I liberated the Unabrewer from the hotel he was stuck at near Shanghai's Pudong International Airport on Sunday night. Together we checked out two of the better reviewed brewpubs in Shanghai: the Shanghai Bund Brewage Co (SBBC) and Le Bar/Brauhaus.
The SBBC is located on 11 Hankou Rd, within almost equal walking distances from either Three on the Bund or the Peace Hotel. The Bund was the seat of Shanghai's old colonial consuls and boasts the European-style architecture of the era, which makes it a great match for a German-style brauhaus. A daytime photo is here. Only two microbrewed beers are on tap, the light or dark 'Fest Beer.'The light is essentially a weissbier, and a decent one at that. It's unfiltered, mild with a low-carbonation mouthfeel and lemony aftertaste. The dark was good, but unexceptional. It had no outstanding notes, but was better than an average lager. One of the nice notes about the place is that it serves take-away customers. If you bring your own container it can be filled for Rmb40 per liter (about US$4.80). The 'light fest' would make a nice summer afternoon beer, is a wonderful break from Tsing Tao and will be a staple at my home when I get settled.
From there Joe and I ventured to what I thought was called Brauhaus. Located in the Sofitel Hotel on the sleazy neon part of Nanjing Lu, the bar seems to have decided to have a makeover... but not one based on a coherent theme, it is now called Le Bar Brasserie features a Colombian house band and thin-crust pizzas on the menu. It's a Western pub, although it hasn't decided on what part of the West it wants to resemble. That doesn't matter though, they have nice beer. The '505 beer' is hoppy and light, easy drinking very mildly fruity. It's the only beer they brew themselves, but if you're an idiot, the menu allows you to have it cut with 50%-Sprite and served as a shandy.
More comprehensive reviews will follow later in the year. Or, if Joe (one hour out of Shanghai), Charles (who is occasionally down on business from Beijing) and myself can coordinate - we could possibly have the Good Beer Blog's first panel discussion. For those who can't wait, which would be understandable as I still haven't finished the third part of the Singapore trilogy, a review of Shanghai's micros is here.