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Qingdao: The city that was built on beer

By Mike Peters | China Daily | Updated: 2014-08-30 07:21

Venues extended

Qingdao: The city that was built on beer

Pole dance at Qingdao Beer Festival 

Qingdao: The city that was built on beer

An American made good in China with pub brewery 

Four million people went through the beer festival venues last year, when the venues were extended to several parts of the city for the first time. Those revelers - 95 percent of them Chinese, most of them men and most under the age of 45 - consumed 1,100 tons of beer over 16 days.

Those figures represent year-on-year growth of 11.9 percent, a figure that has been consistent for the life of the festival, director Lin says, and he expects this year's event, which ends Aug 31, to hit the same target. There are beers and souvenirs for every taste, from brass bottle openers with big-breasted beer goddesses to elegant commemorative envelopes and stamps marking the brewery's centennial.

"You can tell who the tourists are - they are the ones drinking out of a bottle," says Zhou Bingbin, 30, who is sipping a foaming tankard at a sidewalk cafe. "That tastes like rubbish, of course - but bottled beer has to be heated to kill the live yeast, so the product has a shelf life of a whole year."

Zhou isn't looking for a "product" that will hang around that long, so he relishes the fresh stuff, served up in big mugs at local taverns and in easy-to-tote plastic bags for those heading to the beach.

"The great thing about Qingdao is that the whole city is consumed by beer," he says. "You can enjoy the beer culture in the peace and quiet of your favorite tavern, every day of the year."


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