Slow Boat Taproom Upended and to be Shut Indefinitely; 5 Kuai Pints to Commiserate the Occasion

Sad news, Beijing drinking buddies. After five years in the business of pouring delicious cold pints and serving one of the best burgers Beijing has ever seen, Slow Boat has announced that their beloved Zhangzizhong Lu-adjacent Taproom will be facing closure on May 20 due to circumstances out of their control.

A statement released by co-owner Chandler Jurinka earlier today states that the space above the taproom is in violation of a number of safety regulations and thus the building will require complete renovation.

Jurinka adds that the news comes as part of the current demolition and reclamation initiative currently sweeping the city and has seen a number of our favorite F&B venues close already.

READ: Defending Champion Slow Boat’s Fryburger Remains a Serious Contender in 2017 Burger Cup

It's not obvious if, or even when, the Taproom will be able to reopen and so as to say a tentative farewell the team will be celebrating with 5 kuai pints of Monkey's Fist next Saturday before the locks go on the doors.

You can read Jurinka's statement in full below:

Well folks, five years after we opened the Slow Boat Taproom on Dongsi Batiao, we have received notice that the architecture above us is in violation and will be removed. This has nothing to do with us. Our business and operating licenses were renewed less than one month ago. For those that don’t know, this is part of the 开墙打洞 campaign and there are three stages: 1) correct architectural violations, 2) brick up entrances/doors in violation, and lastly 3) buy back the land so it can be renovated and resold.  

When renovation starts our beloved Taproom will be closed. We are not certain how long. In fact, we’re not sure if we will be able to reopen. Only time will tell. Still we are forced to plan for the worst. 

Yeah. We're sad too. But take heart! The news is not all bad. At the Taproom our last day of full food service will be Friday, the 19th but on Saturday, the 20th, we will be celebrating five years by offering pints of our Monkey’s Fist IPA for RMB 5 a pint. So come over, grab a beer, and let's go down with this ship.

Thankfully, once the cheap pints are gone, you can always head to Slow Boat's massive brewpub in Sanlitun to drink up some more.

More stories by this author here.

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Photos courtesy of Slow Boat


From Slow Boat:

After careful consideration, the Slow Boat Taproom team has made the difficult decision to CANCEL TODAY'S 5 YEAR CELEBRATION PARTY. We are stunned by the overwhelming amount of support we have seen this week at our taproom, from new and old customers alike; however, the increased traffic to our hutong has resulted in multiple police visits and the authorities have strongly cautioned us about large crowds further disturbing the surrounding residential community. It is out of respect for these neighbors and the police, who together have graciously allowed us to run our business for five years, that we have chosen to not move forward with the celebration. We sincerely apologize and hope you will join us at the 2017 Burger Cup or at our Sanlitun location this weekend!

Thank you,


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So basically, with absolutely no foresight or apparent concern for their neighbours, they spread news of their closure tacked onto the promise of cheap beer for a final blowout, waiting till THE DAY OF the event to inform everyone that in fact, they would save themselves any further run-ins with the authorities under the guise of caring so much for their beloved neighbours. Might as well hang onto that beer though, it might come handy at the Burger Fest!

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