Beer Blog

Tap House, Jing’an, Shanghai

Four Police officers stood under the archway that led down to the Jing’an branch of Tap House. The one in the middle barked something alien at me as I approached. I just smiled, nodded and said, ‘Hello mate, you alright?’ And kept on walking.

The cop to the right couldn’t stop laughing, so I laughed with him. The one who shouted at me didn’t seem to find it so funny? 

We passed through the barrier. I turned and asked my son what the Policeman had said? He laughed too, ‘Something about you can’t come down here.’

Without looking behind us we turned into the small square and into Tap House. It’s about 5pm and it’s Happy Hour, but there’s only one other bloke in there. Not surprising really when there’s four coppers stopping everyone entering the street.

A chalkboard on the wall highlights the beers, they’re not quite the same as those on the printed menu, which is slightly different to those named above the twenty taps at the back of the bar.

Prices look reasonable ¥35 (roughly £3.20) for a pint sized 500ml glass during Happy Hour, depending on ABV from ¥50 – 65 outside these times (3. 7pm). I choose Mikeller I Wish to start. The beers are all from well known breweries, apart from the house beers.

My next beer was Rogue’s Dead Guy Ale, it doesn’t taste right, old, stale, almost developing a sourness. It explains my disappointment with the Mikkeller. I borrow my sons phone to avail myself of his VPN. There’s similar comments about the establishment on Ratebeer, although Tom’s Brooklyn Summer Ale is perfectly acceptable. Perhaps the beer cocktail idea is to take away the taste of beer that has gone well beyond it’s best before era?

We had to have another one though because we’d arranged to meet wives and girlfriends. I went for the house Stout. It said 5.8% on the chalkboard, but the clip above the tap said 9% which can stand a bit of hanging around.

Very dark, tight thin head that laced the glass. Malty, Treacly, definitely not 5.8% and actually genuinely nice, clearly fresh beer. I’m surmising it’s locally produced, but I’ve no idea who brews it and can’t find it on Ratebeer or anywhere?

As per usual, a Chinese craft beer bar looks the same as a craft beer bar does in the UK, USA, Italy, Germany, etc. As well as the bar there’s an upstairs, food and tables in the shared courtyard. Everything was spot on apart from the single trap toilets whose seat was cracked, broken and bandaged with gaffer tape.

My tip for visitors to China wanting a #2 is to head for a shopping mall, there are lots of them, the posher the better. This way you will get a western style toilet, as opposed to the stamping pad type. Be warned though, even in the classiest of places there may well be an absence of bum fodder so always carry your own supply.

The big question is, would I go back? For old, stale imported beer? Sorry, no. Perhaps that’s what the policeman was trying to warn me of?

Tap House, Jing’an is at 泰兴路99号, 近吴江路

6 replies »

  1. Richard,
    I saw an arch just like that behind t’Old Monkey last Wednesday afternoon.
    It’s experiences like that laughing policeman that makes travel so worthwhile.
    I read that “if you’ve been in one craft beer bar then you’ve been in ‘em all sort of thing” but did you find that local ingredients, such as rice replacing some of the malt, were being used in Shanghai ?
    “We’d arranged to meet wives and girlfriends” – but surely not at the same time and place !

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve done a post about the local beers, mostly light pilsner types, and rice does form a part of the mash. I visited a few breweries which were run by expats who stuck to malt only and typical UK/USA recipes.


    • Wasn’t so much the actual beers than the beer quality, almost ‘slow boat to china’ syndrome. Probably why all the AB-inbev brands actually brew in China – Goose Island post to follow …


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