Zhou Bar (Axle Bar)
The bar was named Zhou, which means ‘axle’ in English, because the two owners are die-hard fans of bicycle culture. Thus, it is not weird if you find that they use bicycle frames and gear as decoration. Zhou Bar mainly offers beers. They provide plenty of local and imported craft lagers and ales, some of which are extremely rare. Zhou Bar is like a Belgium bistro, as it can really offer as many beer varieties as bars in Belgium. It’s a paradise for beer lovers.
Mao Mao Chong
Mao Mao Chong is famous for their innovative homemade cocktails, and is believed to be the pioneer of new-style cocktails in Beijing. One of their specialities is called the Mala Mule, which tastes a bit spicy as Sichuan peppercorn has been added. Mao Mao Chong is a popular bar that has won awards continuously throughout the years. For example, it won ‘Best Cocktails’ in City Weekend‘s 2015 Readers’ Choice Award.
Mao Mao Chong, 12 Banchang Hutong, Dongcheng District, Beijing, China, +86 10 6405 5718
Lucky Man is a relatively weird and mysterious bar in Gulou area. It is not that easily found, as there is no signboard or indication as to where it is. You have to access to the bar through an permanently closed huge iron door. Though they do offer hundreds of drinks, the bartenders will not provide you with any menu. Instead, they will decide what you are going to drink according to your own description of what you like. They will also create you drinks on the basis of your characteristics, appearance or even clothing.
Growing out of an old Taoist temple, Zajia retains many ancient antiques as decoration, and now serves visitors with a wide range of drinks. You can find common beers, Yunnan-style plum wine and papaya wine, as well as fine Italians white and red wines, like Greco di Tufo Dimeo and Campania Aglianico Dimeo. Zajia is not simply a bar offering drinks, they also try hard to support local art development, such as hosting mini exhibitions, concerts and gatherings for artists.
Great Leap Brewing
Founded by an American youngster, Great Leap Brewing is a bistro full of Chinese characteristics. It is housed in an ancient Chinese courtyard saturated with wooden furniture and traditional Chinese antiques. They brew beers themselves, and sometimes invent new drinks where Eastern and Western styles are creatively mixed. An example of this is beers with tieguanyin tea flavor, a kind of Chinese oolong tea. Besides beers, they also offer great snacks which perfectly complement their great beers. This includes chicken wings, pizzas and burgers.
Great Leap Brewing, 6 Doujiao Hutong, Dongcheng District, Beijing, China, +86 10 5717 1399
Temple Bar is located on the second floor of a building on 206 Gulou Dongdajie. You may wonder why a bar is called ‘temple’, but if you look at its interior design, you will understand. The floor of the bar is mainly wooden. This, together with the dark red wall, provides a solemn and ancient style. Moreover, having a large and low stage, Temple Bar is a good venue for holding parties and watching live music performances.
Jam Bar is located on the second storey, so you have to walk up a shaky outdoor spiral staircase in order to get a drink there. Without energetic live performances, Jam Bar provides visitors with a quiet, calming and clean environment. You can, therefore, gather with your mates, have a little chat or enjoy your own time peacefully there. Jam Bar offers a list of classic cocktails, including Moscow mule, Cuba libre, and Campari. All are at good prices.
If you want to relieve pressure in a home-like bistro, Mai Bar should be a good place for you. Customers can grab a beer from their beer fridge by themselves. Mai Bar allows this because they want to let people feel like they’re drinking at home. The L-shaped bar is small but comfortable, facing a cozy courtyard. You can go outside and enjoy the natural breeze while drinking their speciality cocktails. Mai Bar offers plenty of fabulous cocktails, as well as a good selection of different imported beers and whisky.
Bao Chao Cang Ku (Cang Ku Bar)
Founded by two die-hard fans of rock n’ roll, Bao Chao Cang Ku has posters of Kiss and Kurt Cobain on the walls. If you like rock music, you should drink at this two-storey bar located in a hutong, as continuous rock songs will be played. On the second floor there are private booths suitable for a group of friends. Meanwhile, on the lower floor, a large snooker table is placed in the middle.
Opened in 2012, Dada Bar has already become a very popular bar in Gulou. It provides a good selection of cocktails, wines and beers, and regularly hold parties for those who are seeking for fun and excitement. In Dada Bar, you can encounter many stylish DJs, singers, and bands who can really enhance the atmosphere of the bar. Moreover, on alternative Wednesdays, Dada Bar offers everyone free entry, so you can go and experience the local bar culture on a budget.