On Middle Zhongshan Road pedestrian street, not far from the lake, is a new craft beer bar, where all the beer is locally made either in Hangzhou or Zhejiang. East River (Donghe) Taproom is purely a craft beer bar, you can only order beer, literally.
The head brew master Wei Wei aims to offer a friendly place where people can enjoy craft beer for an inexpensive price. Wei Wei has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to beer. He completed the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP), giving Wei Wei the right to judge several different homebrew competitions such as the Master Cup, Shanghai National Brew, and the AHA National Homebrew. Along with being a judge, he has also completed the Cicerone Certified Beer Server and his homebrew skills have been recognized in many competitions where his beer won first place.
Not only does Wei Wei make delicious beer, he also designed his own cleaning system to clean the beer lines every day to maintain high quality beer at East River Taproom.
Enough about Wei Wei, let’s get to his work. The beer list is full of freshly brewed beer and East River Taproom offers something for everyone. If you can’t choose which beer you would like to order first, you can order flight trays for 98RMB where you will get six different beers in 150ml glasses. East River Taproom also offers a buy one get one free happy hour, from Monday to Friday, 6pm to 8pm. Since the beers are already at a great price, you and your fellow beer buddies can get more for less.
I tend to always start with a sweeter beer, so I tried the Mango Milkshake Gose (4.9%) (45RMB). You can smell the mango from a mile away. The texture was thick and crisp. It honestly felt like drinking mango juice, with a touch of sourness. I was excited to try more beers. I was confident that the other beers at East River Taproom would be just as excellent.
Next, I decided to go with the A Qiu Cider (4.2%) (40RMB), which has a slight taste of apple. This beer was sour, thin, and crisp. On a hot day, this beer would be one of the top suggestions.
My third beer was the Napoli Pale Ale (5.5%) (40RMB). The beer had a reddish colour tone and had a strong roasted scent. It would be something I would drink during the winter. Following that, was the Oreo Stout (6.8%) (50RMB). My discovery was that it was chocolatey and had a coffee-like flavour, but since it was blended with Oreo, there was a special syrupy and creamy touch. So far Wei Wei and East River Taproom beers were on point. Now it was time for the final beer of the night.
I am always excited to try IPA, because IPA is usually higher in alcohol with more of a bitter taste. I went with the Coda Di Volpe IPA (7.2%) (40 RMB). The beer has a nice bronze tone to it, like a nice piece of cherry wood furniture. The hops were strong and had the right international bitter unit (IBU). It is hard to believe that it is 7.2%. Wei Wei really knows what he is doing.
East River Taproom has different options to take beers to go. You can put 100RMB down for a deposit for a beer growler and fill it up for 158RMB. If you just want one beer to go, Wei Wei has a machine that lets you take beers to go in tall boy cans. A Tall boy can fit 500ml. It is such a brilliant idea.
One cool part about the bar is the Wi-Fi, you ask how can this be cool? Well it is a VPN Wi-Fi, letting you connect to the whole Internet. If you are a non-smoker, you will be glad to know that there is no smoking inside either.
Wei Wei is simply just dedicated to beer, so food is limited. Luckily, East River Taproom is right beside a skewer restaurant, so you can order food next door and they will bring your food into the bar.
You can find East River Taproom on 238-1 Middle Zhongshan Road. It is near Metro line one, get off at Ding’an station and go out of exit A.
Football fans can watch Zhejiang Green Town games live on a big screen and enjoy buy-1-get-1-free on the first pint.