Dash has come to the rescue to provide the blog with another excellent post for the beer loving expat community. Check out his previous dispatches on Birdland, and Bar 798 if you’re need of a quality brew.
While Dash has been drinking his way around town, I have been struggling against the riptide of life as it attempts to drag all of my free time out to sea. I have a few projects coming to an end (any day now….) and will start churning out more content for y’all in the near future.
Today, Dash leads us to Le Ble d’Or, a non-traditional watering hole located in SND. God help us all if that German purity law stuff is actually true. Take it away, Dash:
Le Blé d’Or
Don’t be fooled by the French name (golden malt), this is a Taiwanese-owned, German-style brewpub in Suzhou New District. Le Blé d’Or, already a successful brewery established in Taiwan about 10 years ago, set up a brewpub in Suzhou New District in 2012. They already have a branch in Shanghai and about 10 outlets in Taiwan.
The beer hall is cavernous with around 900 seats. The décor is heavy, dark and wooden. All the serving staff wore Lederhosen (even the ladies rather than the traditional Dirndl). There’s live music (well, an old geezer on a keyboard) and a reasonable food menu with both Western and some Chinese dishes on offer. Portions tend to be quite large (obviously aimed at sharing). The food is passable, mainly fried and quite varied. I didn’t try the durian pizza.
There are four draft beers on offer and these change from time to time. All of them are brewed on the premises, they claim, according to the 16th century German purity law (using Suzhou city tap water? Hmmm…?).
These are variably, lager, amber ale, honey lager, dark beer and hefeweizen wheat beer. Overall not a bad choice. I found the lager quite enjoyable with a good malty body and I liked the dark beer too which wasn’t too chocolatey but the overall impression was that they were a little on the sweet side and rather Tsingtao-like (no surprise for Chinese beer). The honey beer, the brewery’s ‘flagship’ brew, did little for my taste buds at all but the wheat beer was pretty decent. 500mL glasses were 60-65RMB or go late as happy hour starts at 9PM every night when its 2 for 1.
I would say mainly suitable for groups as the hall is set out in blocks of tables with 6 chairs.
Worth a visit just for the beer? That depends on your taste but well worth a try as brewpubs are rare here, some of the beers are pretty good and it’s a great place for big groups. This place is completely different from any other bar/restaurant I’ve been to in China. They claim to have won awards for their beer but I find that a little hard to believe. Then again, I’m not Taiwanese.
How to get there: Take Metro Line 1 towards Mudu and get off at Binhe station (宾河路). Take exit 2 and keep walking south from the station for about 10-12 minutes. You will then see the tall Gold River building ahead. Le Blé d’Or is on the 4th floor. Many busses pass along Shishan Road towards downtown and SIP. At the time of writing there were extensive roadworks at the junction by the Gold River building (Shishan Road and Binhe Road) meaning the whole area is a nightmare for pedestrians.
Address: 4th Floor, Gold River International Building, No.35 Shishan Rd, Suzhou New District, Suzhou, Jiangsu, China 215009
Opening times: Monday to Thursday 4pm to midnight, Friday 4pm to 1am, Saturday 11am to 1am and Sunday 11am to midnight.
Taxi info: 高新区, 狮山路35号, 金河国际大厦4楼
Host company website: www.lebledor.com (website of Le Blé d’Or brewery in Taiwan)