arrow factory brewing - craft beer - beijing

Top 6 Places in Beijing For Craft Beer

Craft beer is booming in countries all around the world. Innovative microbreweries have been popping up around trending cities like Melbourne, Seattle, Auckland and Denver.

Now, China is making its way into the scene of carefully crafted beers with unique styles and it’s Beijing that’s leading the way. If you plan on taking a tour of Beijing  make sure to leave room on the itinerary to check out these top craft beer spots.

1) Great Leap Brewing

With three different branches around Beijing, Great Leap is becoming a bit of a beer institution in the city. Owned by an American and Chinese duo, it was created back in 2009 with only a single beer on tap. Now, they have extended their brew collection to around 20 beers, one of which is the Honey Ma Gold, an ale brewed with Sichuan peppercorns. Luckily for visitors, the beer culture at Great Leap doesn’t end at a pint. Between the three locations, the passionate staff offers beer festivals, home brewing classes and weekly events.

2) Jing A

jing a brewery

Owned by two North Americans who decided to settle in Beijing, Jing A was born back in 2012 when the two friends decided to brew an American style IPA for the New Year. Gaining a lot of positive feedback from friends, they decided to keep it up, working corporate jobs during the day and brewing at night. From brewing in their apartments to borrowing space in kitchens and restaurants, these two finally opened up their own taproom in 2014. Here you can find their standard beers, seasonal beers and experimental beers all on tap. Try the Black Velvet Vanilla Stout or the Mandarin Wheat, brewed with local Mandarin oranges.

3) NBeer

nbeer - drafts

This pub is an epicenter for craft beer enthusiasts. President of the Home Brewer’s Association of China, Yin Hai and his partner bring a venue that serves up a whopping selection of 37 draft beers and has a bottle selection of more than 500. While the beers range from items brewed around the world, many of them come from breweries in Beijing as well as other places around China. There are actually two branches, the original being Huguosi and the newest, Sanlitun which often has nitro beers on offer.

4) Malty Dog

malty dog beijing

Local bar owner, Jeff Ji has set off on a new adventure much different from the cocktail bar that he already runs. Quite new on the craft beer scene, this small venue is a place where both locals and expats come to sample one of the 9 home brews on tap. From a Black IPA to a British Bitter, the beers put Tsingdao to shame. Ji feels hopeful that the beer selection and artistic vibe will help bring in a younger crowd with a more refined pallet for beer.

5) Arrow Factory Taproom

arrow factory brewing - craft beer - beijing

Located in the trendy Hutong district, this industrial looking tap room is a trendy spot to grab a craft brew. The venue itself may be small but they offer 12 of their beers on tap which are typically rotated in and out. They offer all of the typical players in the scene and you can probably expect to find a porter, IPA and lager. They are starting to put on live music events so make sure to grab a seat and a cold beer to watch the show.

5) Slow Boat Brewery

slowboat brewery - craft beer - beijing

Slow Boat boasts the title of one of Beijing’s first breweries , opened back in 2011. With 20 different beers on tap, you will have the chance to taste their standard, experimental and seasonal brews. They also ship some of the their beers to places all around China to be sold at bars. The two American owners were long term expats in China and decided to bring their favorite styles of beer over to the Hutong region. Rye beers, ales, stouts, Vienna lagers and west coast style IPAs can be found there in this trendy region. Make sure to try the Safe Harbor Christmas Ale if you make it there around the holidays.

Beijing is known for a lot of things and craft beer is becoming one of them. Take time to see what these up and comers are bringing to the table before it’s impossible to try them all!

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Shannon Ullman

Hey! I'm a published American travel blogger and teacher. My travel writing has been featured on Huffington Post, Elite Daily, Matador Network and Thought Catalog. I spent over a year living and traveling around China while I taught English there. I have also visited dozens of other countries around the world.