Legend Beer was another accidental find. I stumbled across it whilst en route to Arrow Brewing, not far from Dongzhimen underground station.
Everything can feel quite alien when you’re trying to navigate around a massive city where few people speak English. Looking up, the characters on the signs above shops seem to read; Tree House, Space Invader, House with Umbrella, Radiator, Space Invader, Lambda. Thankfully most of the street signs in Beijing show the street name in pinyin.
When you see English words you know the marketing is aimed at, or selling, the western market. I had no problem translating the sign above the tiny Legend Beer tap room. It simply translates as Leg End.
At 7pm the place is packed and there’s only three people in. We waited for one of them to negotiate their way out of the narrow shop before we dived in to secure two of the five stools which occupy the entire floor space. Think window, five stools and a bar with acres of space behind it for the staff who often seemed to outnumber the customers.
If you read the online reviews they all seem to be for a larger Legend Beer tap room at ‘West Gate of the Workers Stadium’. I can find no reference to this little place.
Although tiny and cramped it’s well fitted out in that multi-national craft beer bar style. There’s a restaurant next door which appears to be a separate enterprise until you sit down and see through into the other side. I’m guessing someone thought if were having a bar for the restaurant then we might as well make it dual purpose and create the smallest bar in China.
We tried Workers Stadium IPA (5.5%) and Legend IPA (6.85%) at ¥24 for 30ml. I’m glad we only had a small glass because it was enough. Uninspiring and strangely the lower ABV beer rocked more of a punch than the stronger one. Apart from that they both looked the same very clear, pale amber, and basically tasted very similar, a bit thin, lacking in body. Very average.
I lost count of the people who peered through the windows or piked through the door looking to see if they could get inside. Thankfully, for them, it remained packed until we politely gestured we were leaving, to the other customers who all had to stand up while we left.
This branch of Legend Beer can be found at: 1 Xinzhong Jie Jia, Dongzhimenwai Dajie.