounding Bee+

 

As Shenzhen continues to boom with young entrepreneurs and start-ups, Bee+ is opening their second co-working space in Futian. What separates Bee+ from other shared working spaces is its real emphasis on the social side and to creating a genuine sense of the community.

As well as offering working spaces, Bee+ have an impressively stocked café and a draft craft beer range to rival most bars in town. The organizers are very proactive too in hosting events with a wide and eclectic mix of things going on including beer tasting nights, dancing classes, and wine and cheese nights,

The Bee+ approach is certain to attract the young and entrepreneurial types in the city. It’s a very organic way to connect people together who otherwise may never have met.

Bee+ appears to be on the rise with partnerships already secured with global corporation such as Calvin Klein, BNP Paribas, Colgate, and Orange. As it establishes itself in Shenzhen further, that list is sure to grow.

Address: Bee+ Shenzhen, Fortune Building Space, No. 88 Fu Hua San Road, Futian, Shenzhen

Unlimited World Cup BBQ & Beer at the Wyndham Grand

The Wyndham Grand is a well-known international 5-star hotel. Open in Futian CBD, since January 2015, the Wyndham Grand never ceases to impress, and this summer is no exception. To celebrate the FIFA 2018 World Cup beginning on 14th June, the Wyndham Grand is hosting a summer barbeque buffet with free-flow craft beer for the bargain price of RMB188 per person.Wyndham GrandWorld Cup BBQ

Situated in the picturesque outdoor garden of Vintage Bar on the ground floor, the barbeque buffet offer will begin on 13th June and run until 15th July when the World Cup ends. Matches will be shown live on televisions in the only outdoor hotel garden in Shenzhen. What better way to enjoy the game than with unlimited glasses of ice-cold craft beer and a never-ending plate of tasty barbeque food?World Cup Combo at the Wyndham Grand

As well as free-flow craft beer or soft drinks, there is a delightful range of barbeque foods cooked fresh to order. Shrimp, squid, oyster and Japanese mackerel are the seafood delicacies you can sample, along with a variety of beef, lamb, chicken and pork barbeque dishes, all seasoned deliciously. If vegetables are more your style, try the barbeque corn-on-the-cob or roasted garlic eggplant. All of these dishes will be cooked as you order them to ensure the freshness of the food and that they are prepared to your requirements.

Before and between the matches there will be the opportunity to play games and win prizes. For every match you can predict who you think will win and each entry will have the chance to win a voucher for RMB500 that can be spent in any of the Wyndham Grand’s bars or restaurants. Whoever predicts the winner of the final will be in with a chance to win RMB3000 voucher plus free-flow beer at Vintage Bar until the end of 2018! A fantastic prize, by any standard. In addition, there will be smaller prizes on offer for customers who score a goal in the Wyndham Grand mini-goal.

Vintage Bar outdoor garden

Director of Food and Beverage from the Wyndham Grand, Shenzhen, Roy Huang has worked in the hospitality industry for more than 15 years and joined this hotel about 2 years ago. He shared with us his aim is to have the best outdoor bar in Futian CBD, and he understands that the key element is staff. To that end, all new staff have at least two whole day’s training in the first month before they are assigned to the appropriate position to provide quality service. All employees also have training once a month to ensure the highest standards are maintained. This process is obviously working as there has been an excellent retention of staff since opening.Roy Huang, DFB

The Vintage Bar and attached open-air garden is a stylish setting, suitable for any event. The Wyndham Grand is in an ideal location in central Futian, easy to get to by metro (Gangxia station) or by taxi. A warm welcome will greet you as you enter the foyer and on your left you will see the distinctive sign of Vintage Bar. A list of match dates and times will be on display in the entrance to the bar, so you can keep track of who is playing when. Due to the time difference between here and Russia, some of the matches will be on well past midnight; however, Vintage Bar – and the barbeque – will stay open until the last match finishes each night.World Cup BBQ

Whether you enjoy football (or soccer, as some people call it) or not, the Wyndham Grand World Cup Combo offer is one not to be missed. Bring your friends, play some games, win some prizes, and enjoy 5-star food and drink in an exclusive setting, all at the same time and for the great price of RMB188+10%+6% per person. . What more could you ask for?

For reservations or enquiries call 0755 82998888 ext.8550.

Address: 2009 Caitian Road, Futian CBD, Shenzhen.