I may spend too much time on the web, on social media in particular, however, every once in a while I do stumble across something important or interesting that I feel like I should share. Here are a few news articles, stories, websites, and links from this week that I thought would interest you. Here are Stories That Caught My Eye:
February wasn't a great month in Beijing as pollution goes, however, thus far, March is looking a bit better. We've received a few inquiries about information on pollution masks, air purifiers, and the air quality index, so I thought I'd put together a few helpful links to better guide you.
First, the good Doctor at My Health Beijing runs a great site for health tips while in China. He has put together some of the most thorough information regarding the air pollution and air purifiers that I've found. He is also working on a campaign to test pollution masks. My Health Beijing should be your first stop if you have any questions about air pollution or food safety in China.
Next, a group of expats have been teaching Beijingers how to build DIY air purifiers for your house. These purifiers have had amazing results and cost a fraction of what the big brands are charging. You can also purchase these Smart Air filter kits directly through their website here. They will be running 3 workshops at Cafe 1901 in Chongwenmen in March on the 14th, 15th, and 16th from 19:00 to 20:30. Cost is 200RMB per person at the door.
Finally, Beijing's air quality index. It's a number that we all seem to know at all times but if you don't know how to find it, here's the link: Beijing Air Pollution: Real-time Air Quality Index (AQI). There are also iPhone and Android apps that will give you these numbers.
京A Brewing Co.
Brewing out of The Big Smoke and on tap at 4Corners, Trouble Bar and The Local, the guys at 京A are making moves. This month (actually today, Valentine's Day) they are tapping a new lager called Lucky 8 Lager exclusively at The Local. The deal is 1 liter steins of Lucky 8 Lager for 88RMB from 8 until late. You can also find their beer on tap at the Under the Sea: 4 Corners Class of 2014 Prom beginning tonight, February 14th, at 10pm.
Besides Valentine's Day events, they have 3 other events coming to The Big Smoke. First, Flight Nights, beginning Monday, February 24th. Get a flight of all 6 京A beers on tap and try Gordon's Double-Down Danger-Dogs.
Next, they will begin having The Brewer's Table events which are guided beer tastings on February 26. Unfortunately, this event has been completely reserved. They will also have an event on March 26. You can reserve a seat at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, The Experiment on March 4. This will be a food and beer pairing event as well as a release for an experimental beer. Reservations are required to The Big Smoke at +86 10 6416 2683.
Great Leap Brewing
GLB has a special Valentine's Day Dinner for Two Special tonight, February 14th, from 6-11pm. 248RMB for a choice of any two burgers or sandwiches, any four beers, and a large slice of Red Velvet cake to share courtesy of Sweet Tooth Bakery. Reservations are not needed.
Mondays are Growler Day at GLB. You get a free growler of Pale Ale #6 with any growler purchase. This promo is only available at their #12 Xinzhong Brewpub location.
New beers on tap this month include: Edmund Backhouse Session Pils (4.1%), Beat the Landlord Barley Wine (11.2%), Hello, Esposito Chai Masala Stout (6.5%), and Chocolate Stout (6.5%).
Slow Boat Brewery
Wednesday is Beerjinger night at Slow Boat Taproom. Beerjingers can fill their growlers with either Three Sheets Coffee Porter or Knot 51 Red Ale for 120RMB.
Slow Boat recently collaborated with Home Plate BBQ on a new beer called The Cannon (4.5%). The grains were smoked giving the beer an applewood-smoke aroma. This beer is exclusively on tap at both Home Plate BBQ locations.
News beers on tap this month are: Golden Maple Ale (6.5%), Cutter New Zealand Pale Ale (5.5%), Angry Seas Black IPA (5.5%), North Star Anise Stout (6.2%), and High Tide IPA (7.2%).
Wishing you and your family a happy and safe Chinese New Year! Chinese New Year is on, Friday, January 31, 2014. Chinese New Year or Spring Festival will last from January 31st to February 7th. Sunday, January 26th and Saturday, February 8th will be work makeup days. This coming year is the year of the Horse. For a full list of 2014 Chinese holidays, click here.
guest post from That's Mandarin
Happy New Year! We have arrived at 2014! How did that happen so quickly? As with the start of each brand new year, it’s always good to inject a little change and positivity. Quitting the cigarettes, cutting down on booze, having a healthier outlook and generally attempting to try and squash something that needs to be squashed.
There are all sorts of things I would love to change and adapt when it comes to my lifestyle, in fact my life in general. But, I’ve decided this year I am going to keep it achievable after all towards the end of 2013 I gave up the cigarettes which is extra tough when living in Beijing and this was done through no resolution but mighty will-power. So, with that in mind 2014 is all about getting fruity. By that I mean; eating more fruit. The reason being is that It’s so good for you, tastes delicious and Beijing has such a great variety readily available.
Buying fruit with limited language is not too tricky in China, as you can effectively help yourself, however, wouldn’t it be great to have that language and be able to express yourself if you wanted?
Great Leap Brewing's No. 6 location reopened on Christmas Day after a few weeks of renovations. As a huge fan of GLB's courtyard, I can honestly say that they did a wonderful job in maintaining the cultural appeal of their hutong location. Inside, they've added 2 large booths, standing tables, keg refrigeration, and replaced the old bar with a beautiful cement and wood combo featuring the same style taps as their new brewpub location. And, for you winter beer drinkers, there is now heat. Great Leap Brewing's No. 6 hutong location is open Sunday - Thursday from 14:00-23:00 and Friday - Saturday from 14:00-24:00.
For directions on how to get to Great Leap Brewing, please see our Great Leap Brewing directory listing.
guest post from That's Mandarin
It’s Chinese cultural activity time again with That’s Mandarin, this time we’re sharing one of our most popular Cultural activities with you; our cooking class. Once a month on a Friday evening at our Beijing school we cook up a delicious popular Chinese dish and teach students all they need to know so that they leave having mastered a new skill, ready to repeat and enjoy at home.
Below we have put together a step by step recipe for you to follow, enjoy!
2013 is coming to a close and what a year it was in Beijing! When thinking back on it, so many events stand out in my mind: January's air pollution also called "airpocalypse", changes in China's leadership, the taxi fare increase, new immigration laws, a beer renaissance featuring festivals, local breweries and imported bottle shops, illegal rooftop mountain villas, the WeChat app, and countless restaurant and bar openings and closings. Here's a rundown of our Featured articles from 2013. Best wishes for 2014!