Maovember 2016 | Fourth annual campaign raises 1,396,444 mao


maovember-pin-stache-for-cash-180The fourth annual Maovember campaign wrapped up with events in Beijing and Taipei and a fundraising total of rmb139,644.4 or nearly 1.4 million mao. The money will furnish reading rooms at underfunded schools via The Library Project and train late-teen orphans for jobs in the coffee trade via Good Works. The site will include updates as the funds are put to use.

The six-week campaign began at XL Bar & Restaurant in Beijing on October 14 and ultimately involved dozens of venues in six cities, including Kunming, Shanghai, Tianjin and Wuhu, helping move Maovember beyond the capital. Two events— MaovemBeer with 14 venues in five cities and Mystery Wine Party with 11 partners—particularly showed the power of teaming supporters. The campaign was capped on November 30 at Beer Mania in Beijing with a contest to decide the fate of the owner’s beard: it raised rmb20,000 and saw him sacrifice his facial hair.

Maovember, first held in 2013, is a play on mao, a coin worth one tenth of a yuan (1.5 cents), and Movember, a global health awareness drive that sees men grow mustaches. The general theme is small donations can yield big results. Most events raise money through a drink or food deal and an activity such as a quiz night, a wine tasting, or a beer pong, corn toss, poker or other tournament. Maovember also raises funds through personal donations and selling pins.

This year’s venue and events sponsors include Arrow Factory Brewing, Beer Mania, Beijing International Ice HockeyBeijinger Pizza Cup, Boxing Cat Brewery, Cafe de la Poste, Caravan, CHEERS Wine, Dirty Duck Pub, Eton Beijing, Faith Bar, Fubar, Great Leap Brewing, Hockey Bar, Jing-A Taproom, Irish Volunteer, Migas, Paddy O’Shea’s, Panda Brew, Pop-Up Beijing, Q Bar, Q Mex, Slow Boat Brewery, Taihu Landmark Tasting Room, The Turtle, Tiki Bungalow, WE Brewery and XL Bar & Restaurant.

Pin sponsors include Beer ManiaBeijing International Ice HockeyCafe de la Poste, Caravan, CHEERS, Irish Volunteer, Home Plate Barbecue, Paddy O’Shea’s, Punjabi and Sherpa’s.

Product and service sponsors include 1421 Wines, Australian Natural, Baozza, CHEERS, Grape Wall of China, Grissette, Jameson, Kentucky Ale, La Cava, Le Sommelier International, Myth Monkey, Omer Beer, Pasion, Ponty, Seina, Shangri-la Beer, Sherpa’s, The Beijinger, The Foxes Rock and The Green Room.

And individuals making substantial donations include Ailish, Dustin Merrett, Hannah, James Shepheard, Jen Ambrose, Keith Robinson, Kelvin Tam, Martin Winchell, Mike Peters, Neil Holt, Patrick Cranley, Peter Spiranac and Steven Schwankert.

(If I have missed listing anyone, no offense. Please let me know at nihao (at) and I will update the list.)

The Maovember 2016 steering group included Paul Rochon (Paddy O’Shea’s), Zach Lewison (Irish Volunteer), Edouard Simon (IT), Alex Jennings (education), Steven Schwankert (Beijinger and Sino Scuba) and Jim Boyce (overall coordinator). All members are volunteers.

Note: The total might fluctuate slightly based on updates of pin sales and late donations but should be at least ~1.4 million mao.


To beard or not to beard? | Contest sees Beer Mania owner shave for rmb20,000


Things got hairy as Maovember wrapped up its 2016 campaign last Wednesday at Beer Mania as owner Thierry de Dobbeleer put his bountiful beard on the line, with a result far from expected.

Last year, de Dobbeleer put two donation jars—one marked “Shave” and one “No Shave”—on his bar counter. The idea: the jar with the most money would decide the fate of his substantial facial foliage. And the Shave poster made it pretty clear the result for which he hoped:

thierry de dobbeleer  maovember beer mania beijing china (2)

He got it. After a month of fundraising, No Shave edged Shave rmb1,587 to rmb998, thus raising rmb2,585 and saving the beard.

This year, de Dobbeleer held the campaign again, and no one knew how high the stakes would be raised.

But first Beer Mania held two other events to support Maovember: The first was an October 15 contest that featured free flow Grisette beer and popular dice game shaizi that raised rmb1,500.

maovember-2016-liars-dice-shaizi-tournament-at-beer-mania-beijing-china-3The second was a “win your weight in beer” draw on November 15, held for Belgian’s King’s Day in partnership with Belgians in Beijing. Keith Robinson ended up winning eight cases—or 192 bottles—of Omer beer, then auctioned it on the spot for rmb1,350. With proceeds from draw tickets and a slice of Omer sales that night, the event raised rmb4,690.

maovember-2016-recap-photos-beer-mania-omer-and-belgians-in-beijing-eventMuch more was to come November 30 with the culmination of the 2016 rendition of Shave vs No Shave. Those following the contest were guessing the vessels had more money than 2015, with early estimates in the area of rmb5,000.

De Dobbeleer had a charged razor ready to go, just in case, but at that point still expected to maintain his mane.

Maovember supporters Alex Jennings and Keith Robinson arrived early and got things rolling by stuffing several thousand kuai into the Shave jar. As more regulars arrived, donations continued to flow, from Beer Mania customers, from staff, and from key supporters like Paul Rochon of Paddy O’Shea’s, Jack Zhou of Groovy Schiller’s and Mariano Larrain of La Cava. They also came via WeChat, including from PR consultant Neil Holt and ex-Union Bar & Grille manager Charlie, now in Taipei, who emptied the rest of his WeChat wallet.

maovember-2016-beer-mania-recap-shave-vs-no-shave-campaignRobinson was there until the end, with his only break being to find a cash machine to donate more money.

“I thought it was very big of Thierry to do this,” he said. “By putting it on social media and making it a ‘thing’, it drove more people to donate. I put money in both jars—but more in shave.”

Jennings also stuck around through midnight, pushing another RMB 1,000 into Shave during the last hour, when the donations were coming fast and furious.

At midnight, the jars were opened and publicly counted by two teams of two people, each double-checking the other. The result: Shave with rmb10,626 defeated No Shave with rmb7,889.

With additional late donations of rmb1,000 and 70 euros, the event passed rmb20,000—or 200,000 mao—by a whisker.

And de Dobbeleer was nowhere to be found.

Some speculated he needed time alone with his beard, which he had been growing for nearly four years. Others thought he might be headed to the airport. Ten minutes later, he was found in the hotel lobby behind Beer Mania, taking one last photo with another bearded wonder: Santa Claus.

maovember-2016-beer-mania-recap-shave-no-shave-4Then it was to the stage to shave. His fiance Jona, a fan of his beard but resigned to its fate, did the honors. She sheared off the bulk, then worked on the finer points, as donors took photos and cheered.

maovember-2016-beer-mania-recap-shave-no-shave-2“Thierry definitely made the evening memorable,” says Jennings, citing “the look of desperation and shock when he realized he would lose the beard.”

maovember-2016-beer-mania-recap-shave-no-shave-3“It was all in good fun,” adds Robinson. “By making it a competition, it drove more people to get involved. Maovember is a really good way to meet people, a good way to be social, and a good way to give something back.”

The next day was a clean start for de Dobbeleer, who posed with his old friend and his new look.


“He looks so much more handsome without the beard,” says Jennings. “Money well spent.”

Counting the funds from the shaizi contest and the “win your weight in beer” event, Beer Mania raised more than rmb26,000 this year. And De Dobbeleer is already working on a new beard.

Mr Maovember | Best beards and ‘staches at Taihu in Taipei


History repeats! Last year, Dave Gaspar organized the first Mr Maovember contest while at Home Plate Barbecue in Beijing. He’s since moved to Taipei to work for Kentucky Ale, but that didn’t stop him from organizing a Mr Maovember contest there to honor the best beards and ‘staches. The event was held at Taihu Landmark Tasting Room last Wednesday, with categories that ranged from Best Natural Mustache to Best Business Beard. While a final donation total from beer sales and a draw is still to be announced, Gaspar expects it to be around rmb2,500. We’ll have an official update soon!


Team effort | Beijing International Ice Hockey raises rmb7000+


The guys at Beijing International Ice Hockey showed a true team effort for this year’s Maovember campaign. Not only did 30 players grew staches, but they also raised rmb4,450 through “Grow Your Mo” shirt and Maovember pins sales, rmb1,200 on the auction of a Tragically Hip painting, and rmb1,800 in personal donations, including rmb1,000 from league member James Shepheard. That added up to a winning total of rmb7,450. And some pretty cool staches. (As the BIIH website says, “It’s a way of life!”) Check them out below!


CHEERS! | Mulled wine means rmb10,700 for Maovember!


Wine importer and retailer CHEERS has used its mulled wine power to support every Maovember campaigns thus far and 2016 was no exception. With the 2016 campaign now wrapped up, CHEERS has announced it will donate rmb10,000 based on sales this year. And a further rmb700 was raised during a recent mulled wine tour of four CHEERS shops that included games such as paper airplane races, corn toss, and mini basketball. All of these efforts add up to a whopping rmb10,700 or 107,000 mao in donations this year. Hot stuff! Here are some pics from the CHEERS mulled wine tour:


Hairy times | Pop-Up flea market raises rmb1,000+


Last Sunday’s Pop-Up Beijing flea market saw attendees stock up on stocking stuffers and get into a charitable mood. Funds were raised for this year’s Maovember campaign by selling samples of beard oil, donated by Green Room, and shots of byejoe baijiu for rmb20 each. In the end, rmb1,050 was raised, with a further rmb200 in pin sales.


Turkey time | Caravan’s Thanksgiving dinner raises rmb6100


Moroccan restaurant Caravan put a special twist on this year’s U.S. Thanksgiving dinner celebrations in Beijing with a meal to support Maovember. With a buffet that included cajun salad, truffle macaroni and cheese, turkey with sweet potato and cranberry tajine, and more, people ate until they were, ahem, stuffed. Each attendee bought a Maovember pin for rmb50 and was asked for a minimum donation of rmb100 for the meal. In the end, rmb3600 was raised from donations and rmb2500 from pins, for a total of rmb6100 or 61,000 mao!


Party! | Paddy O’Shea’s helps Maovember enter its final stretch with a Friday night bash


Paddy O’Shea’s once again held this year’s Maovember closing-but-not-really-closing party on Friday night. (We do still have a few events coming up.) As usual, it was a night of fun, games and music. Jameson was on hand with its pop-up bar and serving pickle backs and coffee shots for rmb25, with all proceeds to Maovember. There was also a very popular darts game, at rmb30 per round, with lots of prizes, including Paddy O’Shea’s scarves, bottles of Jameson and bottles of wine from CHEERS. Add in an open mic night, with some excellent live music, a cool DJ, and plenty of food and drink, and it was once again a great way to help wind down this year’s campaign. With rmb1818 from darts and donations, and rmb2730 from shots, the event raised rmb4548.