Craft beer and pizza. This is what Beijinger readers told us they most enjoyed together during the 2014 the Beijinger Pizza Cup. Great Leap has heeded the call and called in Daniel Gutter, a pizza consultant from one of Philadelphia’s top pizza kitchens, and Kin Hong, the man who created the heart-stopping burgers at Great Leap’s #12 location, to put together a menu of six classic pizzas.
How’s the pizza? It’s really good, it may even be great. It’s New York-style, served in 16-inch pies. Slices will be available in three varieties from 18-inch pizzas. Great Leap hits all the points: the crust is crispy, there’s plenty of cheese without inducing a heart attack, and the toppings are fresh. Each pizza gets a finish when it comes out of the oven, such as the sprinkling of fiery pickled chilies on the spicy sausage Little Nunzio.
Classics like the spicy sausage are deeply satisfying but the biggest surprise is the Green Machine, a veggie pizza with kale as its primary topping. Unlike most vegetable pizzas, which become soggy due to the moisture in the veggies, this was crisp and fresh throughout. It’s absolutely guilt-free and vegetarians will be very, very happy.
The #45 site was still being welded when we visited, but its Beijing-on-the-East-River feel and visible brewing tanks will be familiar from their other locations. The space seems smaller compared to #12, but expands to an outdoor deck with considerably more seating for warmer weather. The amazing touch at this location is the laser-cut steel map of Beijing, to the right of the entrance. It’s art. Find your house on it. Seeing that alone is worth the trip. However, we’re certain the pizza will make what is otherwise a neighborhood spot into a destination.
Great Leap Brewing #45
Sun-Thu 11am-1am, Fri-Sat 11am-2am. 45-1 Xinyuan Jie, Chaoyang District.
800m west of Liangmaqiao (Line 10)
This post first appeared on thebeijinger.com on March 12, 2015