Craft Beer Haven Commune Reserve Expands to Lujiazui

By Sophie Steiner, May 18, 2024

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The Place 

Shanghai craft beer lovers across the city can rejoice, as ever-popular craft beer haven Commune Reserve has expanded to Lujiazui in Pudong.

In fact, it lies in right in the shadow of a trio of Shanghai's most iconic landmarks, the Three Sisters  Shanghai World Financial Center, Jinmao Tower, and Shanghai Tower  making it an instant Insta sensation of a venue.

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Image courtesy of Commune Reserve

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Founded in Wuhan in 2016, Commune Reserve is a social dining bar brand with venues in 21 cities across China.

In April 2020, they took over Stone Brewing’s Yuyuan Lu taproom space, preserving a connection with the beloved San Diego brewery by retaining many of the same staff, and much of the concept and style, but with a Commune “twist.” 

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Since then, Commune has carried forward that same ethos – remaining independent and true to the spirit of the craft – plus has kept at least 15 of the 30 Stone Brewing brand beers on tap. 

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

In December 2023, Commune Reserve’s second location swung its doors wide open in the Shanghai World Financial Center, quickly garnering the same beer geek following, with equally inviting elevated pub grub. 

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Then, in January 2024, the first Commune X store landed in the family-friendly neighborhood of Ruihong Tiandi (Half of the Moon), offering even more options to a wider Shanghai audience.

And plans for opening future outposts – in Reel Mall and Liyuan Lee Gardens – are slated for September of this year, a testament to the brand’s continued success.

The Food & Drinks 

As Shanghai is already quite familiar with the original Commune Reserve outpost, we ventured to the latest haunt – just below the iconic Shanghai World Financial Center Lujiazui, and flanked by the Jinma Tower and Shanghai Tower – to check out the newest menu iteration, the beer lineup, and how well that same well-regarded, high-end taproom vibe carried over to Pudong. 

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

While the beer remains bold and cold (very cold – they boast innovative flux capacitors that use nitrogen to cool certain beers), the food menu has more upgrades, offering diners a choice of wallet-friendly, all-day brunch, pickup business lunch, and dinner offerings. 

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Seeing as most diners at Commune Reserve will probably be drinking beer, the menu is an eclectic list of global comfort food favorites: chicken wings, sticky ribs, pasta dishes and burgers. Bites that pair well with – no surprise here – a frothy mug of the good stuff. 

Now, let’s get into said good stuff…

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

We are no stranger to Commune Reserve’s burgers – still one of the most gloriously stacked sandos in the city – and the OG Commune California Burger (RMB88) is no exception.

Two freshly ground Wagyu beef patties are seared on the flat top before being smothered in a zippy house spread. There’s melty white cheddar, grilled onions, butter lettuce and tomato, all atop a plush brioche bun. 

It’s a behemoth of a burger that warrants every calorific bite.

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Another classic, the Sticky Ribs (RMB128) are glazed with ginger, soy and toasted garlic, garnished with chili flakes and chives.

Perfect for sharing, the meat slinks off the bone, pairing perfectly with a tap Postwave Red IPA to cool your mouth after all that heat.

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Equally succulent, the Commune Crispy Chicken Wings (RMB68) are marinated and deep-fried, the meat remaining juicy and flavorful while the skin puckers and pulls taut for the ultimate meaty morsel.

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

A hit of freshness, the Burrata & Fig Salad (RMB128) features a bed of arugula and frisée crowned with sliced seasonal figs, prosciutto ribbons, black olives, roasted cherry tomatoes and basil leaves, a plump sphere of fresh burrata perched in the center. 

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A lashing of extra virgin olive oil and Italian balsamic vinegar reduction brings it all together, further amplified by a full-flavored Castelbru Wheat Ale, crafted with select Saaz hops and malted barley.  

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A recipe that tastes like it’s been passed down through generations of Italian nonnas, the Beef Cheek Ragu Pasta (RMB108) sees thin spaghetti noodles tossed in a pancetta and braised beef cheek San Marzano tomato sauce, finished with a tableside hit of Parmigiano Reggiano.

Each juicy confit tomato bursts under the slightest pressure, adding a refreshingly sweet brightness to the otherwise rich pasta sauce, making it all the more enjoyable year-round.  

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The Tartufata Pizza (RMB138) is all about the ‘shrooms, beginning with a bechamel sauce base laden with black truffle paste, mozzarella, more mushrooms and basil.

Other pizza offerings range from classic Margherita (RMB88) to Pollo Picante (RMB98) – with shredded chicken thigh and spicy peppers – to Prosciutto di Parma (RMB138) loaded with cured meat and Parmigiano Reggiano. 

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The all-in-one Harvest Platter (RMB228) includes bits and bobs from the entire menu – a smattering of bar fare favorites – like Commune’s crispy chicken wings, spicy pork ribs, German-style sausages, plus grilled mushrooms, corn and red peppers. 

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Image courtesy of Commune Reserve

Commune Reserve also offers all-day brunch options, from Avocado Toast (RMB55) and Chicken and Waffles (RMB88) to Crab Cake Benedict (RMB128)... 

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

... to a hefty Commune Reserve Breakfast Platter (RMB138), replete with sausage, bacon, fried eggs, seared 180 days grain-fed beef filet, French toast, potato wedges and roasted seasonal veggies. 

Or, for something quicker and on-the-go, there’s also self-pickup lunch specials with reduced dish prices, plus a bonus coffee or soft drink beverage of your choice. 

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Image courtesy of Commune Reserve

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Image courtesy of Commune Reserve

Think lunch classics like Social Superfood Salad (RMB78), Margherita Pizza (RMB78), the Commune California Burger (RMB88), Mum’s Ragu (RMB108), and Sticky Ribs with Rice (RMB128), to name a few.

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Image courtesy of Commune Reserve

These salty, sweet and umami flavors compliment the house beverage of choice – there are 21 rotating globally-sourced tap beers to choose from, in addition to wine and cocktails.

The Vibe 

The massive, high ceiling dining room featuring elements of warm wood, concrete and steel – evocative of the hippest North American breweries. 

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Comfy leather couches, the signature Commune-branded crowler bar backdrop, and an expansive, sun-soaked patio give off a vibe that is equal parts cool and cozy – an ideal hangout from dawn til dusk. 

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Image courtesy of Commune Reserve

Deals, Deals, Deals!

Nothing screams summer like endless free flow deals, and Commune Reserve has got you covered with three-hour free flow sets for just RMB188 Sunday through Thursday and RMB238 Friday and Saturday. 

The free flow deal is available at the bar, with an expansive selection of tap beer and cocktails. 

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Some quick back-of-the-napkin math reveals that comes out to just over RMB60 an hour on non-weekends – you just can’t afford not to.

There’s also a daily happy hour from 2-5pm, with buy-one-get-one draft beer and glasses of wine at the bar, as well as daily specials like:

  • Buy-one-get-one pizzas every Monday (2-10pm, for members only)

  • Buy-one-get-one free craft beer every Wednesday (9pm-1am, for members only)

  • Free flow special drink menus for ladies at just RMB98 every Saturday in Pudong and every Thursday in Hongkou (8-11pm)

  • Free children’s meals (and interactive clown performances) every Sunday for family day (11am-1pm)

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Image courtesy of Commune Reserve

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Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

In short, Commune Reserve continues time and again to answer our thirsty call for more craft beer options in China. 

Commune Reserve, B/1-109, World Financial Center, 100 Century Avenue, by Dongtai Lu 世纪大道100号环球金融中心商场B1-109, 近东泰路.

Commune X, #21A Ruihong Tiandi, 188 Ruihong Lu, 瑞虹路188号瑞虹天地月亮湾1层21A.


Read more Shanghai Restaurant Reviews.

[Cover image by Sophie Steiner/That's]

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