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China's biggest beer festival draws crowds
CNTV, August 19, 2011 Print  E-mail


At China's biggest beer gala in Qingdao, nearly 300-thousand thirsty drinkers enjoyed a pint or two. Apart from the popularity of the local brew, some festival goers also prefer imported foreign beers.

Some 280,000 people streamed into the Qingdao International Beer Festival's opening day over last weekend in the eastern coastal city of Shandong Province.

77 tons of beer were poured down thirsty throats on the first day - a new record in the festival's 20-year history.

The most popular beer was the local brew called Tsingtao, the 108-year-old beer that is regarded by many as the unofficial symbol of the city.

International brewers like Paulaner, Krombacher, Budweiser, Carlsberg and Heineken are sparing no effort in exploring the market in China - so their brands were prominently displayed to the festival crowds.

Barbecue food, music and a carnival atmosphere at the beer festival is helping to attract more and more Chinese. And as for foreigner visitors, they'll have a chance to understand a bit of the beer culture in China.

Sarah Buchwieser, tourist from Germany, said, "I think it's very different that they 'ganbei' here. We don't do that in Germany because we've got such big glasses that we cannot 'Ganbei' with them. But I really like the Chinese beer tradition, you know, it's so special."

In 1903, German colonists began brewing beer in Qingdao and, since 1922, Tsingtao Beer has become the biggest brewer in the country.

And Qingdao really lives up to its reputation as the Chinese capital of beer. Here in the city of nearly nine million people, each person drinks an average of 150 liters of beer every year, five times national average.

The most popular way for locals to enjoy Tsingtao on a hot summer's day is to take a plastic bag to one of the many local street keg stores and fill it up straight out of the barrel. The beer is then carried home like a bag of groceries to enjoy later.

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