Forgettable beer in an unforgettable location

After Beer Mania, BotF went to the next port of call on his Friday night pub crawl and to meet up with the January 2009 Beijing collective. Tony from Toowoomba, a cotton trader, Eric from Illinois, a lawyer, and BotF, gardening leave, all arrived in Beijing in January 2009. As well as this date in common, they all love a beer and it had been 10 months since their last beer together.

First port of call was a bar that none of us had tried before. Exotically listed in the bar books as the Zhongyu Hanging Gardens, it would appear to have been re-named Miss Saigon. Whatever it’s called it is a gem worth finding. You go to an office block called the Swire Building, walk into the lift well and go to Level 7. So far no signage indicates what awaits. Once you get out of the lift, there’s an office to the left and a corridor leading to what looks like a garden to the right. You head down the corridor and suddenly you emerge in a wonderful open air space with garden furniture, fountains, bridges, booths and a bar. The views are awesome and on the clear day we had you could see all the way downtown.

Whilst waiting for the boys I ripped in a quick Carlsberg Chill. Despite the promise of “Scandinavian Inspiration”, it was more like Danish perspiration. Pretty insipid, lowish alcohol and a small bottle. Definitely one produced by the marketing department and not the master brewer. The lads arrived and it was Tsing-taos all round. A much better option.

Zhongyu Hanging Garden is a must for the start of an evening in Sanlitun. Great place on a hot afternoon, and for a few warm-ups, there are few better.