Microbrewery in a converted siheyuan serving a rotating selection of ales, pale ales, porters and other beers. There's not much to look at, and only a few tables to sit at, but beer lovers will have a great time. Try the Honey Ma Gold or Pale Ale No. 6.
No event here now.
- Bars and Clubs
- Beer and Microbreweries
- Gulou / Beiluoguxiang / Jiugulou Dajie-鼓楼北锣鼓巷旧鼓楼大街
User reviews of Great Leap Brewing 大跃啤酒
Let me start off by saying I have been a huge fan of GLB since moving to the city in 2014. I love their beer, with the Little General and Explorer General IPAs being among my favorites on tap in Beijing. I remember going to the #12 location when I first moved here and being impressed by the service and the burgers on offer. It was always crowded, but had a good vibe with a nice clientele.
My, how the mighty have fallen. The standards at #12 have seriously gone into the crapper. The burgers and fries are now nothing short of a joke. The fries are below McDonalds-level quality, and even the sweet potato fries (how on earth one can make those taste bland is beyond me) are just “meh” and often undercooked. The burgers are also quite sad, boasting tiny, grey, fast-food quality meat patties, no inventive ingredients or options on offer, and dripping with grease. The double cheeseburger is the size of a single patty burger at competing restaurants.
Poor food options could be easily excused due to the excellent beer on offer, if it weren't for the other, much larger problem of the clientele at #12. The location has apparently tapped into the dirt-bag, English-training center expat demographic in Beijing. If you, like me, are not a part of this demographic, but work in an office from Monday-Friday and like to go out to have a beer after work on a weekday evening, then you are in for a not-so pleasant surprise in 2017 at GLB #12. Your quiet Monday evening is the start of the weekend to some group of idiotic unlicensed English teachers working illegally on tourist visas, with no real reason to be here and nothing to lose. Loud, obnoxious, screaming, breaking glasses, you name it. The immature behaviors that collectively showcase the worst of the expat community in Beijing are all on display at GLB #12.
Thankfully, and the only reason I have given GLB two stars overall, the #45 location has much better food on offer and, being close to the embassy district, attracts a much more subdued and pleasant clientele. I quite like some of the pizza there, which has improved greatly since that location launched in the summer of 2015. The service is also much better at that location, likely the result of a smaller, more manageable space. Even though I live 15-20 minutes walking distance from #12, I find myself hopping over to #45 more and more often due to the overall more pleasant and relaxing experience.
I will always find myself coming back to GLB simply because of the beer. But I also find myself branching out to other gastropub options in Beijing now. Places like Jing A and Slowboat may not be able to match the quality of their brews (just yet, although Jing A does boast some excellent seasonals and collabs) but both have crafted a better experience overall with their respective Sanlitun locations. I hope the owners of GLB can get things under control at #12. Even in a saturated market like Beijing, it would be great to have it as a viable option for dinner and drinks again.
I hadn't been here in a while so went back for that delicious double cheeseburger. The burger was, as always, excellent, but the sweet potato fries were soft and floppy. Pretty disgusting.
Went back a second time for that delicious double cheeseburger and this time ordered onion rings. Big mistake. Great Leap's onion rings are a crime against vegetation. The batter to onion ratio is ridiculously off. You can hardly taste the onion. Way too greasy. I wish someone at Great Leap would learn how to make fries and onion rings.
Last thing: I asked a waiter for a toothpick. He walked toward the window to grab them, but before picking them up, sneezed violently in his right hand. He grabbed the toothpicks with his right hand and carried them to our table, dumping some out into his left hand. I just stared at him. He said, "It's ok. I sneezed in this hand, not this hand"
Actually, it's not ok, dude.
I'd come here more often if place was less noisy, the side dishes made with more care, the staff less clueless, and the beers more delicious. It's good a place and all, but I've come to the conclusion that I prefer Katchup's burgers/sides/staff and Arrow Factory's IPA.
The Nanluguoxiao branch has to be one of the biggest wastes of an excellent space under the sun. Especially under the sun.
If you want to sit outside, under the sun, of a pleasant afternoon, then you might as well go to your local kindergarten. At least if they were Chinese kids they might be slightly less offensive, but they are not. They are the vile spawn of mixed marriages – one previously unmarriageable refugee from each culture – and therefore as loud and entitled as any child ever was. Can I just explain something to these so-called parents? When you have children, you have abdicated your right to go to the pub for 16 years, unless you have an ayi to leave your kids with AT HOME.
It is equally impossible to sit inside. At one end of the bar is an ever-changing but never varying collection of guys who can’t afford a haircut but who can afford to seek out expensive designer clothes, specially made to resemble those from a thrift shop. These guys will shout constantly at the bar staff, who they foolishly believe to be their friends and interested in what they have to say, in uncompromisingly loud, brash, boorish Chinese which bears no similarity to any locution ever engaged in by any Chinese person sufficiently well-educated to be bilingual. They are migrant workers and they look and sound exactly like it, mostly from the States or Spain, with the educational level and manners of every other migrant worker in town. Does anyone want to listen to the noise these assholes make? For sure not the bar staff, for sure not the other customers; must be themselves!
At the other end of the bar is a blackboard describing, or at least naming, the 23 varieties of low quality home-brew on offer, all recipients of awards by the Beijing Society of Low Quality Home Brewers. In front of this board will stand “Sunday Drinkers” asking loud questions about the beers, with no real knowledge or preferences on the matter, but who know that a blackboard of home brew needs to have questions asked about it for it to have any value at all. They use words they do not understand or care about and receive entirely made up responses from a bar staff who know less than even they. The bar staff have been given some training, obviously, because they do not simply say, “It tastes like low quality home brew,” in response to every inquiry.
Then the menu! Well, well, well. Well… One of the main reasons for going out is not to have to fight a battle-royale with those people who answer the phones and take food delivery orders. I don’t want to have to fumble around with seven different menus. Is it not possible to simply assemble an in house menu from these burger pushers and have someone like a waiter call up? You know, a list of ten tried and tested food items chosen and recommended by the owners of the establishment which I can order from a member of staff and have delivered to my table? Is that too much to ask? I don’t care whether it comes on a silver salver, on the back of a bike or by camel train, but I am know I am not interested, not the least bit interested in where it comes from or how it got there.
And is there any advantage to making your beer garden look like a 1960s scrap yard in Plumstead? Any good reason not to simply throw away all this trash and sweep it once a day?
I wish someone who knew how to run a bar would buy this place.
Great place to bring visitors to Beijing that have had one too many Chinese meals and need a western alternative. Food is consistent and reasonably priced and the beer samplers are good for finding the brew you like best. The stout is one of their best brews. Great Leap was one of the first restaurants/bars to really enforce the no-smoking policy well before this recent smoking ban in June. Much appreciated and why I keep going back. Kudos!
I was looking forward to try this place and stopped by around 1.30 for lunch. When I entered I noticed that most other guests were foreign. To my surprise the young chinese guy who welcomed me spoke zero english. Fair enough I thought... let me try the next person in line. After talking to 3 different people who did not speak a word of English then I grabbed the menu card myself and had a look. I decided to order a pork belly sandwich. I paid the 50 RMB as said on the menu card but was then asked (in Chinese of course) that if I wanted it "Da bao" (takeaway) then it was 3 RMB more. Second unpleasent surprise!! How stingy can you get!
I said that I would wait outside in the nice weather. I waited... and waited... after 15 minutes I went in to check what was happening! Nothing was happening. The order had not been put in. A foreign guy was now behind the counter and I asked if he worked there and could help. Said I ordered 15 min ago and wondered what was happening. He said "I'll check" and turned around. I then waited another 10 minutes before really starting to wonder if they had any idea about what they are doing inside. Inside I looked for the foreign guy and could see he was staring deeply into his phone in a seating booth in the back of the venue. To my great dissapointment I for the second time found out that my order was not put in. However, finally after a few minutes something happened. I got my food and left...
Now I could finally enjoy my lunch but after the horrible first experiences I could not help taking a deeper look at what I was going to eat before going at it. The fries were soggy and very greasy so I threw them out. That I can live with because I just dont eat fries unless they are fresh and crispy.
In the sandwich I found two pieces of lukewarm pork belly and here comes the biggest dissapointment. The two pieces was not pork belly meat... it was pork belly FAT. Only the very bottom part off the pieces had a little meat on it and I ended up throwing 95% of it away (the part that was pure fat). I could have lived with 25% fat or even a bit more but 95% is sad. On a positive note they get the coleslaw spot on. But 50 RMB for a simple bun with coleslaw and two pieces of fat is not what I expect for a place like this... or any other place for that matter.
Last but not least I find a long hair in the sandwich! This could not have been any worse and will for sure qualify for the top 3 of worst dining experiences in China in my close to 10 years living here.
I wish I could submit photos here to share with anyone even thinking about going here. The pictures speak even louder than words.
It will indeed take a Great Leap by whoever runs this place to turn things around!!!