Planning a party can drive a man to drink. Thankfully for Shanghaiist, we’re now just a short walk from good, cold beer — KABB recently started carrying Samuel Adams Boston Lager. Now, there are plenty of places in Shanghai to get a decent brew — if you are willing to pay for it — but there is a definite dearth of hoppy beers in our city. And Shanghaiist likes a hoppy beer. A nice Sierra Nevada Pale Ale makes us sooooo happy. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen any of those in Shanghai. There are two Australian beers — Coopers Sparkling Ale and Coopers Original Pale Ale — that you can find at a handful of local bars and restaurants. In fact, the City Mart (kind of a fake-and-not-really-very-good City Supermarket in the basement of the Pacific Department Store on Huaihai Zhong Lu) used to carry a nice selection of Coopers beers, and Australian wines, at very reasonable prices. We’d buy a six-pack of pale ales for 9 kuai a bottle. Pretty damn good (even if the beer isn’t quite as hoppy as we would like). And then one day we walked in and all the Australian stuff was gone … and replaced by Heineken. Yuck. Shanghaiist was very sad.
So, why all this excitement over a Samuel Adams, a mass-market lager? Well, Sam Adams beer wasn’t always mass-market, but it’s always been pretty damn good. Think of Sam Adams as the Wilco of beers. And their Boston Lager is hoppier than you would expect, hoppier than either of the Coopers we mentioned above. (For the record, Shanghaiist thinks Being There was Wilco’s “hoppiest” album.)
We were told that Sam Adams was introduced in Shanghai just last month. It’s imported, not brewed or bottled in China, which means the Boston Lagers here were like born in Pittsburgh. Go figure. We doubt that KABB — where a bottle will set you back 40 RMB — is the only place that carries it, but that’s the only place we’ve seen it so far. Who knows, maybe good ol’ Sam will take over the Heineken display at the City Mart.
Nah. We don’t think so, either.
Samuel Adams was a brewer and a patriot.