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Beijing brewers

By Katherine Rodriguez | | Updated: 2013-06-17 15:58

In Chaoyang, two expats from North America are mixing science with art through the medium of beer brewing. Capital Brewing Co, also known as Jing A, attempts to put a local twist on well known recipes from around the world.

Located in the restaurant, The Big Smoke, the 32 meter microbrewery is making big strides to make the best beer in Beijing.

Alex Acker, from the United States, and Kristian Li from Canada met in Beijing and both have lived in Beijing for over 10 years.

"We both had corporate jobs for a long time so for both of us it started as a hobby or a passion," said Acker

While not all ingredients are available in China, Jing A tries to source fruits and spices locally. Jing A mixes local mandarin oranges and coriander seeds into their "Mandarin Summer Wheat" and raspberries from Xinjiang in their "Pretty in Pink" American-style wheat.

Working within a restaurant gives Jing A an opportunity that most brewers in Beijing don't have, pairing food with their beer. The Big Smoke features western cuisine including pork ribs, lamb and other barbeque favorites to pair with Jing A's four current brews on draft.

Craft brewing in China is growing. Not only is it seen in Shanghai and Beijing, but breweries have also opened in Nanjing and Chengdu.

"I think in 5 years you will see us in other cities than just Beijing. Maybe in Shanghai and other Tier 2 cities," Said Li

Jing A joined 6 other Chinese microbreweries and over 30 home brewers last Saturday at the Beijing Beer Geek Festival at Xihai Cultural and Creative Industry Center, attracting both foreigners and locals alike. Beijing hosted it's first ever Craft Beer Festival June of last year and will host another this Friday and Saturday at Galaxy Soho featuring beer from Jing A and other brewers in China.

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