New Restaurant Review: Pearl River Craft Beer Restaurant

By Lena Gidwani, December 20, 2018

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The Place

Party Pier is a space that revels at the intersection of event and heritage, and it unquestionably has an abundance of both. Built around, over and in the midst of the remains (read: exposed pipes and barrels circa 1985) of the abandoned Zhujiang Beer Factory, the insanely massive Pearl River Brewery pays homage to the city’s social pressures and urban renewal plans with an innovative social club that combines craft beer with sports and bar bites. In a nutshell, beer production has been replaced with beer production, and it can’t get any cooler than this. 

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Image by Lena Gidwani/That's

Spread over three floors, Pearl River Craft Beer Restaurant features a boxing ring beneath a larger-than-life jumbotron with kickass visuals and sound, a rock climbing wall, a beach volleyball court complete with sand and net, loads of billiard tables, gym equipment, a soft matted area with punching bags and boxing pads, private rooms, a BBQ zone, a souvenir shop, private kitchen, bar spaces and seating that could rival a small stadium. Really, calling it a just a bar or restaurant would be doing it an injustice. 

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Image by Lena Gidwani/That's

The Food (and Drinks)

Given the amount of money sunk into transforming this place, one would think that they would invest in a good chef. Alas, the food, ranging from pizza and pasta to meat and deep-fried snacks, is best deemed mediocre. Unless you’re inebriated or really need a bite or two, it would be wise to give it all a miss and go straight to their homegrown beers, all crafted onsite for maximum drinking pleasure. 

There’s over a dozen varieties from IPA to stout, ranging in price from RMB38-48. The sample beer tray (RMB78), featuring five 200-mililiter glasses of their best-sellers, is your best bet if you can’t make up your mind. 

Speaking of drinks, you would be forgiven for thinking that the menu is a sports catalogue. There’s images of fit girls in bikinis playing beach volleyball on a page advertising hot drinks. We’re not sure if this was intentional, but it’s clear that their designer has a wicked sense of humor. Drink names are ludicrously inventive and absurd too, ranging from mocktails like ‘no alcohol of beer’ (RMB38) to cocktails like ‘confessions of the balloon’ (RMB52/balloon included) and ‘the perfume is poisonous’ (RMB48/perfume not included).

The Vibe

This particular evening is a live music night, so we are treated to renditions of greatest hits from the early ’90s, all played out from the comforts of the boxing ring. Fret not if you do not want loud music, for the sheer size of the place means that you can pretty much choose your vibe, from beachy and bar top to sink-in-a-lounge-chair or high table stools. And if pool, boxing or spiking isn’t your thing, then at least you will find a unique place to imbibe against a horizon littered with industrial remnants of a brewery that once was. 

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Image by Lena Gidwani/That's

Price: RMB100
Good for: impressing overseas guests, urban explorers, beer sample trays, fake beach volleyball
Who’s going: those who can’t afford gym memberships and want a beer whilst sparring   
Nearest metro: Modiesha (Exit B), 30 minutes’ walk

See listing for Pearl River Craft Beer Restaurant.

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