Go With The Flow: Big River

Dongcheng is renowned for its fair share of bars, which makes standing out from the crowd that bit more difficult. That is exactly what newly opened micro-brewery “Big River” has recently achieved. Hailing from Brazil, owner Denis said he coined the name after the “Rio Grande” river near his native hometown. “Big” certainly is a fitting description as the venue offers heaps of space inside and out. Situated in 33 Town, less than five minutes from Dynacity, this place is a must-try for Dongchengers.

At first glance, what strikes you is the huge courtyard at the front. The entire venue is a renovated factory unit and beyond the parking spaces, the main sign lights up like a beacon in the distance. Traverse the stairs and you’ll reach the gleaming chromed craft beer cylinders. Currently the bar has five beers available, not to mention their own Brazilian brewing expert on hand.

All priced at 40 RMB per glass, the current beers available are Witbier, Belgian Blonde, Irish Red Ale, IPA and Hefeweizen. What I really appreciated about this place was that I was able to try a small tester of each, to see which one I preferred. I also had two other seasoned beer drinkers with me to get a broader perspective. As it turned out, we all had our individual favorites, with the Blonde, IPA and Hefeweizen standing out from the rest. I further went on to see the extent of the bar, with an outdoor smoking area on their first floor and a spiral staircase that leads up to an open-air rooftop area. As it happened, on this particular night the venue was hosting a private function with a Brazilian barbeque in the back.Salivating at the aromas, I enquired what bar snacks were on hand. Denis openly explained they were still developing their menu, but was kind enough to share a glimpse of what was to come.

Several traditional Brazilian appetizers were served, of which I was quite impressed by the polenta. This was followed by some succulent lamb chops. Denis introduced his Chinese wife Stephanie, who is almost ready to open her restaurant directly downstairs. She commented, “We will be working in conjunction with the bar upstairs, so there will be a pretty extensive snack menu on hand soon.”

For me, Big River is just one of those places that feels right. The ambience is pleasant, and you can really feel the essence of Brazilian passion from the staff. Time to take a trip down the river!

Address: No. 7, Gong Ye Road, Wu Shi Gang, Dongcheng District