2015 Beijing Autumn Craft Beer Festival 北京秋韵手工精酿啤酒节

(Photo courtesy of Slow Boat Brewery)

This past weekend, Beijing East Hotel hosted the 2nd iteration of the Beijing Autumn Craft Beer Festival, organized by Slow Boat Brewery. Helped along by two straight days of miraculously clean, sunny and comfortable autumn weather – as well as the opening of a new subway line servicing the area – the crowd was reportedly bigger and more sustained than last year. This second edition also boasted 14 beer tents compared to the previous year’s 11. I tried my best to make the rounds and sample each tent’s offerings, but as I noted in my announcement about joining the NBeer 牛啤堂 team, I was largely preoccupied with helping out at their tent.

This year’s breweries/tents were: #18 Brewery, Wuhan; Amoy Brau, Xiamen; Arrow Factory Brewing, Beijing; Bad Monkey Brewery, Dali; Beijing Homebrewing Society, Beijing; Bionic Brew, Shenzhen; Boxing Cat Brewery, Shanghai; Calvin Beer Company, Hefei; Chengdu Harvest Brewing Company, Chengdu; Great Leap Brewing, Beijing; 京 A Brewing Co. , Beijing; Master Gao Brewing, Nanjing; NB Craft Brewing Company, Beijing; Slow Boat Brewery, Beijing.

A nice variety of beer eats were provided by five food vendors: pizza from Xian Bar, Japanese from Hagaki, sausages from Andy’s, falafel from Biteapita, and BBQ from Home Plate.

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As readers have probably guessed by now, I have developed a good relationship with the people at NBeer. It is therefore with great excitement that I announce a 3-month temporary arrangement joining their team. I will be involved in promoting their brand, particularly to English-speaking foreigners, and representing them at events. I will also be conducting staff training and various other beer-related responsibilities at their venues.

NBeer is one of only a handful of craft-inspired brewpubs with an entirely Chinese management and brewing staff. While expat-run or -brewed operations have been, and will of course continue to be, pioneers of craft brewing in China, it is of my opinion that native Chinese brewers and consumers will be the ultimate barometers of beer culture in China. For this reason in particular, I am honored to be working with them.

In light of this new development, I want to assure readers that I intend to continue writing this blog, although now I might be somewhat busier than just a few months before. Also, I will do my best to keep this blog free of any professional biases, just as I did during my time with DXCEL. My personal hope is for craft beer to continue growing in China, regardless of whether it directly involves my current business relationships. A note of disclosure will also accompany subsequent postings involving NBeer, and will be added to the “About” page.

Top 20 “Best in World” Extravaganza

Now don't we look happy?

Ok, I guess “extravaganza” makes this sound a little more grandiose and bigger in scale than it ended up being, but it was still a selection of beers within (and some without) the top 20 rankings of “best in world” lists at BeerAdvocate.com and/or the top 100 at Ratebeer.com (which is an alphabetical list, unranked). So indulge us for just a little, ok?

Kindly hosted by NBeer’s Sanlitun location thanks once again to Xiao Biar‘s magnanimity, I was joined by Jim Boyce (aka BeijingBoyce), Tom Gaestadius of Arrow Factory and Tracy W, executive editor of Beer Link Magazine. Unfortunately unable to attend were invitees from Slow Boat and Jing-A. We’ll try not to rub their noses in it for the rest of their lives – at least not TOO much… 😉

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4th Annual China “Master Cup” Homebrewing Competition 第四届“大师杯”中国家酿啤酒大奖赛

Here we are, the judges selected to pick the "best in show" and winner of this year's Master Cup

As promised, here’s my feature on being a judge at the 4th Annual China “Master Cup” Homebrewing Competition…

[Excerpt] “Firstly, one needs to recognize that there is a relative paucity of qualified judges in China, so there were only fifteen of us and we had to taste approximately 80+ entries each. There were eight categories and each judge would be assigned two of them: one flight for the morning session, and the other in the afternoon.”

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