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A Great Leap Forward



It’s arrived! After months of rumblings about a bigger, better version of the intimate hutong brewery, which Beijingers love but often can’t find, it’s opened up smack in the centre of town. Great Leap has settled itself in what’s known to some as the new hang-spot,  “West Sanlitun”, away from the overly-thriving Village. 


This one won’t have you doing circles past laundry lines and loos in Gulou, straining to hear chatter for a clue as to the liquid gold's whereabouts. Nor once you find it, leave you staring longingly at the other drinkers who'd snagged the limited seats in the rustic courtyard.  


The big brother’s windows open up wide onto the street, and there’s a porch for lazing on during those hot summer days. What it lacks in exclusivity, it makes up for in space aplenty. Inside is softly lit, with dark-finish wooden booths. Behind glass along the back are dozens of sizeable tanks fermenting the good stuff, and many more brewing down in the cellar.  


GL wets the crowd’s appetite with a soft opening in early May, where for CNY 100 got you 4 beers and tasting selections from their menu. The beer list has recently expanded three-fold. The extensive range includes their signatures: Honey Ma Gold, Cinnamon Rock and Pale Ale No.6. The craft brewer also taps up the classics: IPAs, blondes, porters, and wheaties, as well as unique twists like Imperial Pumpkin and Mocha Stout. And no doubt more tastes are being concocted as we chug back these. Prices range between CNY 25-50 a pint. 


Edibles are usual pub fare: onion rings, wings and burgers – though the tzatziki lamb spices it up. The Chop salad tossed with smoked cheese and ham is both refreshing and earthy. GL’s food-man was the master behind the short-lived but raved-about Taco Bar. Everyone is hoping that he’ll be bringing the authentic Mexican taste to go with our brews too. 


The atmospheric hutong location will certainly not be lost on us. However there’s much to be excited about for this new sleeker spot. 


Great Leap Brewery: XingFuCun ZhongLu (骞哥鏉戜腑璺), south end of ChunXiu Lu (鏄ョ璺).


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