The Chinese Great Wall of Beer
Beer is one of mankind’s greatest inventions. So when I was in China I was sure to check out what beer was on offer.
Here’s a selection of Chinese beers for your delight. I found these on an expedition out of my Wuhan hotel and into the local supermarkets.
Top of the pile is of course Tsingtao. This is probably the best known Chinese beer. It’s widely available in Western countries. Tsingtao comes in both cans and bottles.
Blue Cowrie Beer – I don’t remember what this tasted like, but I’ve never seen it outside of China. Apparently it comes from Hebei Province, but not much else is know about it outside of China.
Pineapple Beer Diamond Blue – now this one was more memorable. My ex-girlfriend used to like this stuff. It’s only around 0.5% alcohol. I guess it’s the Chinese equivalent of shandy. If you don’t like the idea of Pineapple, then it’s also available in other flavors including Lychee. I think only Chinese people would consider drinking Lychee beer.
On the bottom row there are three less memorable beers. Shanshui beer (山水) translates as mountain water beer. Taiwan beer – I don’t know much about this but it was one of the best tasting of all the beers featured here. Finally there’s Tsingtao in a different can – maybe it’s Tsingtao Lite.
All in all I was slightly disappointed with Chinese beer. There’s a much better selection in Hong Kong, but it doesn’t seem to be available in the People’s Republic. Chinese beer is also fairly weak compared to what we Europeans are used to. Some Chinese people can’t handle too much alcohol – it turns their faces red. Many parts of China also have a hot climate, and you don’t really want to drink 5% beer when it’s 35C in the shade!
One other strange thing about beer in China is that it’s often served warm! OK so as an English guy I’m well used to warm beer. But the Chinese fear of drinking cold drinks is just one of the many cultural differences between China and the rest of the World.
Got something to say about Chinese or other Asian beers? Leave feedback below!