Shanghai is well off for beer bars at the moment, and although there are plenty of fun and casual ale-drinking spots, few of them are cutting edge venues. That’s fine; the likes of Pudong’s The BREW
, the sports bar-esque Shanghai Brewery
in the former French Concession and tiny Old Town ale-geek shack Jackie’s Beer Nest
are all about the product, and rightly so.
Still, there’s space in the city for a trendier alternative and Daga Brewpub, found opposite its sister venue Daga Café
around the corner from Ferguson Lane, could be it. The decor is retro-trendy with weathered wooden chairs, high ceilings and a concrete bar making it feel like it’s been airlifted from a hipster haunt in New York, or Shoreditch in London.
It’s firmly on the right side of contrived, however, and the beer selection during its first few weeks of opening suggests the sips will match the surroundings. It’s the only place in Shanghai to host the fantastic Baby IPA beer (50RMB), a fruit-tinged amber number made by Nanjing-based Chinese brewer Master Gao, aside from Jackie’s Beer Nest, which only has it sporadically. Other offerings include Lunar Eclipse (50RMB), a dry stout also from Master Gao, and Brooklyn Lager on draft (50RMB).
Daga Brewpub doesn’t falter when it comes to food either. Their burger (58RMB) is a top quality offering and great value at this price. Other options, also well priced, include asparagus salad (42RMB) and beef or mushroom soup (28RMB).
It seems like there’s a new beer place opening every week in Shanghai just now, but if they continue to be as promising as the likes of Daga Brewpub, then we’re hoping things keep on flowing.