Sorry, Henry’s Brewery & Grill, at 33 Sichuan Zhong Lu (near Yan’an Lu, a block behind Three on the Bund), has us excited. We had a pint (okay, 15 ounces) of a decent draft pale ale for 30 kuai — and it wasn’t a special introductory price, either. They boast “The Best Beers on the Bund,” but we think they are selling themselves short. Who else (other than Paulaner) brews their own beer in Shanghai? Where else can you get a pale ale on tap? Or a honey brown? And where else, save for the occasional happy hour special, can you get a similarly well crafted draft beer for 30 kuai? The Best Beers on the Bund? How about The Best Beers in Shanghai? And you can probably throw in Anhui, Zhejiang, Jiangsu and a dozen or so other provinces, as well. You can get a free sampler of their five beers — just ask.
Henry’s, which will hold its official opening in a week or two, is run by Lei Chen, the founder and CEO of ShanghaiNing.com and, admittedly, not a beer drinker. Thankfully, the brewmaster does like beer. His name is Gary. He’s from Texas. And before moving to Shanghai to work at Henry’s, he was in Iraq purifying water. Not a bad move.
We didn’t get to try the “grill” portion of the place — the kitchen wasn’t operational yet — but the menu (and the prices) looked promising. The head chef is from Shanghai, so we’ll see how it goes.
The space Henry’s occupies is great, it’s large and wide open with a big main floor and a sizable balcony area. We weren’t too excited about the decor, however — the choice of furniture and the odd, mirrored pillars seemed more suitable for a KTV bar than a brew pub. The dance music was an odd choice, as well. There’s a nice projection TV hanging above the main floor. Would be great for sports — on Friday a Michael Jordan retrospective DVD was playing on a continuous loop.
The beer is what Henry’s is all about, though. And that’s why we’ll be heading back (soon).
Henry’s Brewery & Grill, 33 Sichuan Zhong Lu, near Yan’an Lu, one block behind Three on the Bund. Tel: 63217127.
UPDATE: Check out Henry’s Brewery & Grill online at henrysbrew.com.