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I'm not a lager fan at all. I drink more cider than lager, but while I was over in China there was very little cider available at the bars and they'd be very expensive, so I sought an alternative. I've always find while I'm abroad that lager tastes much better over there than it does back here in the UK. I don't really like the more popular cheaper lagers such as Fosters. Tsingtao really surprised me.
Wherever you'd go in China, be it in pubs, bars, supermarkets or advertisements you'd always see something green referencing to Tsingtao. I guess it's their equivilent to Fosters. I usually find lagers too gassy, but Tsingtao had something different about it. I could drink it quite happily out of a can or bottle and sip it normally without having to show disgust in my face. It had a weird kind of taste that you don't find in UK brewed lagers. I could drink it pint after pint quite happily. I think this was because it had more taste to it, like it actually tased of something unlike Fosters which is just eurgh to me! It's difficult to describe.
When I got back over here I rarely saw it again because living in rural North Wales at the time you didn't really see imported lager from that far away although I came across it in a local Chinese resteraunt, had some and to be honest it didn't taste as good as it did back in China. There was something about it over there. I guess to appreciate it the way I did you'd have to be there. I think it's the same with any alcoholic drink you drink abroad, it's the mental note of the authenticity which makes it taste so good!
Whatever you drink, to be honest I'd happily recommend it, even for cider-converts! Unique tasting lager in my opinion which quashes my theory of all lagers tasting the same! Very pleased to find it available in the UK, I've seen it in Tescos just under £2 for a 640ml bottle, and at 4.7% it's a decent strength too!
After a long and hectic day I finally have my feet up and a long, cool, green drink in my hand which I feel I have to share with you.
I count myself very lucky to have been able to visit Hong Kong and China (where I have family living) and to have savoured the wonderful taste of Tsingtao beer in a tiny family run restaurant on a remote island whilst pondering over superbly cooked chinese food and whiling away the afternoon. Nothing like it. Sadly, though, many of our blissful holiday memories do not translate well to our return home. How many bottles of strange looking banana liqueur have you got stashed away at the back of the wine cellar which don't quite do the job in the drizzly shadows of home?!
Good news: Tsingtao beer translates very well and is well worth seeking out in the uk.
I have just attempted to access www.tsingtaobeer.com in order to furnish you with some juicy nuggets of "bet you never knew that" information, but I've been beaten back by my Norton parental controls which are set to prohibit alcoholic beverage sites and seem to refuse every password I can ever remember using. So you'll have to make do with what I know already.
Tsingtao is brewed in the Chinese town of Qingdao. The brewery was originally set up by German settlers to the region in 1903, and has been churning our the golden nectar ever since. According to the attractive label on the bottle "our master brewers choose only the finest hops and malted barley to produce this award winning beer".
It counts for over 90% of china's beer export and is imported by over 30 countries. It first hit the high life with the 1906 Munich beer expo gold medal and again in 1981. It is very popular in the US and regularly wins beer festival trophies there too.
Water, malt, rice, hops
Not much to go on there - presumably there is a master secret to the magical combination of the 4 ingredients!
640ml with alcohol content of 4.7%.
Herein lies a either complaint or an accolade. - you decide. 640ml is a large bottle. Alongside your favourite chinese or indian meal then 640ml is a good long accompaniment - but at 3 units do book the taxi in advance. On its own it's a bit much for me and I have to share it with hubby. (He's out tonight so this review may get more and more incoherent!)
**So does it taste any good?**
Tsingtao is a light, delicate beer with a crisp but malty flavour. The scent is akin to some of the sweeter weiss beers but it is thinner in finish than these. The clear finish is apparently down to the spring water used in the manufacturing process which is taken from the famous Laoshan (Mount Lao). Whilst sounding rather "girly" for a lager, the beer is full enough in body to be a satisfying quench whilst being more citrus-like than sweet.
It's a very drinkable beer (hubby had better hurry back if he stands any chance of a sup!) It is light on the palate and won't obscure some of the milder flavours of your chinese meals. There is no distinctive after taste and the beer goes down smoothly.
The bottle design is very attractive and it is always worth making sure the bottle is delivered to your table too. The glass is a deep green and the oval front label attractively embellished with some genuine chinese characters.
Whilst reminding me of a wonderfully idyllic holiday, the bottle also feels genuinely chinese and enhances your oriental dining experience.
As a reminder of our holiday I tried to buy some tsigtao (pronounced tching taow by the way!) for hubby's stocking this year. Tesco's web site claimed to sell it but I struggled to track it down locally. My local wine trader could only source it in 20 bottle boxes and hubby's stocking wasn't that big! I had just succeeded in paying over the odds for it online when my local Booths supermarket suddenly bought it in on promotion of 99p a bottle! It has continued to stock it at £1.64 a bottle which isn't bad considering the size. Asda also claim to stock online but I can't vouch for whether they do in real life! (Would like to know in case there is an asda on our next day trip out somewhere!)
So, if you see it, treat yourself to a few bottles for the pantry.
If you've never tried it, check out your local chinese restaurant next time you're in - it really is a good accompaniment and a much better flavour for oriental food than a stronger wine.
**Anything else to add?**
3/4 way down the bottle and still tastes good!
Thanks for reading.
Also on ciao under the same name.
China does not have a long history of brewing beer and foreign influence has been responsible for the modern day development of the industry. At the beginning of the 1900's, Tsingtao was a German port - in the same way that Hong Kong was British and Macao was Portuguese. The Germans founded the brewery in 1903. It is now the most popular of all Chinese beers and is exported all around the world. TSINGTAO is produced with spring water from the mountain area of Laoshan, yeast and barley imported from Australia and Canada, and domestically-grown hops. In fact China is the World's third largest grower of hops after Germany and the USA. The tsingtao website: http://www.bartoninc.com/tsingtao _______________________INTERMISSION___________________ A guy stumbles up to the only other patron in a bar and asks if he could buy him a drink. "Why of course", came the reply. The first man then asked: "Where are you from?" "I'm from Scotland", replies the second man. The first man responded: "You don't say, I'm from Scotland too! Let's have another round to Scotland." "An honour", replied the second man. The first man then asked: "Where in Scotland are you from?" "Edinburgh", came the reply. "Amazing", said the first man. "I'm from Edinburgh too! Let's have another drink to Edinburgh." "It'll be a pleasure", replied the second man. After a while, the first man asked: "What school did you go to?" "Portobello - I left in 1972." "Unbelievable!", the first man exclaimed. "I went to Porty and left in 1972 as well!" About that time, one of the regulars and sat down at the bar. "What's going on?", he asked the barman. "Nothing much, just the MacGregor twins drunk a
gain." ______________________________________________________ Back to the beer..... ---------- THE POUR ---------- Tsingtao pours to a clear and bright, pale yellow colour with a good amount of carbonation and a tight white head that fades fairly quickly leaving minimum lacing. The nose on this beer is very balanced with some slightly fruity, pale malt aromas and a little graininess, coupled with the scent of freshly cut grass and some gentle herbal hop aromas. ----------- THE TASTE ----------- The body is on the light side of medium and the mouthfeel is firm and smooth(ish). The palate is crisp and clean with some grainy pale malt flavours, a hint of sweetness a certain tanginess and a noticeable vanilla flavour. There's a subtle sulphurous note and also a yeasty, bready quality, but overall it's well balanced with a nice hop presence that adds a touch of bitterness. The finish has a grainy, slightly sweet malt flavour up front and ends with a floral hop bitterness. ------------- THE VERDICT ------------- At 4.8% ABV, this beer is not unlike many mass produced lagers, but it is better than a lot of them. Having said that, I find it has no outstanding characteristics, good or bad. It is a safe beer. This is NOT a big beer, but it works well with a Chinese meal that has a wide variety flavours and textures. This is because it isn't going to outdo or overwhelm any of the food. It's light, refreshing and a good thirst quencher and I'd drink it again, but I wouldn't climb a Great Wall to do it! Thanks for reading, Sláinte
I first fell in love on a sultry, exotic Asian evening. We flirted pensively for a few moments as beads of sweat formed on my brow and the solitary fan spluttered on trying to stir the still air. Mosquitoes homed in on my leg and the locals stared on with brooding impassivity as I lifted the green bottle to my lips for the first time. Perhaps it was merely the ambience of the moment-a backstreet bar in Beijing, dimly lit by the neon lights intermittently flickering above-but for Tsingtao and I it was definitely love at first sip. THE BACKGROUND Germany arrived late at the great colonial carve up of China, but finding the murder of two missionaries during the Boxer Rebellion a sufficient pretext, the Kaiser coined the phrase 'yellow peril' and seized the eastern port city of Qingdao as a German Concession in 1897. The Japanese took the city soon after the outbreak of World War 1 leaving a Teutonic legacy of Bavarian architecture and a brewery, founded in 1903. The German expatriates who owned the brewery called their flagship product Tsingtao after the contemporary romanisation of the city's name. One hundred years later Tsingtao accounts for 10% of the Chinese market, more than 90% of China's total beer exports, and has acquired a number of prestigious awards including the Bronze Medal/Pilsner Category in the 1994 World Beer Championships and the Silver Medal the following year. It is exported to over thirty countries worldwide including Britain, the USA, Canada, Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Japan and South Korea (thankfully). THE PRODUCT Light in both taste and appearance, Tsingtao has a very crisp flavour and only a slightly bitter aftertaste. With a hint of citrus, a nice malt flavour and a light aroma produced by high quality domestic hops, the beer complements Chinese cuisine as exquisitely as a refilled pot of Jasmine Tea and knitting needle chopsticks. The clean taste is derived from the famed spring wate
r of the nearby Laoshan (Mount Lao), which is used in the brewing process. I've heard that the quality is variable, but I haven't personally detected much difference in the bottles I've drunk in China, Britain and Korea. Formerly confined to the shelves of Chinese supermarkets, Tsingtao is increasingly appearing in stores such as Asda and Morrisons. The usual retail price is 99p for a 330ml bottle. The alcohol content is a relatively high 5%. THE VERDICT While Asian beer in general, and Chinese beer in particular, is a hit and miss affair, Tsingtao deserves more than just the last page of a Chinese restaurant menu. It more than holds its own against comparable pale lagers such as Heineken-by which I mean the variety that's brewed in Holland and exported worldwide as opposed to the inferior, gassy concoction that's on sale in Britain-and forms a perfect accompaniment for any Chinese meal. And unlike certain other Chinese beers, I can promise it won't temporarily blacken your teeth. "Jill Murphy asked me to write about one of my favourite things to help her celebrate her fourth anniversary of cancer-free living and to remind ourselves of all the nice things in the world. It takes more muscles to make a frown than a smile you know. If you'd like to join in, whether you've only just joined dooyoo, or you've been here ages, you're more than welcome. Just write about one of YOUR favourite things, make your title "A Favourite Thing: [your choice]" and include this paragraph at the foot of your opinion. And post before Friday, 9th August." Good on you Jill, and everyone else who's fought and beaten the odds. The next green bottle I raise will be dedicated to you.
Dear Reader, If there's two things that i love more than indian food and indian beer, then it's chinese food and chinese beer. The best chinese beer by a mile must be tsingtao. It goes well with everything from the takeaway, and can be bought from asda (or just about anywhere in chinatown) If you fancy looking as if you know what you're doing at a chinese reataurant, then give this a try. you won't be disappointed. One problem though. It only comes in pathetic less-than-half-a-pint bottles, never mind... every silver lining has a cloud! Thanks For reading A quick update: i was asked if i knew how much this beer costs in china. In fact that's where i first tried it, and at the exchange rate of the time, it weighed in at around 10p a pint! I payed the flight off in no time!
When I go out for a Chinese or an Oriental meal I need a long refreshing drink to go with it. Wine just doesn't work. It doesn't refresh you and there is never enough of it! The obvious alternative is to have a longer more refreshing drink. If we were sensible we would probably go for water or a non-alcoholic drink but, if you are like me when a meal out always includes a wee alcoholic drinkie, then lager or beer is the ideal solution. While visiting my favourite Vietnamese restaurant in Aberdeen (The Saigon, and yes I have written an op about it!) a few days ago, I consumed one or two of my favourite Oriental beer Tsingtao hence this op! Tsingtao is brewed in the Qinqdao brewery in China and is actually the number one consumer branded product exported from China. Unbelievably it is also the number one imported beer in the US but when you think of the size of the various China towns in the US, you can perhaps understand why. Although the beer is brewed in China, the master German brewers still had a hand in it as German settlers founded the brewery in 1903. The beer is still winning awards for its quality and taste. It was awarded the Silver medal in 1995 in the Pilsner category at the World beer championships and it won the bronze medal the year before. Tsingtao is produced using spring water from the Laoshan mountain area in China that is famous for the purity of the water. The hops are domestically grown and are of very high quality - well according to their web site actually! I like the beer as it is light, very refreshing and not too gassy! I think it is the perfect accompaniment to a meal as it doesn't detract from the flavours of the food. Some Oriental food is light flavoured and you still want to be able to taste it after you have taken a drink! The beer is quite malty and has a sort of fruity back taste to it, well I think it has! If this is on the beer list at your local Chinese I would re
commend it. It fits into the style of the meal a lot better than a pint of McEwans!
Pale Lager, 4.8 percent Alcohol. Brewed in China since 1903. Tsingtao Brewery (Chinese: 青島啤酒) is China's largest brewery. Founded in 1903 by German settlers, it claims about 12% of domestic market share. The beer is produced in Qingdao in Shandong province, but the name of the beer uses the old École française d'Extrême-Orient transliteration. The beer's present-day logo displays an image of Zhan Qiao, a famous pier on Qingdao's southern shore.