Great Leap Brewing was founded in 2010 by Carl Setzer and Liu Fang and was the first craft beer brand in Beijing. Since then, our brand has expanded to include four locations in Beijing, a newly opened large-scale production brewery in Tianjin, and over 200 employees.

Great Leap Brewing presents a platform for customers to taste and understand craft beer. Respecting the unique tastes of Chinese cuisine and local culture, we source the finest raw materials – both domestically and internationally – and seek to incorporate high-quality teas, spices, honeys, fruits, and vegetables into our beer menu as often as possible, which were rewarded with many an International awards.


Like brewing, design is not an exact science when creating something for the first time. The science comes later – only after careful planning and experimentation can a brand design or beer style be perfected and crafted for consistency.

Mistakes are encouraged in the early phases. Discussions alter between cheerful and heated as brewer and designer share pints of the selected beer, both artists seeking to crown the brew with its own unique identity. Not every Great Leap brew boasts its own brand. Beers must first stand the test of time and prove consistently popular amongst drinkers before being bestowed with a design.

Great Leap founders Carl and Liu Fang create names for the beers, with unique meanings in both Chinese and English. Our series of General IPAs are named after famous military personnel, both those sanctioned by formal governments and warlord states alike. Other beer names are derived from traditional folklore, local history or their unique Chinese ingredients. The stories behind the brands are as rich as the flavors and ingredients contained within the beer they represent.

Both the custom English typeface and the Chinese character design are rooted in the robust and formidable typography used in mid 20th century propaganda posters. Each element of the design is cut from paper, leading to the “woodcut” style of the illustration. We then scan and vectorize the images so we can use the identities at any size and on any surface.

Our design process combines the craftsmanship of ancient Chinese and Western methods with the latest technology in design software – much in the same way that Great Leap incorporates traditional ingredients and innovative brewing techniques as they strive to brew world-class brands of beer.

Simply put, it’s hand-crafted Chinese design for hand-crafted Chinese beer – with a Western twist here and there. This philosophy is simple but fundamental to everything that is created for the brand.


Carl Setzer

Founder and Brewmaster

 Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Carl first came to China in 2004 and has been fascinated by this country ever since. While pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh, Carl studied Chinese language and culture. From 2007 to 2010, he worked for various IT companies across Taiwan, Pennsylvania, and Beijing. However, after a few years of working 17-hour days in the IT world, Carl decided he wanted to do something creative, challenging, and rewarding. Following a trip to Europe with his wife, Liu Fang, Carl was inspired by European beer culture and decided to try brewing beer that represented Chinese culinary tradition. After months of playing around with different recipes, he found a few that made him proud, and invited some friends over to try the beer. Once they recognized the potential of craft beer in Beijing, Carl and Liu Fang founded Great Leap Brewing in October of 2010. Carl remains Brewmaster and CEO of Great Leap Brewing, which has grown from four taps and one location to sixty taps across three locations. Carl is also a founding member of the Craft Beer Association of China and sits on their board of directors as well as on the technical committee. Carl also sits on the Technical Scientific Committee of the Berlin Institute for Fermentation and Biotechnology (VLB).


Liu Fang

Founder and Boss

Liu Fang was born and raised in Shandong Province. For university, she chose to attend the Hubei University of Medicine, where she graduated in 2006. After graduation, she took a job as a translator at a coal mining securities company that was a joint venture between China and France. Eventually, she was promoted into administrative management, in particular managing both the departments human resources and tactical development. At this level she was able to study and learn ways to manage and run an intercultural business in China, and even more importantly she learned the local Chinese drinking styles and customs. In 2009 she left this company and began experimenting with brewing beer at her own house with her husband, because she firmly believes that a world class beer can come from China. Since she has chosen this path for herself, to this day she has not once regretted her decision to quit her job and start the craft beer business in China.