Jackie’s Beer Nest (Pudong)

What: Exactly what it says on the tin
Why: To enjoy a range of imported beer with friends
Where: 714 Pucheng Lu, near Weifang Xi Lu. Tel: 138 1650 2260. Web: www.beernest.com

This is Xinjiang born, Shanghai raised Jackie Zhou’s second Beer Nest in Shanghai, after the Zhaozhou Lu Beer Nest, which was opened in 2007.

The venue is small and homely. Zhou will serve you himself because, as he says, “You don’t invite a friend to your house and get ayi to serve them”. It is located between high-rise Pudong compounds; where residents might not necessarily have the will or the opportunity to get to know each other. However, if you frequent this branch, you will get to know your neighbours very well as there are only two tables and a very warm, friendly atmosphere. After only one month, Jackie's Beer Nest has already built up its own community, just like the Puxi location.

Zhou’s passion for beer first started 11 years ago when the import company he works for was the first to import foreign beers into China. After getting a taste for the much darker and stronger beers, the Chinese variety just didn’t do it for him anymore and he made it his mission to see more Chinese people enjoy the sweet nectar of imported beers. After trying to sell imported beers to bars and clubs around the city, he realised that they weren’t willing to make the investment in this new type of alcohol without advertising material and promotional girls. So, Zhou took it upon himself to open a 12 square meter storefront on Zhaozhou Lu, to whet the appetite of the Shanghai market. He then took the opportunity to move to a bigger plot on the same street in 2009, which is where, incidentally, he met his wife, Mimi Zhao. Qinghai born, with a father who is the manager of a brewery, she has an excellent pallet, according to Zhou, and does the main bulk of the ordering for the two venues.

Many patrons suggested that they should open a new Jackie's Beer Nest on the Pudong side of town, and last month Zhou finally took the plunge and rented a space on Pucheng Lu, which he renovated by himself from a glass store front into a much more cosy and familiar, if you are a regular at the Puxi branch, pinewood cabin. Zhou now spends his time at the Pudong branch while Zhao holds the fort at Zhaozhou Lu.

Being on the Pudong side gives Zhou more time to work on his hobby, brewing his own beer in an ingeniously made home brewing device. Currently, the homebrew on tap is a Ten Hops Imperial IPA, but we have been promised that he has over 200 more recipes that he wants to test. Zhou made sure to tell us that he cleans the beer pipes everyday to ensure a high quality product, and kegs are always kept in the fridge, under 5 degress, to keep them fresh. He hopes to one day own a microbrewery, and be an expert brew master.

Currently, there are six draught beer on tap, including Zhou's IPA, Belhaven Stout, Abbot Ale, Old Speckled Hen, Greene King IPA and Jack Hammer IPA, but this number will be increased to 12 draught beers within the next few weeks. There is also a large variety of chilled bottle beer, which you won’t find at other places in Shanghai. A British pint size of draught beer starts from RMB 50, while bottles are between RMB 45 to RMB 60. There is no food at this venue, the focus is on beer, but Zhao says if you want food, you can order in a pizza. For him it's not about making a lot of money, it's about making a lot of friends.

Open 5pm to 11pm Sunday to Thursday and 5pm to 12am Friday and Saturday.