Address: 100 Fuxing Xi Lu, near Yongfu Lu (复兴西路100号，近永福路)
Subway: Shanghai Library, Line 10
Hours: Daily, 10.30am-1am
Happy Hour: Monday – Friday, 12p – 8p
Wifi: dagabrewpub (password: chinesecraftbeer)
You heard it here first, or even if you didn’t, it’s worth repeating — Daga Brewpub on Fuxing Lu might be one of the most underrated terraces slash rooftops slash outdoor seating areas in the French Concession.
There are two floors of indoor seating, but we always bypass them immediately and walk all the way up the stairs to the terraces. As I write this, we are sitting on the second (higher) level of Daga’s two rooftop terraces (I guess the fourth floor? Third and a half?). There is no shitty Top 40 house music being pumped through tinny speakers, no sense of overwhelming claustrophobia from too many tiny tables being crammed together, no douche-y expats in tank tops and non-ironic beards using this as a stop before they hit up Le Baron (well, we might fall into that last category, minus the beards and Le Baron).
I do take minor issue with these multicolored glorified lawn chairs, as there is a 3cm gap on either side of the part you’re actually sitting on, aka I feel like my ass is slightly hanging off either side, but I digress.
Daga focuses on Chinese craft beers (hence the super original wifi password), but the selection is admittedly impressive in that regard, and they even brew some of their own. This weekend, I’ve been drinking the Flower Witbier (4.8 ABV, 35 RMB on HH, 50 RMB normal), a cloudy, citrus-y, subtly floral Belgian wit by Shantown Craft Brewery from Nanjing.
Daga is consistently busy, but it surprisingly never feels overly packed (or pretentious) the way places like COUGH Liquid Laundry COUGH Dr. Beer can feel (don’t get me wrong, I love LL brunch but is IS pretentious). Personally, I’m surprised Daga isn’t busier. God forbid they one day start a bottomless brunch [and Smart Shanghai writes it up] and then that’ll be the beginning of the end.
During happy hour, beers range from 35 – 45 RMB, with a good 20ish beers on the list. During normal hours, beers range from 50 – 80 , but that 80 RMB beer is a barrel-aged stout at 11.8 ABV, so do with that what you will. Personally, there aren’t enough lambics or hefes for my taste, and I find the list too dominated by stouts and IPAs (especially with summer approaching), but I do find myself tempted by the 8.7 ABV barley wine by Master Gao (Nanjing).
While Daga may not be the place to see and be seen and I’ve still never ordered any food here (eh, I doubt I’ll be that impressed by what I’m assuming are bar-standard garlic fries and chicken tenders), it’s a reliably comfortable and affordable craft beer bar in the heart of the FFC with not just one, but two relaxing and spacious rooftop seating areas.
I’ll take it.