Bionic Brew | Electric Craft Beer Born in Shenzhen

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By in Brewery, Hong Kong, News, Shenzhen, Tap Room Comments Off on French Chamber Hong Kong explains craft beer in Shenzhen

French Chamber Hong Kong explains craft beer in Shenzhen

Read the full article about craft beer in Shenzhen on FCCIHK.

Bionic Brew delivering craft beer in Shenzhen

Bionic Brew delivering craft beer in Shenzhen

The French Chamber of Hong Kong sits down with Joe for a pint and a discussion on how he’s survived two forced police closures to mold the city’s beer scene with the first brewery and founding the Shenzhen craft beer festival.

When the first incarnation of Bionic Brew’s bar & microbrewery was ordered to close by the local Shenzhen authorities, its founder Joe Finkenbinder blacked out the windows and carried on brewing in secret from the late evenings until sunrise. By day he would distribute his creation to bars around the city.

The move to a second location lasted only a couple of months before being shut down in similar fashion. Joe still isn’t sure why, but he has his guesses. Setting up your bar behind an unmarked door down an alleyway in a non-typical F&B location might be functional and hip in Brooklyn or Hong Kong. But in China, this creates problems.

“The location was not entirely on purpose. Part of it was because we wanted to test the market. Could the product stand on its own?” he says, “A lot of places get away with a mediocre product because of location. We were just about the beer. The reality is that we wouldn’t have been shut down if we were in a more mainstream shopping mall location. Here it’s a bit more old-school China, you can’t just set up wherever you like.”

We join Joe for a pint – obviously – at his third taproom in as many years in the gritty Baishizhou village in Shenzhen. A handful of outdoor tables are slowly filling up with the Friday after-work crowd when we arrive. There’s a tranquillity to it, at least for now, that you don’t expect from a city like Shenzhen. This restaurant-lined strip, he explains, was shown to him by the police as an apparently acceptable location to set up.

Read the full article about craft beer in Shenzhen on FCCIHK.

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