Beijing & Shanghai Craft Brewers Team Up For China’s First Collaboration Beer

“Yunnan Amber” Infuses Dianhong Black Tea From Southwest China’s Yunnan Province

Yunnan Amber marks the first collaboration between two craft breweries in China

The burgeoning craft beer scene in China, which — like the country’s nascent wine industry — continues to grow as consumers develop an interest in higher-quality food and drinks, is set to take another step this month as Beijing’s Great Leap Brewing and Shanghai’s Boxing Cat Brewery release the Yunnan Amber, China’s first-ever craft beer collaboration. Jointly developed by Great Leap brewmaster and owner, Carl Setzer, and brewmaster Michael Jordan of the Boxing Cat Brewery, Yunnan Amber is meant to reflect the particularities of Beijing and Shanghai’s independent brewing scenes as well as the flavors of native Chinese ingredients not readily available elsewhere in the world.

Three months in the making, Yunnan Amber was inspired by the many collaboration beers that Setzer and Jordan saw by American’s top craft breweries at the Craft Brewing Conference in San Diego this past May. After finalizing the recipe, Setzer traveled to Shanghai last month to brew alongside Jordan at the Boxing Cat Brewery. This month, the result of that brewing collaboration will hit the Boxing Cat in Shanghai on August 10, followed shortly thereafter by its Beijing debut at Great Leap on August 15.

Great Leap Brewing in Beijing

Bringing together each brewery’s trademarks — Great Leap’s use of domestic Chinese ingredients and flavors as well as the Boxing Cat’s fresh American-influenced drinkability — Yunnan Amber infuses Dianhong black tea (滇红茶) from China’s southwestern Yunnan province, adding a delicate tea finish that compliments a combination of domestic and imported hops and balanced malt backbone.

Said Great Leap’s Carl Setzer, “Having the opportunity to collaborate with brewmaster Michael Jordan of Boxing Cat on China’s first collaboration brew was a great experience. The beer has aspects of both our brewing philosophies and will give fans of craft beer in Shanghai a taste of Great Leap in a setting that is already famous for the best beer in town.”

Despite its relatively young age, China’s craft brewing scene has come a long way in a short time. This year alone, the country has been host to events like the first annual Shanghai Beer Week in April and the first annual Beijing Craft Beer Festival in June. Last month, owing to the presence of Great Leap Brewing, craft beer even made an appearance at the 14th China International Beer Festival in Dalian, alongside megabreweries like Budweiser and Asahi.

The Boxing Cat Brewery, Sinan Mansions

Though mass-produced products from domestic brewers like Tsingtao continue to dominate in China — the world’s largest producer and consumer of beer — rising interest among not only expats but also domestic drinkers is helping to gradually carve out a growing niche. As Beijing homebrewer and craft beer enthusiast Hai Yin told Jing Daily last month:

The craft beer scene is just taking off in first-tier Chinese cities, especially Beijing and Shanghai. Many craft beer shops and bars have popped up in Beijing in the past two years. More and more people are starting to realize the beauty of real beer.

At the moment, it’s still a very small group, but they are going to define the future craft beer scene in China.

Great Leap Brewing
6 Doujiao Hutong, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Tel: 5717-1399
Hours: Thu-Sat 7pm-midnight, Sun 2pm-7pm. Reservations suggested

Boxing Cat Brewery (Fuxing Location)
Sinan Mansions, Unit 26A
519-521 Fu Xing Road Central, Shanghai
Tel: 021-6426-0360
Hours: Mon-Fri 5pm-2am, Sat & Sun 10am-2am

Boxing Cat Brewery (Yongfu Location)
82 Fu Xing Road West (Near Yong Fu Road), Shanghai
Xu Jia Hui District
Tel: 021-6431-2091
Hours: Mon-Fri 5pm-2am, Sat & Sun 10am-2am


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