A night of indulgence | Maovember feast at TRB Hutong

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One of Beijing’s top restaurants, Temple Restaurant Beijing (TRB) Hutong, donated proceeds from a table enjoying its ‘indulgence’ menu to this year’s Maovember campaign. Guests enjoyed a six-course meal, featuring dishes that ranged from tender seared foie gras to succulent wagyu beef, paired with seven wines from TRB Hutong. They also tried 11 local wines brought by wine site Grape Wall of China.

The evening began with Champagne and a tasting of four Chinese wines, then turned to the food menu, starting with a complex caviar-based dish. Each dish was accompanied by both imported and local wines, giving people a chance to compare and contrast, such as tasting that wagyu beef with Australian Shiraz and Chinese Shiraz and Tempranillo.

The Chinese wines included Treaty Port Muscat (Shandong), Kanaan Riesling (Ningxia) and Nine Peaks ‘Qi’ Chardonnay (Shandong) plus Interval Shiraz from Grace Vineyard (Ningxia) and Shi Bai Pian Tempranillo (Hebei). The first caviar dish was paired to ‘Angelina’ sparkling wine from Grace and the last to Cailonglin Vidal Icewine (Liaoning). The Chinese labels fit TRB Hutong well as it has long been a supporter of local wine.

Kudos to Ignace Lecleir and the team at TRB Hutong for the excellent food, wine and service. The event raised 8,000 kuai / 80,000 mao for Maovember.

Flipping Out | BIIH Flip Cup Tourney

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The Beijing International Ice Hockey guys flipped out for Maovember at pub The Irish Volunteer this year. A flip cup tourney replaced the usual Corn Toss Classic and competition was intense.

The round robin saw each of the six teams play five games, with the best going to the playoffs. In the semi-finals, the Expos beat the Bear Cats while the Revs beat the Hot Wings. The Expos then went on to swiftly take the title–and a case of Boxing Cat Beer.

Also winning a case of beer: Daniel Boudreau, for having the best musatache.

The Hockey Guys and The Irish Volunteer are long-time Maovember supporters. Thanks to Curt Dracz, George Smith and everyone else who made this year’s event possible. Including donations by Tom McCabe and Jen Ambrose, the event raised 3,705.5 kuai / 37,055 mao for Maovember.

Paws for a Cause! Annual Dog Pub Crawl

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Puppy power! This year’s Dog Pub Crawl saw ~30 canines visit five Beijing bars and raise rmb8,332 kuai for Library Project. This year’s tour started at Paddy O’Shea’s before going to Jing-A, Prodigy, Pi Bar and XL — with humans getting a free drink at each stop and dogs enjoying Penny’s Food Studio snacks.

The 2020 DPC raised a record total: 8,332 kuai (83,320 mao), with 6,568 kuai from signup fees and 1,264 kuai from raffle tickets / donations and 500 kuai from a donor overseas–thanks Neil Holt!

Dog Pub Crawl has an edge of chaos that brings out community spirit, with people jumping in to help get everyone to the next bar, carry the raffle prizes, look after each other’s dogs, get some good pics, and understanding when everything wasn’t just perfect.

Thanks to the Dog Pub Crawl venue partners for providing drinks, draw prizes and surprises, like Pi Bar’s Polaroid snaps. To lucky draw prizes donors Hulu, Kakikopi and CHEERS, plus the gentleman who provided a dog leash for someone to win. And to Penny’s Food Studio, supplying free snacks for Dog Pub Crawl since the very first event. And last but not least, to dog lovers who supported this year’s event!

More photos coming!

A-maize-ing! WE Brewery Corn Toss Tournament

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Steve ‘WE Can Do It’ Wang from WE Brewery says that last Saturday’s corn toss tourney in Tianjin–with a crazy busy slate of 62 games–raised a whopping 17,444 rmb / 174,440 mao for Maovember / The Library Project.

Wang spent the day directing teams to the two corn toss areas, whittling down the competition to the finalists, then to a winner. A thrilling finale saw team Cornhole of Glory grab a fast 10-0 lead, slowly fall behind 18-16, then pull out a 21-18 victory. Huskers do!

Meanwhile, the WE Brewery staff kept beer and food smoothly flowing throughout the event. Good times.

The donation includes rmb5500 from team signup fees and rmb2444 from a tab war, with TJ Veterans having this year’s highest bar bill.

A generous anonymous donor matched the team sign-up fees of rmb5500 while rmb4000 was raised via a silent auction for a two-night stay in an executive room, with lounge access, at Shangri-la Hotel.

This annual event is so much fun, and symbolic of Maovember, which combines fun games (corn toss) and food and drink (a tab war), with 100 percent of proceeds going to a partner that uses them for visible results — reading rooms in schools in rural China.

Thanks to Steve, Y.O. Ming, Shangri-la, the team at WE Brewery and all the people who played in this year’s tournament!

I’ll have a full gallery soon.

8th annual Maovember is on

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The eight edition of Maovember, an annual month-long mission teaming restaurants, bars, vendors and consumers for fun events and good causes, is underway. Despite a tough 2020, the pieces are falling together, with classic Maovember events lined up as well as some fresh new features.

This year’s partner once again The Library Project, which has furnished reading rooms in more than 2500 schools in rural China. Here is a look at the events slate so far, with more to come.


November 2-3

Did you ever lose something on a wild and crazy night at Paddy O’Shea’s? Perhaps a scarf? A left shoe? Your luggage? Even your dignity (drum roll)?

Irish pub Paddy O’Shea’s did an annual winter cleaning of its extensive ‘lost & found’ inventory, selling off excess holdings and donating proceeds to Maovember.


November 7

Tianjin’s corniest event is on again: the WE Brewery Maovember Corn Toss Tourney hosted by owner / beer maker Steve ‘Husker Do’ Wang.

Corn toss takes two minutes to learn and delivers a lifetime of fun. And even if you aren’t on a team, you can still come out, enjoy tasty WE beer and burgers, and catch the action. Starting at 3 PM.

Check out last year’s event here.


November 8 SOLD OUT

Ladies and gentlemen, start your (dog’s) engine! Dog Pub Crawl 2020 has five stops — two more than last year. And if you don’t have a dog, you can still join, hang out with all the canines and enjoy the drinks deal.

RSVP is essential! We’ll start at 2 PM near Xindong Road and have a raffle at each bar, with gifts and surprises from CHEERS, Hulu and Kakikopi plus venue sponsors Jing-A, Paddy O’Shea’s, Pi Bar, Prodigy Brewing and XL Bar & Restaurant.

Check out last year’s event here.


November 15

Feuerzangenbowle-what!? The four-stop Maovember Mulled Wine Tour by CHEERS kicks off with this treat that sees rum-soaked sugar bread set on fire so it drips into and sweetens the wine. Good times!

The tour starts near Chaoyang Park and ends near Workers Stadium with fun games, cool prizes and piping hot mulled wine aka gluehwein at each stop. The fee is rmb88 per person, with all proceeds to The Library Project. Details soon on how to sign up.


November 27

The annual Paddy O’Shea’s Maovember party is always a blast and this year should be no different. Expect the trademark pickleback booth, but with a twist, as we’ll feature celebrity chef pickle juices. There will also be corn toss and a darts challenge, the “pay Mr DJ” option, where you can get your song aired for a donation, mustache drawing, a raffle, and more.


November 28

Malaysia becomes Mao-laysian? Expect a pair of food and wine events this day that highlights the people and cuisine of Malaysia. Details to come on this exciting project!

Donations | Maovember funds support two Hubei province schools

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When the Maovember 2019 campaign wrapped up last December, we anticipated seeing our funds in action faster than ever thanks to a QR code system that allows direct donations from supporters to our partner, The Library Project. Most donations now go directly to TLP during, or even before, events. For example, the event fee when people sign up for the annual Dog Pub Crawl is a direct donation to TLP.

Unfortunately, in terms of putting the funds to use, 2020 has not been an easy year. As the coronavirus crisis spread in China in January, we asked TLP to use the funds specifically for schools at the epicenter, the province of Hubei. TLP agreed but I don’t think any of us realized how long it would take to get that money to the schools given ongoing concerns about COVID-19.

But persistence pays and, after being in contact with education officials all year, the The Library Project team finally got approval and headed to rural Hubei earlier this month to provide two schools in Badang County with new books, desks, chairs, teacher training and more. Check out the photos below, provided by Nichole He of TLP, of Maovember funds in action.

We are now preparing Maovember 2020, with annual events like the WE Brewery corn toss tourney, Paddy O’Shea’s party and Dog Pub Crawl on the slate already. Updates coming soon. If you’d like to join our WeChat group, with Maovember event and donation updates, connect with me at ‘beijingboyce.’

Thanks again to supporters of Maovember 2019 for making these library donations possible.

SumMaory | Annual Cornhole Classic at The Irish Volunteer

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Call it the corniest event in town! The Irish Volunteer @ Buddy’s had its annual Charity Cornhole Contest last Saturday as 16 teams battled for the title: The ‘Stache Hawks won two official hockey jerseys from KHL team Kunlun RedStars. The top four teams also won wine donated by CHEERS and Ponty. Given a wet day following Beijing’s first snow, the event was held indoors in the IV’s long and narrow front area. A perfect fit!

Thanks to the Hockey Guys (BIIH) and Irish Volunteer for the good times–and for supporting Maovember since year one. To the RedStars, CHEERS, Steve Northcott and George Smith, among others, for tournament and silent auction prizes. And to all of the teams as well as to Jen Ambrose for bidding rmb500 for naming rights to one of them: KesselMania.

Saturday’s event raised 83,490 mao (8,390 rmb) for Maovember’s 2019 partner The Library Project. The hockey guys raised a further 43,000 mao (4,300 rmb) by selling 50:50 tickets and beer from league sponsor Boxing Cat, for a total of 126,490 mao (12,649 mao). And it was great to have Library Project founder Tom Stader attend and play in the tournament!

SumMaory | Open Mic & ‘Unofficial’ Closing Party at Paddy O’Shea’s

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Paddy O’Shea’s, active in Maovember since 2013, did a doubleheader this year. Thursday featured a warm-up during the weekly open mic night — patrons could donate money to have their song played by host Chris Parry. The result was a fun (and eclectic!) playlist to say the least!

Then came the ‘unofficial’ Maovember party on Friday. Paddy O’Shea’s had a full slate of fun for this one: picklebacks, mustache drawing, a raffle, a charity darts game and even more ‘pay for play’ songs for the DJ.

Good times as usual, with Tom Stader of The Library Project joining both nights and receiving a cheque for the first 500,000 mao from this year’s campaign. All in all, the doublehader raised 48,500 mao (4,850 rmb) for Maovember.