Just a few skips north from Heaven Supermarket a sharp gothic styled sign alight with electric blue neon shines Hacker-Pschorr Brauhaus Beijing. Slip in through the side door and be greeted by traditionally Bavarian clothed servers who encourage you to walk around and explore before choosing where to sit. You might want to consider laying down a trail of breadcrumbs as you step further and further away from the exit because this place is big.

Like, hella big.

A two level capacious space connected with a large grand staircase shows off the set-up where the focus on brewing is paramount. Shiny copper dominates the aesthetics, offset with warm woods and warmer lighting. If a quart of ale is a dish for a king, then the many hundreds of pints that can be pulled from here will turn the whole of Beijing into royalty judging from the seemingly endless amount of tanks.

With three house beers to choose from, all clocking in at a respectable 4.8%, you’ll find one that suits your tongue and your thirst as each can come in a .3L, .5L, or a guzzling 1L glass (RMB 48/58/108). My Hacker-Pschorr Lager felt like a cool glass of summer with its gentle fizz and hoppy balance swirling down a lot quicker than I intended. The Hacker-Pschorr Hefe Weißbier stayed true to form with a nice head while boasting that distinctive fruit tang. If you’re not coming to drink beer you’re in for a bad time after looking at the prices of soft drinks (RMB 38 for .3L) and juices (RMB 38/68 for .3L and .5L).

A sumptuous breadbasket sat down before us with generous helpings of pate, butter, and cream cheese. The pretzel was particularly fantastic, with a nice salty bite to it. Before we realized our mistake of filling up on bread before the main course, two large liter glasses plonked upside-down in front of us to act as a platform for the sturdy cast-iron vessel containing Grill Hax’n, Surhax’n, Schweinebraten, Leberkäse mit Spiegelei, Dunkelbiersoße, Sauerkraut und Semmelknödel (RMB 188/338), to translate: a big bowl of pork knuckle (one boiled and one crispy), dense but slightly distasteful bread dumpling, juicy roast pork slices, punchy sauerkraut, crispy fried egg atop meatloaf, luscious dark beer sauce and a sprinkling of salad garnish. After taking to the mountain of food with a knife and fork to divide it all into bite sized pieces, the amalgamation of pig and beer and more pig and more beer sent us in a daze of feasting. 

Even so, we hadn't come close to scratching the surface of their extensive menu. With most dishes tailored to sharing in large groups, we'll be sure to come back with an army of hungry mouths to share in the conviviality.

Hacker-Pschorr Brauhaus Beijing
Daily 11am-midnight. Bldg 3, 12 Xindong Lu, Chaoyang District (8424 3827)

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Photos: Erin Strong

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