Inedit, Chateau Jiahu, Dead Guy, Samuel Smith, etc

(UPDATE: City Weekend article here)

(UPDATE 2: Beijing Today’s article, in PDF format. May 14 – 20, 2010 Issue, page 17)

In late April, I was proud to showcase a few select beers for several invitees from the English-language media in Beijing. Amongst them were Annie Wei from Beijing Today, Gabriel Monroe from Agenda, and Greg Williams from City Weekend. We were also joined again by Jim Boyce and by Frank Siegel, who graciously hosted the event at the new Kerry Center location of Sequoia Cafe.

There were six beers featured, with three of them available in Beijing and the other three which I hand-carried back from the states:

(DISCLOSURE: I am currently a sales representative for DXCEL, the importers and distributors of Estrella Inedit and Rogue Dead Guy into mainland China.)

Read in full…

Meanwhile down South…

I would be remiss not to mention a couple articles from earlier this year, covering the growing beer scene in Shanghai:

Beer in China: Shanghai hops ahead of the (six) pack
Shanghai Prime For A Premium “Beer Revolution”

I don’t know if I personally agree with the comments that “the beer scene in Beijing is much better developed [than Shanghai]”, or that it’s necessarily a good thing for locals to ganbei (“bottoms up”) one bottle after another of a rich, heavy, high-alcohol imperial stout. But overall, some good signs for the future.

Holiday Beer Dinner

Just prior to Christmas 2009, I organized a holiday-themed beer dinner at the Astor Grill, with the immense help of the F&B Director of the St. Regis Hotel, Oscar Martinez. In attendance were: Jim Boyce (aka Beiijing Boyce), Frank Siegel (of Sequoia Cafe), Brandon Trowbridge (executive chef at NOLA), and David Gray (photojournalist on assignment with Reuters, and wine enthusiast). The goal of the tasting was to introduce some of the food-pairing potential of beer with a turkey-centric holiday dinner.


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Pre-Thanksgiving Tasting

Just before Thanksgiving 2009 [US edition, Nov], I held a private tasting at my apartment in Haidian with two blog readers and also joined by my flatmate, Dan Rosen. Nan Chen (USA) and Chris Kolbu (Norway) were both in Beijing studying Chinese for the fall/autumn semester, and came across my blog. Unfortunately, Shannon (from my previous tasting) had to cancel at the last minute. We of course did what we could to enjoy ourselves in his honor…

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On Thursday, October 29, DXCEL and City Weekend concluded their month-long “Beerjing” promotion at Danger Doyle’s. As a new member of the DXCEL Beijing team, I was pouring beers for everybody alongside our regional manager, Simon Pendergast. In addition to the beers promoted all month, we also poured several beers that DXCEL does not usually carry. Some were very localized imports, or used very unusual ingredients. These included Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, Well’s Banana Bread Beer, Chalky’s Bite by Sharps (uses fennel seed), and Marston’s Oyster Stout. Amongst the attendees were Beijing Boyce and City Weekend staff, as well as the winners of the Beerjing “Passport”, where patrons had to collect stamps from participating venues all month long. (Update: Thanks to Jim Boyce for the photos. Also, I have decided not to do a full write-up at this time. If anybody has any questions about the beers featured or that you see in the photos, please feel free to leave a comment/question or contact me directly.)

Meanwhile back in the ol’ USA

For much of September and October, I was back in my home state of Massachusetts, visiting family and handling personal matters. Towards the end of my stay, there were two events of note. One was the two-day Belgian Beer Fest in Boston, and the other was the limited, brewery-only release of Allagash Brewing Co’s Vagabond Ale in Portland, Maine. I was actually a member of the volunteer staff at the festival. Lots of great Belgian and Belgian-inspired beer, with a chance to taste some very rare and intriguing beers, particularly those fermented with wild yeasts and bacteria.

Pale Ale Tasting with Beijing Boyce

(UPDATE 10/1/09 : Boyce has posted a small write-up of this event as well, with links to this entry.) Back in Mid-July, Jim Boyce aka Beijing Boyce graciously hosted a beer tasting led and supplied by yours truly. It was a broad sampling of beers within what can be called the “pale ale family”. Nearly half of them are actually available in China, while the rest were personally brought back from the US for the purposes of tasting events like this. The goal was to introduce people to the range and diversity within just one branch in the grand family of beer, even amongst those that are available in Beijing. As a side-benefit, Jim also provided both a sharp cheddar cheese and a blue cheese, to help me offer a glimpse into some of the food pairing potential of these beers. Besides Boyce and myself, attending were beer enthusiast Shannon Roy (a “software/investment guy” by day) and chef Zach Lewison of Beijing’s Union Bar and Grill. Read more…