Slow Boat Brewery
My first trip to Beijing was in 2015. I was impressed by the brewpubs in Beijing, especially the beer quality. The first stop was Slow Boat Brewery which was off the beaten path and in the middle of a long alley. Until I found it, I wasn't sure I had the right directions. The patronage was very local on a Saturday afternoon. Bartenders were very knowledgeable and friendly, with good English skills. The beer was great and I wanted to stay much longer than I was able, but fortunately, I got to return a year later.
Location: Dongcheng Qu, 56 Dongsi 8th Alley
Nearest Metro: Zhangzizhonglu Station, Line 5
Updated Mar '16
Great Leap Brewing
I thought Slow Boat was a little off the beaten path, but Great Leap #6 was even further off the beaten path but it was quite an interesting journey to reach. On the map, it seemed easy, but in reality, you zigzag through various Hutongs. I went on a Saturday night, after dark, which made it even more intimidating because the alleys were not lit. For the most part, I was able to use Google Maps to navigate my way through the back alleys although in and out reception still kept me guessing which way to turn. Eventually, I found it and was not disappointed. The place has a large outdoor seating area and was quite crowded - mostly locals, but a few expats, as well. Great Leap #12 was a healthy walk from Arrow Factory brewing but it was a nice evening, so I avoided the subways and took an enjoyable stroll between the two locations.
Location: #6 - 6 doujiao Hurong
Nearest Metro: Nanluoguxiang Station, Line 6 or 8
Location: #12 - 12 Xinzhong Street
Nearest Metro: Dongzhimen or Dongsishitiao Stations, Line 2
Updated Mar '16
Arrow Factory Brewing
Another difficult place to find because the address didn't really exist. The address listed in the various internet reviews was about 1 mile away. I walked up and down the street multiple times where the address was supposed to be. I even stopped at a couple of places to ask if they knew the location of the address, but didn't have much luck with them understanding English. Eventually, I located the Hacker-Pschorr Brewpub and stopped in there where they kindly called Arrow Factory to get the right address. I stayed for a very refreshing beer to show my gratitude.
Once at Arrow Factory, I was not disappointed. The beer was great and I enjoyed a long conversation with the owner, Thomas. I mentioned the difficulty I had locating the place and mentioned they should put a map on their website. He made the call and voila, it was done. Besides the location I went to, they have a few other locations around Beijing.
On my next trip to Beijing, I tracked down the 2nd location. I believe this is actually the original location and is a block or two into the Hutong. It is a much smaller location with no outside seating. The same great beer is served. Food can be ordered at the bar but it is brought over from the small restaurant next door - Stuff'd. They have a nice selection of bar-type food, including homemade sausages which looked really delicious. I ordered a pizza which was also very good. Occasionally, they have tap takeovers. The night after I was here, they were having a tap takeover by a brewery in Hong Kong.
Location: Liang Ma He South Road
Nearest Metro: Liang Ma Qiao Station, Line 10
Location: No. 9 Jianchang Hutong
Nearest Metro: Andingmen Station, Line 2 and Yonghegong Lama Temple, Lines 2 and 5
Updated Mar '17
Hacker Pschorr Brauhaus
As mentioned in the Arrow Factory post, I stumbled upon this place while I was walking around the city searching for Arrow Factory. I was there early afternoon, right after lunch, so it was not very crowded. But it is a large place where they brew to the Hacker Pschorr recipes and they have a nice outdoor seating area. Nothing unique coming from this location other that it is in Beijing. I didn't eat there, but it looked like they had a decent food menu.
Location: Building 3, No. 12 Xindong Road, Chaoyang District
Nearest Metro: Tuanjiehu Station, Line 10
Updated Mar '16