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Nanjing's king of hops

By Xu Lin | China Daily | Updated: 2015-01-15 08:30
Nanjing's king of hops

[Photo provided to China Daily]

Gao's love of beer goes back to the early 1990s, when he was working in the United States. He drank craft beer for the first time and fell in love with it instantly. He recalls the first sip as magical - like a fresh spray in the mouth.

He got a home-brewing kit from a friend who was moving to a new house, and he began to explore the possibilities.

He says it's not difficult for him to make delicious beer, and attributes his mindset and skill to his studies in the US, where he earned a Master of Science in chemistry.

"The secret is to drink more, learn more and share more," he says.

In 2007, he returned to his hometown, Nanjing, and was disappointed to find no craft beer on sale in the city.

He set up his own factory a year later.

"I can survive without beer. But where there is beer, there is hope," he jokes.

However, it was a challenge at first to educate customers. China's beer drinkers had no idea what craft beer is, and buying a domestic beer at import prices didn't make much sense to them. Even in Beijing, the market was slow to grow out of the expat community after Great Leap Brewing opened in a sleepy hutong in 2010. Today, mugs foaming with house-made beer are being raised all over the capital, including a newer, bigger and always-packed Great Leap pub in Dongcheng district.

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