What’s Up in Beer: Bottled Arrow Factory Beers, Seasonal Brews From GLB, Jing-A, and Slow Boat’s Vegan Burgers

Hey beer-lovers! How was your holiday? Did you binge-drink exotic beers on the beach, or indulge your liver with local brews at home? Either way, you must have noticed that Beijing chilled out a bit – both in terms of activity and temperature. Still, a lot of things happened in the local beer world over the past two weeks, let’s catch up slowly (and alphabetically).

After the first attempt of bottling their Guanxi Pale Ale, Arrow Factory will have a three-day bottle launch party from Thursday to Saturday (Oct 12-14) – Arrow Factory Liangmahe on Oct 12 (5pm-12am); The Local on Oct 13 (5pm-12am); and Palms L.A. Kitchen and Bar (Liangmaqiao) on Oct 14 (5.30pm-midnight). This time, it’s to celebrate the bottling of Clone Easy Ale, Blonde on Blonde Belgian Ale, and Seeing Double IPA! During those parties, the three aforementioned bottled beers and Guanxi Pale Ale will be on special for RMB 20-30 all night long, and the 24-bottle cases will go for RMB 310-390. You will also have a chance to win free beers and giveaways while DJ Jay 1,2 spins some equally tasty funk, soul, and disco.

Releasing three burgers during the National Holiday, Arrow Factory has also extended their RMB 50 deal on burgers until Sunday. Head over to take advantage of their standard bacon cheeseburgers, the El Ranch Hand (sour cream, in-house ranchero salsa, homemade chorizo crumbles, cheese, coriander, tortilla haystack, avocado sour cream pureé, and Sriracha sauce), or the Mornay Glory Mushroom Swiss burger (griddled ham, sautéed button mushrooms, gruyere and emmental mornay sauce) while you still can!

Great Leap Brewing will release their annual beer, the Contae Lú Saison, at all three locations on Friday (Oct 13). This Belgian Saison is brewed with a selection of malted barley, wheat, and flaked oats, and then dry-hopped with Mosaic hops, giving it a crisp and refreshing "light golden color, and a fruity aroma from the hops that perfectly complements the spicy esters of the Saison yeast.” Oh, did we mention that all Collectivists can enjoy it at a special rate of RMB 25 on Friday?

After celebrating their new brewpub's opening two weeks ago, Jing-A is now releasing something to suit the weather (again) on Friday (Oct 13) at both locations: the Monster Mash Candied Pumpkin Ale, with 8.8 percent ABV, which is brewed with candied pumpkin, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. “You’ll drink it down in a flash ‘cause it’s the Monster Mash!” To accompany this hefty and spicy beer, they will also have the pumpkin pie (in a jar) for RMB 30, which is made with cookies, walnuts, and fresh whipped cream, and is creamy, spicy, flavorful, heartwarming to satisfy your seasonal craving, available at Jing-A Brewpub Xingfucun.

It's also about time to order your Halloween costume, because the signup for Jing-A’s annual Halloween Beer Mile is open now! For those who love to run, and those who love to drink, doing either (but especially BOTH) with your buddies wearing ridiculous costumes is the reason for the season. RMB 150 will get you four beers and a shirt (as a souvenir). Scan the QR code in the poster to RSVP.

But Slow Boat does not idle about either. The sailors have teamed up with We Brewery in Tianjin to brew Jing-Jin Hami Melon Wheat, their shared take on autumn beer. This 4.4 percent ABV beer is brewed with roasted fresh hami melon, local to Xinjiang, and dry-hopped with Equinox hops, mint, and melon juice.

Slow Boat also have a new chef collaboration with Michael P. Dobrowolski from Dirty Beet Vegan Cooking and present the Mighty ‘Shroom Burger, which is a vegan burger covered in bleu cheese, paired with a pickle and paired with fries. “The red bean and buckwheat patty is packed with the earthy and fragrant flavors of shiitake mushrooms and rounded off with a touch of cilantro aioli for a fresh finish. You’ve enjoyed a Slow Boat burger in almost every way imaginable. Almost. It took some convincing, but the first time we tried one of Michael’s vegan burgers, we were sold, it is guaranteed to satisfy even die-hard meat lovers.” The burger will be available on Friday (Oct 13).

For an even more unexpected partnership than that of Slow Boat and a vegan chef, Dunkin’ Donuts teamed up with Catawba Brewing in North Carolina and released its first brew: the Dunkin’ Punkin’ Brown Ale for the National Coffee Day. This pumpkin-flavored brew was brewed with cold brew coffee. Since there are only 60 kegs for this limited edition, if you happen to be at one of the four taprooms (provided you're a Dunkin’ Donuts fan, but who isn’t?) go and try it.

That’s all we have for now, stay warm and drink cold beer!

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Photos courtesy of venues