February 13, 2009

Chris Devonshire-Ellis is a top bloke

Filed under: asia,blogs,food — Kim @ 5:24 pm

The good old humanaught surprised me the other day by posting about a certain Mr Chris “Devonshire”-Ellis. Check it out.

But I don’t want to talk about the article or any of the claims and counter-claims that pinged around the comments section – until Ryan had to delete them because of threats from the litigious Monsieur Ellis.

No…what I want to say is that Chris Devonshire-Ellis is undoubtedly, and forever, a top bloke in my humble estimation. The reason why I think so is simple. I met him once in a bar in Dalian and he bought me a beer. More precisely he bought me two, and they were both Duvel.

I will forgive him anything after that. I will support him through thick and thin. I will never say a bad word about the man.

I do, however, feel that he probably shot himself in the foot by trying to get rid of online gossip about him. He is a very successful businessman now and has built up a company that is just too strong and established to be shaken by online twittering about him. So why sweat the small stuff?

Also, he reminds me very much in looks and attitude and demeanor of Felix Dennis. Who is another absolutely top bloke who gives away top quality wine at his poetry readings.

How I would love to have a drinking session with those two! Samuel Johnson once said, “let me smile with the wise and eat with the rich” and those are wise words.

So here’s a big “Cheers!” to the swashbucklingly entrepreneurial and magnificently magnanimous Mr CDE! (Mine’s a crate of Duvel.)


  1. what’s the big deal about Duvel? that was the local tipple in a bar just across from the gimnazija where I taught in Ljubljana, that and four or five other Belgian brews (Gulden Draak, Westmalle, something something something). they were priced at something like 230 tolar, which was easily under a quid, although almost everybody I drank with thought that too expensive and went for the local blond lagers at 140-160 tolar.

    oh by the way, I got Dad a six-pack selection of Belgians for Christmas. beat that.

    Comment by brother Samuel — February 13, 2009 @ 9:27 pm

  2. If two Duvel beers can buy your soul yo must have been desperate for a drink.

    Comment by Ciaran — February 15, 2009 @ 2:22 pm

  3. @ Ciaran No no no. You don’t understand. Before Chris “top bloke” Ellis turned up I had been drinking Tsing Tao. The contrast swept me off my feet and was almost a religious experience.

    @Samuel I suspect it’s a good thing they don’t sell Duvel here in Dalian “for easily under a quid” or I would be a 3-4 a day man and become even more dysfunctional than I am already.

    Comment by Kim — February 16, 2009 @ 2:40 am

  4. Belgium’s beer drinking crowd will be divided on Duvel being a top beer but surely it is better than Tsingtao, Heineken, Budweiser and the lot.

    Comment by Ciaran — February 17, 2009 @ 2:53 am

  5. Not really a top bloke considering the shit he pulled on the currency markets by fabricating interviews


    But a beer is a beer and a free beer tastes even better.

    Comment by Georgio — February 19, 2009 @ 10:51 am

  6. Thanks for the link Georgio. This looks like developing into a really funny story and you gotta admire the balls this guy has pulling off a stunt like that. I have to go now coz I’m just off to interview the CCP Politburo about their views on the challenge of censorship in a new age of information explosion, and what they make of Obama. If anyone has any questions please email me and I’ll try to work some of them in. Please be aware, however, that it may not be possible to get specific answers to all issues solicited.

    Comment by Kim — February 19, 2009 @ 2:15 pm

  7. LOL this post is boring and suxxors! TBH yuv been BURNED!

    Comment by Sean — February 20, 2009 @ 3:02 pm

  8. He’s an utter low-life. Legally harassed a non-profit magazine in an attempt I used to work with in an attempt to steal their pre-existing brand; later stole content from them for a book his fake consultancy published and passed it off as his own. Glad to see his utter moral bankruptcy may well lead to the financial version too. Here’s hoping.

    Comment by Jim — February 22, 2009 @ 12:11 am

  9. That might be but as the article states he does give away decent beers. Morally bankrupted as he might be he does seem to care for the alcoholic needs of himself and his fellow human beings. He should be forgiven for all his sins because of this and if he financially bankrupts himself then we should at least set aside a beer fund for his future alcoholic needs. Cheers and Burp!

    Comment by Georgio — February 22, 2009 @ 9:50 pm

  10. What I want to know is why you got free beer (2!) when you met him in a Dalian bar.

    The first time I met him, strangely enough was in a bar, and yes…in Dalian too. (Don’t think we ever met in person but I did live there for 6 years…)

    I digress…the annoying part of your story is that when I met him, he completely blanked me. Not like he didn’t know I was there, he chose very deliberately to ignore me (the bar was quiet), just when I was mid-sentence… I must smell or something…

    The second time I met him was also in a Dalian bar – I know more than one bar – and this time he actually had a conversation with me, though very short and with the same disdainful look in his eye.

    It could have been something to do with it being St. Patrick’s Night, 1AM in the morning and me being absolutely bladdered on Guiness.

    On reading your post, I prefer to think it was because he had already spent all his cash on Duvel for you….

    Comment by Mike — February 23, 2009 @ 9:54 am

  11. Disdain? Mr. Ellis? You got to be kidding. It must have been the guinness and your bad behaviour. A gentlemen like Mr. Ellis only seeks people within his own class and treats them free beers, or wines, or whisky, or absinthe or whatever he is emptying.

    next time he will have more time for you. Word on the street is that he resigned from his work in China but he might still be around we hope… or maybe not.

    Comment by Georgio — February 23, 2009 @ 9:11 pm

  12. Hi Mike!

    Are you also known as “tall scottish Mike”? I think we might have been at the same bar on the same night with skipper CDE. Strollers, right? Anyway, I guess the main reason why I got drinks and civility from him was coz he had read some of my blog posts and was thinking of getting me to write sg for China Expat, I think. Nothing came of it, but I remember him being quite charming and I guess he can turn that on and off when he wants. Anyway, he’s resigned now – as Georgio said – so as to have more time to spend with his boats.

    Comment by Kim — February 24, 2009 @ 7:53 am

  13. Mr D Ellis is a self publicizing creep. the sooner he leaves china the better for everyone. his nonsense rag of a mag will hopefully follow suite

    Comment by CDE — February 24, 2009 @ 4:07 pm

  14. That would leave many without a beer. I vote for him to stay in his desperate quest for attention so we can enjoy the presence of his genius and drink Duvel for free.

    Comment by Ciaran — March 1, 2009 @ 5:24 am

  15. @Ciaran.

    I second that. Duvels on the house and trebles (of single malt) all round.

    Actually, as far as I know he’s off to train to be a skipper, so I guess he’ll be handing out rations of grog on his shore leave. Mine’s a double Daquiri! Hic.

    Comment by Kim — March 3, 2009 @ 7:01 am

  16. Agreed – CDE is a top bloke, as good a man as I have ever had the pleasure to meet. As with any self-made success story, there will always be those who are petty, jealous and spiteful (not to mention those who wish they could compete with him). It’s just Tall Poppy Syndrome and a case of sour grapes from the little people.

    I’ve recommended him and his company to many other people, and never had cause to regret doing so.

    Comment by Greg — March 18, 2009 @ 4:08 am

  17. @Greg

    Good for you and I truly hope these people you send to him recieved some free beer as well for the cash they handed to him. Would be a shame if they end empty handed and with an empty wallet.

    Of course everybody must be jealous. I think mainly those who never got a beer out of him. Mr. ‘litigation’ Ellis should start making an announcement that from now on, every Friday afternoon jealous expats can walk into one of his offices and get pissed for free. I guarantee you that he will be THE MOST POPULAR man in China, probably the world.

    A free Duvel….who would ever say a bad word about the man. Such a darling he is.

    Comment by Ciaran — March 20, 2009 @ 1:24 pm

  18. CDE is indeed a top bloke, and a good friend. One of the first people I met here in China, long time ago.

    Comment by Stranded Mariner — March 27, 2009 @ 3:52 am

  19. @Stranded Mariner

    How wonderful for you that you have met him. Let me guess…..in a bar and you got….free drinks.

    If he leaves we will see a serious drop in sales for the brewers and distillers. Not a good thing these days.

    We will have to prevent such tragedy and appeal to the Chinese government to award him the national beerpump medal. Let him open the Qingdao beer festival, let him promote Champagne or even the Great wall wine he so despises. Anything to keep him here.

    Can I get free my beer now?

    Comment by Ciaran — March 29, 2009 @ 7:52 pm

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