Shanghai has been bitten by the microbrew bug. There are at least 6 bars brewing their own and it is possible to pub crawl by microbrews, but a cab is necessary. I took it easy and went to three – Boxing Cat Brewery, Dr. Beer and The Brew. Boxing Cat and Dr. Beer area in the French Concession part of Shanghai, whilst The Brew is in the Kerry Hotel out the back of Pudong near an International Expo Centre.
Of the three I visited, Boxing Cat was the standout. Great beer, laid back feel, comfy seats and a decent happy hour. Dr. Beer has potential but was a little clinical and pristine for mine, and the beer was so-so. The Brew was dazzling in appearance, but it was A big Saturday night and the joint was pumping and it was hard to find a quiet place for sip. Needs a revisit at a more leisurely pace. I am disappointed because place that names a beer “Dugite” – needs close attention. Still – I’m the 3rd BackoftheFerry correspondent to darken its doors.
Boxing Cat is a very unassuming place on a typical French Concession boulevard. There’s a a combination of indoor and outdoor seating, sofa, lounges and barstools. The menu looked solid and Evil Knievil would have struggled to jump over the nachos that was delivered to a nearby table. The tasting rack comes with a very helpful menu with full descriptions provided. I’ve included the final beer of the six – a stunning Imperial Stout that was as smooth as Lou Rawls. Many of the beers have a pugilistic reference in their name. The six beers were Standing 8 Pilsner, TKO IPA, Brewer’s Choice (a red ale), Belgian Witbier, Glasgow Kiss Scottish Ale and the standout King Louie Imperial Stout. The stout was a crippling 8%, whilst to Glasgow Kiss was a robust 6.4%. All places are worth visiting, but at Boxing Cat it was worth buying the shirt and misappropriating a glass.