When: April 12-22
Where: Various sites around town
What It Is: Twice a year, DiningCity organizes this week-and-something long city-wide celebration of the art of the deal. Hundreds of restaurants from the whole spectrum of quality and price take part, dropping their prices and doing set-menus that start from 68rmb per person for a lunch and 108rmb for dinner and inflate accordingly. Seriously, it's like every restaurant in Shanghai. Hooters is on there (108rmb/person dinner), right next to El Willy (278rmb/per). The appeal lies primarily in your chance to try out places you'd normally shelter your meagre wallet from. Discounts vary wildly, you can find out which restaurants are taking part and how to book on their official website. It's happening right now, goes until April 22. Go go go.
What To Expect: The very real possibility some place isn't that good, but you don't pay full price to find out. Alternatively, if it is that good, you're going to have to wait months and months before you can afford it again.
Zeitgeist Beer Garden
When: April 28-29, Jun 9-10, July 14-15, August 11-12 from 2-9pm, suckling pig starts 5/6pm.
Tickets: Free entry
What It Is: Brought to you by the talented fellows at City Moments, German events and Zeitgeist modern Bavarian brauhaus, this is less of a festival and more of a season; one weekend per month, they're turning that little Tonglefang area into a beer garden with draft beer, wine, cocktails, spritz, roasted chicken, bratwurst, schnitzel, brezels and a full-on suckling pig roast. They've done a pretty good job with the Christmas markets and carnivals and whatnots thus far. It runs on Saturdays and Sundays from 2-9pm, with the suckling pig chucked on the fire around 5/6pm. Plus, nice bonus, free entry.
What To Expect: Hearty mugs of beer, hearty guffaws, hearty Bavarian food, one non-German idiot in lederhosen and alpine cap.
When: April 29-30, from 12-8pm
Where: HKRI Taikoo Hui, afterparty at CINKER Pictures.
Tickets: Pre-sale tickets, 80rmb/day, on-site 100rm, 150rmb/2 days, on-site 170rmb
What It Is: The first public event on the rooftop of Taikoo Hui mall is FEAST, organized by Shanghai Supperclub. This year they've selected the 'Future of Food' as their theme. They've got a rogue's gallery of 10 chefs and 3 bartenders showing off how good they are at making things that go in your mouth. Chefs are Bina Yu + Kim Melvin (upcoming Together), Cesar Perez de Anda (St. Regis), Chris Zhu (Bird), Jet Lo (previously Ginger), Juan Campos (RAW Eatery & Grill), Kasper Elmholdt (Pelikan), Ling Huang (Pirata), Sam Norris + Jun Nishio (Xime), Sergio Moreno (Commune Social) and Pol Garcia (La Maison). Meanwhile, mixologists Mack Ross (The Nest), Lucky Huang (previously Union Trading Company) and Warren Pang (Bird and Bitter) will be being mixological AF. There'll be wine and a beer garden from brands, coffee from a new boutique brand, branded entertainment and an Iron Chef competition from more brands. FEAST has a long history of being a-okay! Big event on the foodie festival calendar. Takes place over that odd April holiday weekend, from noon to 8pm on Sunday/Monday. Tickets get you in, you'll have to pay for the food/drinks in there.
What To Expect: (Branded) high-quality food, industry so-and-so's mingling, furrowed eyebrows and appreciative sounds over morsels on toothpicks, dissipating into a sunstruck afterparty at CINKER Pictures before fragmenting further into citywide afterafterparties divided along F&B clique lines.
When: May 11-13, starts at 6pm Friday, and 12.45pm on Saturday and Sunday
Where: Okura Garden Hotel
Tickets: 50rmb entry, 88rmb including fitness, 320rmb including Private Home Brewing Class, available on SmartTicket.
What Is It: It's Beernanza. If you've lived here for six months, you've heard of it. It's one of the longer-lasting craft beer festivals, taking place in the Okura Garden Hotel's garden at semi-regular half-year intervals. Live music, food, craft beer, a lot of beer people. One time they had like a drum circle going, real feel-good festival atmosphere under the neon glare of brew company logos and tents. They've got more than 150 Chinese and international craft beers tapping kegs, plus this year there're free masterclasses on beer ingredients from the world's oldest, largest hops merchant Hopfenverwertungsgenossenschaft. You quit trying to subvocalize that after the third syllable. They've also got presale tickets that include homebrewing classes taught by professional brewmasters on Saturday and Sunday. Plus plus, there's another presale ticket deal that includes Fithearts' fitness classes, to help you offset those calories. Starts at 6pm on Friday, and 12.45pm on Saturday and Sunday, in May.
What To Expect: Lots of craft beer bros, but except for the ones that refuse to go because it's too mainstream, brah.
When: May 11 from 6-10.30pm, May 12-13 from 12.45-10.30pm
Where: Okura Garden Hotel
Tickets: Pre-sale 50rmb with 2 free cocktails or 50rmb on-site with one cocktail
What Is It: This year, the Beernanza people are doubling up on beverage festivals in the Okura Garden Hotel with Mixnanza, which is like Beernanza, except dedicated to cocktails. They're bigging up the tropical festival atmosphere for this three day affair, also taking place in the Okura Garden Hotel garden, with a bevvy of cocktails. They've confirmed Altos, Jose Cuervo, 1800, Peddler's and Hayman's gin, Bacardi, Kraken, Evan Williams, De Kuyper and Scanavinos will be present, plus more. They say there'll be 100 different featured cocktails available. Plus, the requisite live music; reggae, bachata, salsa and afro beats, as well as fitness classes from Fithearts. Pre-sale tickets come with 2 cocktails. It's taking place at the same time and place as Beernanza.
What To Expect: You know Beernanza? Like that, except with gin.
BREW Beer Fest
When: May 26-27, 11am-9pm
Where: Square outside Kerry Hotel Pudong
What Is It: The 10th anniversary of Kerry Hotel's beer festival, named after their beer bar, though whether it's the 10th one is up for debate since last year's was cancelled due to inclement weather. It's a scant 25-ish minute metro ride for Puxi residents (y'know... depending), with an exit pretty much in the middle of the event space, but they typically bring in a solid showing from the craft beer and bottled beer world. Little Creatures has been there in the past! Plus, live music, decent food vendors of the BBQ/Sandwich variety, and it's free to get in. Solid, bread-and-butter beer fest for your schedule. It takes place over two days, going from 11am-9pm both day.
What To Expect: Bunch of tents, at least two decent bands/DJs.
Brew For Love
When: June 16-17, from noon to midnight
Where: HKRI Taikoo Hui Mall
Tickets: 50rmb entry, includes a beer
What Is It: First time on the festival scene, and the details are still being hashed out but what we do know is that it's actually a "brewfestival" rather than a craft beer festival, which means there'll be about 20 vendors doing mostly beer, but also some coffee, some liquor, maybe other kinds of brewers on hand too. All Chinese products. Keeping it local. Plus, it's a non-profit, with all proceeds going to Heart 2 Heart. It'll be taking place in the new Taikoo Hui Mall, in the outdoor square behind Bar Constellation. It's being sponsored by Shanghai Love Brewing company.
What To Expect: Expect nothing and you will never be disappointed. But probably a whole lot of people who're real passionate about the things they grow/grind/cultivate/brew.