PRBeer (680) Parsippany, New Jersey | November 13, 2011| Updated November 12, 2012
I’ve been to a number of microbreweries in China but this is the first true American style craftbrewer that I am aware of. The owner is from Cleveland and had all of the equipment custom built in China with great effort. The hutong location is perfect but required a tremendous amount of work to bring it up to its current state. I admire what they have accomplished here. It is very rewarding to see the locals taking to these styles very readily when many of their fellow countrymen are shunning the very acceptable original recipe Tsingtao beer for foreign macros. I love how they have been using local ingredients in their recipes. Try the Honey Ma Gold which uses the tongue-numbing Sichuan “ma la” peppercorn. Half the fun is finding this place which requires a walk down a car free alley (hutong)…a nice break itself from the hustle and bustle of Beijing…to a typical former courtyard residence (disappearing all too fast in Beijing). Sitting out in the courtyard drinking these beers, munching on the free spicy hot pepper peanuts, and conversing with the locals…especially those just discovering these types of beers for the first time…is a memorable experience. Make the effort to visit Great Leap and share the experience with others.
Oakes (833) Vancouver, British Columbia | August 26, 2011
Great Leap is the shit. It’s where you’ll be hanging out when you’re in Beijing. Tucked deep into the ’tongs off Nanluoguxiang, Great Leap is an ex-pat oasis. There are 9 beers on tap at any given time, with a good range of options. The place is often crowded. There’s no food, but you can order in. Free water! And ma la peanuts. Can’t forget those. And movie night on Wednesday. Staff are generally quite friendly, as are the customers. It’s a very sociable place, with a relaxed vibe. It’s pretty much always a good time. And there’s nobody doing beers like this in Beijing. The only can’t-miss brewpub in the city, and one of my favourite places, especially in Asia.
You go here again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again and again and again and again. Absolutely addictive. Honestly if it wasn’t for this place we probably wouldn’t have stayed in Beijing as long as we did. Great staff, killer creative beer selection and always working with new recipes, making exactly the kind of beer that should be made--beer with heart, soul, and respect. Purist--they don’t even sell anything but their house beer. Met new people and made new friends each time we went. It’s got what the Irish call GOOD CRACK. I’m gonna miss this place. Easily one of the best brewpubs in Asia, and probably one of the best hangouts too. Becoming a real hub of inspiration and beacon for the future of Chinese microbrewing and beer culture, which is really going to take off in the near future. A genuine great leap forward. Use Google maps, it’s not that hard to find.
So glad we tracked this place down! A hidden spot in the old alley shopping district of Beijing. Beers ranged from good to great, with a few real outstanding ones (the Belgian dubbel and the stout really stood out for me). Cool dude from Chicago working the bar. This is their original facility but beer is no longer brewed at this location. Really nice outdoor area. Cool t-shirts as well. On Thursdays if you buy a t-shirt your first beer is free. If you are wearing your t-shirt, your second beer is free. Food for delivery is easy - he will call the order in for you (the pizza was quite good and friends raved about the burgers). Only downside is that the place was pretty expensive. The IPA was 45 RMB and the stout was 50 while the pale ale was 25. A must visit if you find yourself in Beijing.
Boudicca (1232) London, England | September 22, 2013| Updated October 13, 2013
An amazing place in the heart of the hutongs, a collection of higgledy-piggledy back streets and alleyways. I found my way there on a motor scooter rickshaw whose driver negotiated the lanes expertly but at a hair-raising pace. It’s not easy to find and the only indication that the bar is there at all is a hand written sign on a piece of corrugated cardboard pinned to the wall outside. Inside the wall there’s a lovely brick cobbled courtyard with plastic wicker tables and chairs shaded by trees and lit by candlelight. The bar itself is in a small traditional building on one side of the courtyard. It has wooden shutters on the windows and resembles a rather neglected summerhouse that you might find in a country garden at home. Inside it’s quite basic with a sofa, a low table and not much else. The toilets are outside across the alleyway.
As for the beers, they were excellent, as was the service. There were nine taps on and everything is served in pints, although half measures and sampler trays of four beers were available if you asked the barman nicely. All in all, it’s a great place and I’d encourage anyone who’s in Beijing to seek it out. It’s well worth the effort.
(Visited 20 September 2013).
Wow! After a couple weeks travelling around China drinking pale lagers, it was a relief to taste some real beer finally. What better atmosphere could you have than a laid-back well-treed hutong courtyard. 11 in-house beers on tap. Couldn’t try them all. Mostly ex-pat crowd. Can order delivery food from nearby restaurants. Great experience. Went back here three times on our short trip to Beijing.
I stumbled across this small brewpub while strolling around in the Hutongs. I found it very appealing - a place that instantly gave me an urge to buy a beer and sit down. The man at the counter guided me through the many different beers to choose from (about 20 I think) and I ended up picking the Honey Ma Gold which I didn’t regret. I am definitely coming back, next time I find myself in this area of Beijing.