「酒吧故事」北京胡同里的一个神奇的地方——Dirty Duck

作者:泰龙叫兽 2017.04.16

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我们中国人,通常是喜欢卖点酒回到家里面喝,或是在饭店吃饭时喝点啤酒。而英国人或美国人在想到喝啤酒这件事时,脑袋里最先蹦出来的,就是酒吧。

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随着我们国家的实力不断增强,国际化进程的不断扩大,越来越多的外国朋友选择留在中国工作生活,他们虽然都很喜欢中国,但对家乡的思念总是难免的。北京就有这么一个神奇的地方,这里虽然置身于北锣鼓巷的胡同之中,却能让外国朋友找到回家的感觉,这个地方就是 Dirty Duck 酒吧。

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2009 年初,还在佛蒙特大学进修历史学位的 Henry 第一次来到中国,他计划在这里待上一年,一边旅行一边学习中文,但这次旅行改变了 Henry 的人生轨迹,他不仅爱上了中国,还爱上了一个姑娘——小洁。

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为了完成他的学位,Henry 不得不回到美国,但他的心落在了这里。2012 年,他再次回到了北京,回到了姑娘的身边,可这次回来他就没打算走,想永远留在这里,有情人终成眷属,两人终于在 2013 年走进了婚姻的殿堂。

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刚开始来北京的 Henry 主要靠做一些外教工作来维持生活,但他很快就开始想念他所热爱的酿酒工作,偶尔在自家的厨房里酿一点啤酒和朋友一起享用,随着北京精酿圈的快速发展,他很快结实很多志同道合的朋友。

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Henry 不断地的摸索和尝试着新的工艺和配方,直到 2014 年,他来到目前 Dirty Duck 的前身酒吧嗨啤酒做酿酒工作,在这里,Henry 结实了他目前的合作伙伴 Jai,一个来自英国的厨子 。

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一年后,嗨啤酒因为经营不善而关门大吉, Jai 便提出想将酒吧接手,让 Henry 来负责酿酒,自己负责餐食,创造一家既可以让外国人找到家的感觉,又可以让中国人感受到异国风情的酒吧。

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对 Henry 来说,有一间自己的酒吧是他梦寐以求的事情,仅仅把酿酒当做一种爱好已经不能满足他的梦想,他对自己的啤酒很有信心,对北京精酿啤酒的未来更有信心。两个人合作开酒吧的想法一拍即合,经过漫长的准备,Dirty Duck 终于在 2016 年 3 月正式营业。

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在 Dirty Duck 正式营业之前,Henry 和 Jai 两个人在地下室里进行了数个月的实验,经过无数次的改良和尝试,他们决定将重点放在传统英式啤酒风格上,酿造一些适口性强、酒精度适中、风味独特的啤酒,目前的菜单有草莓小麦、英式淡色艾尔、Purdham 的骄傲棕色艾尔、英式 IPA 和爱尔兰世涛五种啤酒,Henry 希望尽快扩大他的菜单。

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不知不觉中,Dirty Duck 已经过完了一岁的生日,在这一年中 Henry 和 Jai 经历了很多的困难和坎坷,激烈的行业竞争、酒吧房屋改造、酿酒设备的搬迁,两个连中文都说不好的老外能走到今天,足以证明了他们对这份事业的执着与热爱。

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墨绿色的真皮沙发和巨大的木质吧台,天花板上的英国国旗和足球衫,一个彬彬有礼的英国老板将你的品脱杯中斟满英式啤酒,再来上一盘自北大西洋的鳕鱼切片和薯条,置身在 Dirty Duck 酒吧中很难想象自己还是在中国。每当夜晚降临,来自世界各地的朋友汇聚在这里,大家推杯换盏,在不同的语言和同样的欢笑中度过一个快乐的夜晚,这就是 Dirty Duck 最神奇的地方。



The Dirty Duck Pub & Brewery was opened in May of 2016 by Brit Jai Harman and American Henry Beckwith. The two longtime Beijing residents wanted to bring the experience of a neighborhood pub to their adopted home and Beiluoguxiang was the perfect place to do it. In choosing the location Jai, hailing from Rugby in the West Midlands and Henry, from Burlington Vermont weren't looking for a nightlife hotspot, but rather a neighborhood full of expats and locals who enjoy good food and drink.


The two owners missed the brewpub experience from home and it quickly became clear that others did as well. Jai, a trained chef and Henry, a brewer decided to combine their expertise. The idea was simple: make good, honest, hand crafted beer and food in a relaxed environment where expats feel at home and locals can enjoy an authentic experience . Most nights you'll find a diverse clientele, either at the bar with a pint chatting with the bartender, lounging on the sofas enjoying a leisurely meal, or on the roof winding the night away to the clink of pint glasses and the crack of pool balls.


From the green leather sofas and massive wooden bar, to the flags on the ceiling and football shirt in the window, you might mistake yourself as being in an English pub. Pints are poured in 500ml nonic pint glasses and beer mugs. Fish & Chips made with North Atlantic cod and hand cut chips are carried out from the kitchen. You only realize you are in Beijing when you look around and see the diversity of the customers and hear the variety of languages and accents being spoken. The Dirty Duck delivers an authentic experience and it's clear the owners have genuine passion for what they do.


Now coming up on their one year anniversary, the Dirty Duck has proven their devotion to the craft and their resilience in the face of adversity. In Beijing's competitive bar and craft beer scene they have survived the demolition of their second floor as well as the filling in of the basement and subsequent moving of the brewery to next door, all the while seeing the number of devoted (thirsty) customers swell with each passing month. With five beers on tap, comfortable sofas, live sports and a rooftop with its own bar and a pool table, "The Duck" as the regulars call it, looks poised to make its mark on Beijing in 2017.


The Beer:

 

Before the Dirty Duck opened its doors to the public Henry and Jai spent countless days in the basement sampling beers, making test batches and discussing what beers to brew in the pub. In the end, they decided they wanted to focus on traditional UK ale styles that are full flavored while being easy drinking and not highly alcoholic. At present, Henry has five beers on a menu he hopes to expand soon:


Strawberry Wheat (5.4%)- While this one doesn't quite fit the "traditional UK ale" theme, it's not one you'll want to miss. A German style wheat beer brewed with fresh strawberries, it pours a hazy yellow with the slightest hint of pink if held up to the light. The flavor is reminiscent of a hefeweizen that finishes with a subtle bit of strawberry. For those that steer clear of fruit beers afraid of a sweet beverage that tastes more like juice than beer, don't worry this very much tastes like a beer. Recommended for a hot summer day on the rooftop.


English Pale Ale (5.9%)- After spending some time in the Dirty Duck you'll probably hear a few regulars asking for another round of "EPA" as they call it. A favorite of many this is the most balanced beer on the menu with lots of delicious malt flavors and enough bitterness and hop aroma to match them. Pouring a deep amber color with a creamy head that refuses to go away, this is the beer that will transport you to an English countryside Pub.


Purdham's Pride Brown Ale (5.5%)- Craig Purdham is a friend of the Dirty Duck who has since returned to England. This brown ale was brewed with Craig's inspiration to celebrate a friendship that began sitting at the bar over a couple pints. Brewed in the style of the old Northern English brown ales, it pours a dark brown that flashes with ruby hues as the light passes through it. Rich and malty without being sweet and cloying, this is another Dirty Duck ale that goes down incredibly easy.


English IPA (6.3%)- American hop heads might be disappointed when they realize this IPA isn't 100 IBUs, nor bursting with notes of citrus and tropical fruit. True to form, this is another ode to a traditional beer style with a modern twist from brewmaster Henry. While the ABV and IBUs are a bit higher than most English versions of the IPA, the flavor is unmistakably English with earthy and herbal hop flavors from start to finish. Pours a hazy copper orange with a pillowy off white head.


Irish Stout (5.2%)- A jet-black pint with an tan head of foam, stouts can be intimidating to those who aren't seasoned craft beer drinkers. This Irish stout, however, is as drinkable as they come. Henry adds a healthy dose of wheat and oats in the mash that gives this ale a full body and silky mouthfeel without being too thick or filling. Roasted barley adds notes of chocolate and coffee and ensures that each sip finishes crisp and dry. While many stouts are very much winter beers, this one goes down easy all year round.

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