Admittedly there isn’t that much competition in Shanghai in the ‘high-end pub’ game.
Dr. Beer does a very decent pale ale and craft beer selection indeed, but the actual venues themselves are a little rough around the edges, to put it nicely.
Goose Island has nice beer, but the Maoming Road venue has a very awkward layout and the terraced Maoming Road itself is not pleasant. Both factors come together to give a tightly compact and uncomfortable feeling. The food was also forgettable.
On the times I’ve visited Liquid Laundry, the music was ear-splittingly loud, the beer was bad (sorry but just my opinion) and the service was the type we sometimes get in China when they make it seem like you are very fortunate to get any of their time, and they hate you.
Shanghai Brewery on Donghu? No thank you. Other ‘pub’ type places in Shanghai hark back to the dirty days of 2005 Shanghai and aren’t places to spend time at.
All this for a ‘large city’ that apparently drinks beer? That’s another story. Back to the good food, drinks and time had at Stone Brewing Tap Room.
Stone Brewing takes the pub game to a whole new level. The beer is great, the food is excellent. The ‘gallic dunk’ sandwich comes with a foodgasm-inducing gravy, and the burger is sublime.
The whole beer list is enticing and satisfying, while their signature brew is just faultless. Sublime. 10/10.
The venue as a venue is top-notch and achieves something very rare in Shanghai; international quality. Many others do ‘a little renovation’ but it’s still light-years away from what’s in Hong Kong, for just one example.
The service is fine, they try a little too hard to be ‘cool surly beer dudes’ but I suppose some customers like that.