Articles Blog

At the Qingdao Beer Festival, Where Beer Comes In Plastic Bags

At the Qingdao Beer Festival, Where Beer Comes In Plastic Bags


We’re at the Qingdao Beer Festival, Asia’s largest beer festival, where over 1,400 types of beer are served and over six million people visit every year. Tsingtao is this city’s namesake beer. In 2017, it was the third-most consumed beer in the world, after American behemoth Budweiser and Snow, a Chinese beer only sold in China. But while Snow may dominate by sheer numbers, Tsingtao is more internationally known. It is one of the oldest beer brands in China, started by Germans in the early 20th century. Today, it’s available in over 70 countries, and is the host of this really, really intense beer festival. But this city’s beer-making history goes back even further to 1903, when the Tsingtao Brewery opened under the name Germania-Brauerei. At that time, Qingdao was a German colony, and the Germans built a centralized pipe system for drinking water, a rarity in China at the time. Water was piped in from the mountains, which, along with hops and barley, were the only ingredients in the beer. In 1916, the brewery was sold to the Japanese. And rice was added to the recipe. And in 1949, when the Chinese Communists came to power, the brewery became a state-owned enterprise. It wasn’t until the early 1990s when the brewery was privatized and became the brand we all know today. In 1991, the first Qingdao Beer Festival was held. It now takes place every summer and lasts for about a month. In 2015, this site was constructed as a year-round ode to beer. And today, it remains the main venue for the annual festival. It’s not the most environmentally-friendly option, but plastic bags as a takeout carrier are very common in China, in part because they’re cheap and convenient. Tsingtao Beer also tastes better in Qingdao. Beer, after all, is basically liquid bread, and the fresher it is, the better it tastes. But the festival isn’t just beer and food. There are dance performances, fireworks, a drone show, carnival rides, this eccentric pile of bubbles, and quite a bit of children. Despite the festival’s popularity, locals say it is the beer, not the festival, that makes the city. In fact, Professor Shen says the first commercial ever made in China was for Tsingtao Beer, in 1947.

13 thoughts on “At the Qingdao Beer Festival, Where Beer Comes In Plastic Bags”

  1. May 1997, on the streets of Qingdao, thirst- I asked how much- 30 cents, small shop owner pulls out a plastic bag & puts that at the noozle of the keg. Then weighs 500ml.
    Wonderfully refreshing!

  2. They call this a beer fest? Here in Colorado you get 4-5 hours of unlimited pours from 30+ craft breweries that all bring different styles of beer.

  3. 作為青島人,青島開始並不是用塑料袋裝啤酒的。最早是只有瓶裝啤酒,啤酒廠出了鮮啤酒以後,市民開始用保溫瓶或水桶打啤酒回家喝。大概1989-1990前后,想在小店門口現喝的人,可以用店家提供的玻璃罐頭瓶來喝(約500ml)。人们想下班时捎回家一些鲜啤酒又没带容器,店家就开始试着用塑料袋装酒。后来发现这种方法很好,就出现了印啤酒商标的专用啤酒塑料袋。

  4. Great video! Well done mixing the present in with past history in such an effective way!! : ) I live in Qingdao and if you want to check out more things to do there, please view some of our videos.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *