By Jim Boyce | Beer Mania legend and beard aficionado Thierry de Dobbeleer is leaving Beijing after 16 years. He wrapped up his final day of work last week and will head off after a final Beer Mania party this Sunday.
During de Dobbeleer’s tenure, Beer Mania has been a leading source of Belgian beer. It has offered a superb happy hour, with half-price draft daily from 4 PM to 8 PM, and the city’s top magnum list. It has also offered a patio comfortably set off the busy street, an eclectic range of live music, and a home to Belgians for their national day parties, major sporting events, and food and beer tastings. de Dobbeleer has been fastidious about everything from menu design to beer selection to event organization.
Last year, he played a starring role in the annual Maovember charity campaign. He and his beard raised more than 25,000 kuai. (See full details here.) That was enough money to furnish a library, via the Library Project, in a needy school. And in a twist of fate, that library will be dedicated in Hebei on September 11, when de Dobbeleer is on a flight to new adventures.
While de Dobbeleer’s farewell is Sunday, you are likely to catch him at the bar these next few days. Stop in for a goodbye drink. And some Belgian fries. They really are delicious.