by Maximilian Egner

As we arrived in China, every beer-loving German was a little bit shocked by the Chinese beer drinking habits. Besides the unusual taste and the very low percentage of the beer, Chinese people drink their beer most of the time not cold and out of tiny glasses or even plastic cups. But after some time, we got used to it. One of the most famous Chinese beer brands is Tsingtao beer, which offers an interesting history. Tsingtao, being one of the largest brewery companies in the world, is holding a special history influenced by Chinese and German culture. During the colonial period, the Germans established the Germania Brewery, which later became the Tsingtao Brewery. Tsingtao beer played a powerful role and not only changed the city itself but also Chinese beer-culture. It is said that local people in Qingdao, the city associated to Tsingtao beer, are feeling deep love for their beer.

When we recognized this, we decided immediately to travel to Qingdao and to experience the connection of the city and its people to the beer. The first time we walked through the small alleys of Qingdao, the people were sitting outside enjoying fresh beer from kegs, which is very untypical for China. Surprisingly, not everybody used a beer mug. It is also common to drink out of a customary plastic bag with a straw. Sounds weird, but it works. The people who were not drinking yet bought some beer for their home, they also used the plastic bag. Like in Germany, the beer plays a big role in Qingdao. And as we wanted to get to the bottom of this exciting development of the beer culture, we also visited the Tsingtao brewery, got a look at the history, the producing process and the quality ensuring of the beer, we met and talked to different people, locals and visitors, and, needless to say, we drank a lot of beer.