Guinness Original Launch Party [Shanghai]

Hello Folks! It certainly has been awhile. Guinness is the world’s best beers – is also one of my favorite beers. I was recently invited to an event which showcased Guinness Original, one of the varieties of the eponymous brand. Started brewing in 1759 in Dublin, Guinness is the best selling alcoholic drink in Ireland.
 
Guinness is launching a campaign to introduce Guinness Original here in China. Master Brewer, Fergal Murray was on hand at launch party to showcase this new draft. I had a chance to try a glass or two or four. Compared to Guinness Draught, Guinness Original has a lighter and less bold flavor. Yet according to the stats, it still retains the same alcoholic content. This lighter flavor will be, in my humble opinion, popular with the Chinese, since it will compare favorably with the Chinese beers.
 
Here’s a partial list of popular restaurants, pubs, and stores that carry Guinness Original.
Cotton’s (Xinhua) – No. 1, Lane 294 Xinhua Road
Muse (Hang Lung) – 5F Hang Lung Plaza, Jingan District
Piro – 87 Changshu Road
T8 – No. 8, Lane 181, Taicang Road, Xintiandi
Azure – 291 Fanyu Road
Lapis Thai (Hunan Rd) – 285 Hunan Road
Tsui Wah – 251 South Xizang Road
Kangaroo Bar – 33 Yongjia Road
Brown Sugar – No. 15, Lane 181, Taicang Road
Lost Heaven on the Bund – 17 East Yanan Road
JZ – 46 West Fuxing Road
Blue Frog – 207 South Maoming Road
Club G Plus – No. 5, Lane 123, Xingye Road
South Beauty (881) – 881 Middle Yanan Road
 
 
Check out more about Guinness at Guinness.com

The Lab Gastropub at USC [DTLA]

The Lab is a gastropub located across the street from USC. In the spirit of gastropubs and wine bars, like Bar FoodWestside Tavern, and Bacaro, The Lab features nice selection of libations and food.
 
With dozens beers on draft & bottled to go with reds & whites , The Lab has a drink for almost everyone. The school science themed restaurant has a large outdoor patio with a big fire pit. There’s also a private section for parties, which also spills outdoors to comfy seating. Inside the main dining room, there a couple of large communal tables. I’ve always liked communal tables, since we can people watch and see what others are munching on. With few chalk blackboards around the room, the places maintains the school theme. Even the restrooms and menus, which are presented on clipboards, feature a science feel.
 
I decided today to have the Beer Can Chicken Sandwich with truffle mac and cheese, while Miss C had the The Lab burger with sweet potato fries. Though these burgers and sandwiches aren’t cheap for 10 and 12 USD, respectively, they aren’t presented and made with inferiors ingredients. With angus beef and apple bacon, they aren’t your typical student dorm cafeteria food. I thought the burger was good and the mac and cheese passable, I didn’t think the prices were warranted. I wish the mac and cheese had more burnt cheese & crust from the panko and flavor (even with the somewhat bland gruyere). I did enjoy the bread on the burger, which held well with a messy avocado. The sweet potato fries were fine, but not as good as ones at Golden State.
 
As an undergrad at USC, years ago, and a current graduate student, I feel I am quite experienced with the different dining options around the USC area. Since the Lab retains a usc.eduurl, I assume that USC is the owner. They cater towards the students, faculty, and guests of USC. With these high prices, they won’t see many frat parties, like the 501. But I can see deep pocketed alumni stopping by before football games. I think USC has the right idea with the Lab, but I only wish, selfishly, that the prices were a bit lower.
What to Order: The Lab burger and Beer Can Chickien
What not to Order: Mac and Cheese
2 Pigs
 
Price Range 2 $/¥/NT
The Lab – 3500 S Figueroa Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90007 (213) 743-1843

Dr. Beer [Shanghai] – closed

Dr. Beer is a new entrant in the Micro-Bewery or gastropubs in Shanghai. Dr. Beer will compete on a few different fronts with other establishments. Related to Dr. Wine, just located down the street on Fumin Road, Dr. Beer has a different type of vibe – more of a loft/warehouse industrial look, with a cool DJ, a female no doubt, blaring above on the catwalk gantry. I like how these gastropubs now offer food that is considered more than just a footnote – like peanuts or pretzels.

With the Kerry Hotel’s Brew, Brix and Boxing Cat Brewery, Dr. Beer will have to step up its brew game. From other reviews, I have read that the beer isn’t as good as its competitors. I had the Pilsner and Wheat, which I thought was both pretty good. But I do confess that I am not a beer aficionado, so I can’t claim to know a lot about beers. Additionally, places like Apartment, El Coctel, as well as the previous named ones offer full menu dining. I really liked the pizzas at Dr. Beer, since they over did it with the cheese. I like really cheesy pizzas. The popcorn chicken was another favorite, with its spiciness.

With all this competition, I think the best thing going for Dr. Beer is the great location and space. The central-ish spot on Fumin road near Julu road, is ideal with the big main street close by. With other restaurants, like People’s, Guyi, and Coconut Paradise close by, Dr. Beer is a nice 2nd stop. The large warehouse space is cool with a variety of seating options with high standing stools, or loungey couches, or simple tables. The DJ adds an additional element of a club. I like it. But I do think it gets a little loud at times.

Anyways. . .Look for Alex, the manager, and tell him the Thirsty Pig sent ya!

What to Order: Wheat Beer, Pilsner Beer, Popcorn Chicken
What not to Order: Spicy Chicken Wings

Rating
2 Pigs
Price Range 2 $/¥/NT

Links
Time Out ShanghaiSmart ShanghaiAsia-CityCity WeekendShanghai TalkFoursquareKesson Elliot Blog

Dr Beer
PHONE:5468 1077
ADDRESS:83 Fumin Lu,
near Yan’an Lu
富民路83号,
近延安路