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New Beer: Arrow Factory Taproom
A pictorial journey through the Arrow Factory's new Taproom off Wudaoying hutong. Clean beers in a rustic environment.
By May 15, 2015 Nightlife
Beijing's craft beer community continues to expand and expand (directly analogously to my goddamn beer belly, hey can I get a wassup) with the opening of Arrow Factory's brand new taproom, right beside their popular things-stuffed-in-other-things restaurant, Stuff'd.

Welcome, Arrow Factory Taproom. This is what it looks like:

"Cold Beer, Warm Hearts, Huge Cocks". No, don't be silly. Just "cold beer" and "warm hearts", now available at the Taproom. Arrow Factory is just one room, and despite the namesake, this little beer hole feels more like a log cabin, or, if you're Canadian, a "cottage". Reclaimed hutong wood lines the walls and simple cement table seating accommodates about 30. The bar's at the front there, with a food stool to saddle up on. There's a few little design flourishes here and there -- the industrial, blasted wall with the slogan and a manhole table -- but mostly is pretty simple and straightforward. Just a nice warm room to sit around in and drink beer for a few hours. It's really comfortable. I've already been back twice and it's a great environment to get blotto in and talk shite.

The Beer: ...Is pretty much the entire reason you'd be going. This room used to house Arrow Factory's home-brew equipment before they moved out to a more professional and involved operation out in Shunyi at Charcoal. Now, the beer is brewed out there and brought back over in kegs. The brewmasters are Stuff'd owners Will Yorke and Thomas Gaestidius, and they've got 12 taps available to funnel in a changing roster of beers. When we went, it was these:

A fairly well-rounded selection of stock craft brew options: a porter, a lager, and I.P.A., a Hefeweizen, a few ales. Managed to get through just about all of these during our visits. Stand-outs were the Pale Ale and the Rye Lager -- both smooth, clean, and drinkable. Both easy to consume mass quantities of without getting that craft beer malaise that hits you after a few pints. The selection is going to hover around 8 to 10 or so, with a few seasonal ones switched in and out.

Other stuff: Arrow Factory is veering a bit towards music events, with guest DJs coming in on the odd night to play some music. Both the owners have a background in Beijing techno, although the music when we went shifted between lower key electronic, soul, afro beat -- basically DJs-on-their-downtime kind of stuff. This Saturday, they're hosting in Jonathan Alpart from The Sound Stage to play music. I'd expect he'd be keeping it locked on up-and-coming Chinese bands and the like.

The Take-Away: Yeah, it's great. Great beer. Nice, laid-back room to drink it in. What more do you need. Good for groups. Good for bleary-eyed dates. Good for solo drunks, sitting at the bar and annoying the bartender. We'd recommend maybe doing the one-two punch, with dinner at stuff'd (the pot pies) and then beers afterwards next door at the Taproom.

They're open Monday to Thursday and Sunday from 5pm to midnight, 5pm till 2am on Friday and Saturday and closed on Tuesdays.

Happy hour is daily, 5pm to 7pm -- 10rmb off each and every beer.


Arrow Factory Taproom is at 9 Jiancheng Hutong. Inside Stuff'd.

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