京A Brewing Co. is the brainchild of Kris and Alex, two North American guys and long-time Beijingers with a passion for great beer. One cold day in January 2012, they decided to homebrew a hop-forward American IPA to celebrate the coming Chinese New Year. The result, which they named “Hoppy New Year” (what else?!), was surprisingly good, and friends quickly finished off the batch and called for more. The two realized then that the only thing better than drinking full flavored, handcrafted beer is brewing it for others. And so began their dream — to make creative and delicious ales and lagers with only the best ingredients for craft beer fans here in the ‘Jing.
What began as a hobby with a couple pots and plastic buckets quickly became an obsession. Balancing corporate jobs by day, and brewing by night, Alex and Kris hosted pop-up events around town to showcase the latest creations from 京A. Over the next few months they moved from brewing out of their apartments to borrowing commercial kitchens and guest brewing on other local systems. Finally, in Spring 2013 京A Brewing Co. established its own brewery inside The Big Smoke Bistro on Xingfucun, which runs 24/7 to supply an ever-growing growing number of 京A taps in Beijing as well as their flagship location, the 京A Taproom, established in Fall 2014.
We’re excited to be part of the revolution for locally brewed craft beer that’s just starting to gain momentum in China. Check out our blog or sign up for our newsletter and public WeChat account to follow the 京A story! And thank you for supporting local beer!
What’s in a Name?
When we kicked off our adventures in brewing, we knew we wanted to represent the side of Beijing that we love, and be proud to be local. We tried to think of a name that would encompass the gritty charm of the Beijing we know and love. For people that have been in Beijing as long as we have, 京A comes pretty close!
The Chinese character 京 means “capital”, and is the mark that can be found at the beginning of all license plates in Beijing. The significance of the “A” is a bit more subtle — when Beijing first began issuing car license plates in the late 90s, the original batch of car owners got plates starting with”京A”. As the city prospered over the next twenty years, additional letters were issued, and now a new car owner is lucky if she can register a 京Q license plate. In this way, 京A has come to represent the original, the old school.