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Posted 4 Reviews
Continuing my exploration of brewpubs in Shanghai, tonight I went to Dr. Beer on Fumin Lu.
I liked the beer. There were five kinds on tap tonight:
The wheat beer: Great flavor, not too sweet, and not too light, like some wheats. The little orange slice in the glass to bring out flavors was a great touch.
The Pilsner: Excellent! Delicious, bitter, but still light and refreshing. This is a really nice beer.
The Pale Ale: The server warned me it was flat, and it was. The flavors didn't come out and I didn't even finish drinking it.
The IPA: Excellent again! Very good flavor, a lot of bitterness countered by a little bit of sweetness, bold and daring yet drinkable and enjoyable. Nice job, guys.
The Dark: Wow, again a hit. Great beer. I don't usually like dark beers, so this is saying something. I finished this one first! Not too heavy, but thick with a great flavor and just a hint of sweetness.
So the beer was good - why the mediocre rating? I'll be honest, I was miffed that they served a beer they knew was subpar, and made me pay for it. If the beermaster made a mistake, don't sell it to me, give me something else that's worth paying for.
That plus the fact that I was given the check before I asked for it made me feel unwelcome. I know some restaurants have this policy and it's supposed to be more convenient, but I've always felt like I'm being kicked out. I was thinking about getting another beer, but then the check dropped and I changed my mind. Don't do that to your customers, guys!
Posted 1 Reviews
I've been watching this place grow and drinking at this establishment since it opened.
I feel some of the criticisms a trifle unfair as brewing ones own beer is actually quite a science and these guys have worked quite hard to make it happen in a limited timeframe (yes maybe they should have got it right beforehand, but hey, they need to open and start paying the rent!).
And the initial beer, whilst not perfect, wasn't as bad as some of you are making out anyhow.
But hey, the beer is now pretty damn good, consistently, and most of the time they have all 5 to offer (occasionally 3 or 4 - but that's success for you).
The place has a good ambience about it and the food, whilst not spectacular, is quite OK too, altho it could learn some lessons from it's sister, Dr Wine, down the road on this front.
I'll continue to visit, as it's a place for good microbrewed beer.The friendly staff are always quite helpful and chatty too which also makes a difference.
Posted 1 Reviews
OK, let me preface this by saying, I am not employed or in any way work for this group. I am a reasonably regular visitor at Dr. Wine and previously I used to be a visitor at Enoteca. So more of a wine person today than a beer person, however, I acknowledge that some of my friends prefer beer, so beer must be had once in a while.
Now, I returned Friday night, after my last visit in late November (and I did somewhat agree with some of the previous reviews then) to find the place packed, with a pretty great vibe. Tried the pale ale again (November pale ale experience was honestly not good) and was pleasantly surprised. Much darker with a nice rich flavour. This was also attested by regular beer drinking ffiends too.
I think they have noted the comments and feedback and made some pretty good changes. I for one will be returning for sure (atleast my mates will make me).
Ok, I admit I am not much of a beer drinker to begin with so for someone like me to say the beer is simply awful should tell you something about their products. Let me clarify, although I don't drink beer often, my husband is a quite sophiscated beer drinker and definitely knows a good one when he tastes it. We were at Dr Beer and we both ordered their pricy craft beer. Mine was pale ale. From the moment I smelled it; I knew there is something wrong with the beer. The first thought came to me is maybe the brewmaster has accidently dropped a kitchen rag into that beautiful stainless steel tank...I am not joking (My husband took a sip and immediately agreed with me). It was BAAAAAAADDDDDDD! so bad that I cannot even finish mine. I basically paid 48 RMB to buy a lesson that we will not be coming back any time soon (Maybe when they announce that they have finally found a real brewmaster that can proudly call its product real craft beer!!!)My husband had a dark ale and it tasted like beer flavored water but at least no dish rag smell...I still cannot understand how can you call yourself Dr Beer with such elaborate decor and equipment but the very product you claim to be master of tastes like crap??!!
Value for Money
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Posted 12 Reviews
I have visited Dr. Beer on 4 separate occasions twice before dinner for a quick beer, and twice around the European dinning hour of 8:30-10pm.
Whenever I have been past 8:30 (Friday & Sat) the place has been packed. One of the unique things I have noticed is this is a "beer place" that has equal balance of male:female. The owners might be on to something, open a good looking space, play trendy-ish lounge music, and females show up. Get females in the door, and Men will show up and buy booze. it isn't exactly a novel concept, but previously in Shanghai "beer places" targeted the sports on the big screen expat dad set. Shanghai's beautiful people aren't getting dressed up for a dinner at Boxing Cat before they hit MINT.
The beer is pretty dead-average all times I've been. While serving dead average fair in pretty environment is the Shanghai F&B business model template, one would expect slightly more from the folks behind Dr. Wine, and for 58 a "medium". I've ordered the IPA, and the Pils and each visit they have been inconsistent in flavor, texture, and carbonation, and while they did just open and might take a month to get it together they are charging about 9 USD for a what I've eyeballed to be 2/3 a pint. After a few visits one begins to think the owners are 1) greedy, 2)lazy 3) think their customers are bubble headed dolts distracted by shinny things and lights 4) all of the above.
What they do well. The pizza. Just go for the pizza. I've order the forester and the traditional, and i believe them to be the best cream sauce pizzas in shanghai. I think each one is about the price of a beer, possibly CNY 65-70.
They are obviously on to something and have the potential to become a mini-expat institution if they can get the quality consistent, and the pricing a bit more down to earth.
Posted 5 Reviews
I think one of the major hinderences to this place is the unusually high expectations that are placed on it as it does stem from (or resemble, not sure about the business particulars) the hugely popular Dr. Wine bar.
That being said, even if they were named "Joe's Beer Shack" the prices they're charging this early in the game set expectations they can blame on no one but themselves. More on that later.
FIRST the good: It's a big, nicely appointed space, and contrary to other reviews my personal experience with the staff was a pleasant one. Can't comment on pouring skill or the like, as I lack the technical knowledge, but I wasn't displeased with the way I was treated.
Now the bad: The Beer. I had two glasses of the IPA because I thought they had simply screwed up my order for the first one. Really, really not good. My brewing experience is limited, but my tasting experience isn't, I regretted not going with the Carlsberg. AND FOR THAT PRICE?? They really need to re-evaluate their product. If they do, I'll happily give them a second chance, I'm willing to shell out if it's top-quality stuff, but their first attempt is inarguably a failure.
Good luck and god bless, let me know when you change brewmasters.
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Posted 13 Reviews
If you call yourself Dr. Beer, you need to make sure your beer is the best in town. Sadly, this place has fallen at the first hurdle. The bad reviews this place is getting are definitely warranted. You could almost forgive the management for the poor quality if
a) the stuff wasn't so exorbitantly priced, and
b) the Western staff weren't so unhelpful and arrogant
It's a shame.
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Posted 3 Reviews
Have been at Dr. Beer early October already, usually completely empty, but I liked their Pale Ale a lot. Price definitely way too expensive, was hoping they would work at this.
Last weekend returned with a bunch of friends, this time packed, mixed crowd. The Pale Ale we did order, looked different than the ones before, not as dark. Taste was disgusting, like a Tsingtao bottle that you left for a day in the fridge - open. I asked the waitress, if she maybe served the wrong beer. She checked and another guy came back telling us that this is Pale Ale. Went to one of the owners that I saw behind the bar, I did talk to him one month before already, letting him know, that I like that beer. Now I had to tell him, that something was wrong. His more or less, impolite reply was:
We changed the brewmaster and our concept is, that the beer always taste a bit different. Wow, a bit different? That was not a bit different, it was a different product. He apologized for not letting us know before.
They exchanged the Pale Ales against wheat beers, that now came with a slice of orange in it. I don't know who told them this, an orange has nothing to do in a glass of beer. Saving time, we paid, left and wont return ever.
Started overpriced but good, developed after one month into overpriced and not worse a visit anymore.
But maybe they find people, that like the concept of never knowing what you will get.
Posted 5 Reviews
From: the world
They certainly teach many lessons to their client. And like usually "lessons learned" implies a negative context.
The Beer. I suppose the intention is to get people to Dr Beer so they would drink their beer. I tried 3 of their beers now on several occasions. Apart from major consistency issues (which should be allowed in the beginning of their enterprise) the beer served is below average compared to off the shelf big brand beer and in no comparison to artisanal or craft beer. In fact, none of the beers taste crafted at all. I will not go too much into detail of hops contained and fermentation temperature and what could be done differently in terms of ingredients because I do believe this is purely the brew master's business. But it appears the brew master does not really care about his beer after it is brewed. On two occasions the beer tasted as if the draft tubes were not properly cleaned. The temperature of the beer was not once right - for each beer tasted as the temperature for an IPA should be different to the temperature of a wheat beer. Apart from the first time I tried the wheat beer, all the other times the beer was "flat". I sat at the bar and watched the draft process and i think the drafting process is not right ( speed kills the beer) and secondly the carbonation process is not supervised I suppose. Overall the beer quality could be slightly improved in this process but that would not save the day.
By the taste of the beer i must assume that the water hardness is completely off and is causing the unbearable taste of the beer. Now this is all the technical stuff and of course very subjective comment on the flavor.
But the first slab in the customers face is the ridiculous price of 58 rmb for a "medium" glass of beer. This does not even qualify for a pint!!! %8 rmb for THAT kind of liquid they sell you as sophisticated (Dr.) beer??? That is an insult.
The second slab is when you complain about the beer being flat and "off" taste and the answer is without even trying to taste: "no its good" . I suppose this was one of the managers ( western). What the customer does not count anymore? Grab the $$$$ out of their pockets and screw them???
Well - no - screw you! I learned my lesson - don't trust a doctor that sells "beer" .
As a fond lover of Dr Wine, I was very excited when Dr Beer opened its doors. Having a friend in town that is a beer lover, I unquestionably advocated going to check it out - how could it be bad when Dr Wine is so great? Well... The beer tasted like water. We got the whole tasting menu and none really pleased. And the prices were high.
I admire the initiative, and like the decor, but this place has a LOOOONG way to go before it can call itself a beer joint.
I'll stick with wine thanks.
Posted 1 Reviews
I was pretty excited when I heard about this place, being a beer lover and guessing that the guys from Dr Wine were behind. The place is a huge open area, kind of loft decoration, quite nice. Great for meeting friends over beers.
When they brought me the drinking list, I was a bit shocked about prices (around 60 rmb for a pint), but hey, these guys took a huge place and are making their own beer, I appreciate it. So I ordered a pale ale. When I took the first sip, I thought there was a mistake, and they brought me Tsingdao instead. It was one of the worse beers I've ever tried...at 60 rmb! I asked the manager if there was any problem with the beer, and he said that they are still adjusting the brew, so it will take a while to get the "perfect" beer. What I don't really understand is why they charge 60 rmb if they know that the beer is not good.
Besides that, service was quite poor, as any soft opening. Food is not expensive (70 rmb for a pizza), and quite good, having pizza and finger food. Similar to Dr. Wine.
Overall, a disappointing experience, as if you go to a place named Dr. Beer you expect...good beer. But I hope they are able to improve the beer, as the place and the concept is quite cool.
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Posted 1 Reviews
At a glance, the concept and feel of the place made me think it will be cool and successful. After the first experience, I now question its survival.
When asking the expat bloke inside (on the first day of opening) will there be any happy hour or promotions, he barely responded with a religiously confident shaking head, whilst continuing his text messaging.
The beer was good and the place has potential, but they're making their own beer (en-mass - only 4 choices), yet charging more than imported beer AND with no happy hour. Dr Wine sells imported wine and cheaply. This seems totally illogical.
So the question is, if they can't get and maintain a decent following, how trendy will a place like that be half empty?