I am really happy and proud to let Northern Brewer know that their Black IPA kit took first place at the first ever Bejing Craft Beer Festival. There were a lot of local brewers involved with putting this on, including Boxing Cat, Slow Boat and Great Leap. The turnout was awesome, I do not know what the total attendance was, but I do know that several brewers completely ran dry.
Brewing in China is not the same as in the U.S., and there are no - and I mean not any - quality extract kits available. Every brew is all grain. But my wife was in NYC on business last February and I contacted Northern Brewer and they were nice enough to ship my order directly to her hotel. Then she carried all of my supplies back to Beijing.
My friend Yin Hai is a brewing fanatic in Beijing who rents something called a hutong (very small living space) that we have nicknamed the Brewtong. The whole purpose of this space is to brew somewhere that will keep him out of trouble with his wife. I have a massive kitchen by Chinese standards, but its fun to brew together so I end up over there most brew days. And it is hard work, much more difficult than in the U.S. Sanitation, water quality, even basic ventilation is a fight.
I am sort of ashamed to admit we did not follow the instructions exactly, and actually had to skip over the secondary fermentation. I know some people will cringe at that, but it was neccessary to get this done in time for the festival. In the future I know for a fact we will refine our methods, work on some of the issues we face and become better and better brewers.
Here’s a link that tells a little bit more about how we brewed this up.http://www.tinturtle.com/post/2012/06/0 ... Place.aspx