Q&A: Chandler Jurinka, Slow Boat Brewery

Chinese craft brewing isn’t something that is at the forefront of the minds of most, but at Slow Boat Brewery two Americans are starting their own revolution in Chinese brewing. We catch up with Chandler Jurinka to get the lowdown.



Slow Boat Brewery is a small American style craft brewery, located in the outskirts of Beijing. We aim to produce small batches of hand crafted micro brews unique to the Beijing market.

First beer experience…

I can’t really recall the first pub experience but I do remember the first microbrew I had in one. It was so different, so flavorful and beyond anything I had tried previously that it inspired me to become a brewer years later.

Tell us about Slowboat…

At it,s core Slow Boat is two American’s living and brewing craft beer in Beijing. The name Slow Boat comes from the era 40’s song written about a journey that originates in the USA destined for China. The ingredients used in our beers are imported so we are bringing something very American to the local Chinese consumer.

Why China…

Collectively, my business partner and I have lived in China for over 13 years. The USA is our home but China is where we currently live. We got tired of whingeing about watery beer and decided to do something about it.

Is there a craft brewing movement in China….

It’s been a relatively recent phenomenon that seems like it was a long time in the making. For many years ex-pats have been craving good beer that tastes like home. Curious Chinese and those previously exposed to brews while working and studying abroad were also pushing demand. Bottled imports slowly started to trickle in, but the next natural step was brewing fresh beer, and that meant building a brewery here in Beijing. As that was going on, the home brew movement was making progress, clubs, and co-ops have been gathering strength. The market seems ready for it all.

Pub heaven…

A quiet place where I can get a proper pint of a hoppy IPA, original music and something interesting to look at, on the walls or out the windows—that will keep me amused for hours.

Pub hell…

A place where I can’t get service, and I have to out-shout the music and the crowd noise just to be heard—that will send me out the doors pretty quickly.

Favourite local…

I spend a lot of time at the brewery located outside of the city proper. At the same time the concept of a local pub hasn’t really taken off in Beijing yet. But if there were a pub with good beer near my house that my friends and I could regularly visit, that would be my favorite.

Favourite non local…

The best pub, the Pelican Pub on the Oregon coast. It’s right on the beach, so you can sit there, watch the fog banks come and go, the surf roll, and sip a proper pint of some of the best micro brews in the world. Fantastic.

What’s on the horizon…

Henry Ford once said “If I listened to my customers, I’d have built a faster horse.” We will continue to push the local beer palate here in China with unique hoppy creations. Our brewery just doubled in capacity to keep up with demand. We are close to bottling and with that distributing to more cities in China. On the local front, we’re also looking forward to our first (local) taproom that will have 15 of our beers on tap.

Find out more about Slow Boat Brewery by following the link

Q&A: Chandler Jurinka, Slow Boat Brewery

New York: Prime Burger, 5 East 51st Street btw Madison and 5th Avenue

“What’s good?”

“Err [waiters eyes roll upwards, but he stops short of slapping his forehead]… The clue is in da name… We’re Primeburger. We do burgers. We’ve been doing them since 1938… [leaning forwards] Y’know, we’re pretty good at them by now.”


To be fair the menu is extensive but we take his point and order two cheeseburgers. They are simple and no nonsense. Plain bun, good meat patty with your selection of toppings. As the waiter tells us “at Prime Burger, everything is a la carte”. It’s well regarded but probably not going to top any foodie best burger lists but for me the charm of Prime Burger would put it firmly on mine.

If proper New York banter isn’t enough, then the opportunity to live out a Mad Men fantasy should tip the balance. The 50s / 60s original decor could be lifted straight out of the show with Don Draper sat drinking coffee and contemplating life over the days second packet of cigarettes. It’s an authentic slice of New York which shouldn’t be missed. If you are not sold at this point I’d suggest the nearest Wendy’s and ask you never to darken this blogs doorstep again.



Prime Burger, 5 East 51st Street btw Madison and 5th Avenue

New York: Prime Burger, 5 East 51st Street btw Madison and 5th Avenue


“I am a craft beer drinker”. It’s a simple statement yet for me powerful. Trawling Twitter as I do most mornings I hit upon a link to this from New Brew Thursday.

The more cynical side of me could have dismissed this. We all know that our cousins across the pond can get a little Oprah now and again. Yes they love to wave the flag and sing the anthem but today the cynicism was put to one side and I took this in the spirit in which it was intended. There is a simple truth, that craft beer, hands down beats the conglomerate brew that barely passes for beer. So yes, I AM A CRAFT BEER DRINKER…