Friday, July 27, 2018

Episode 4: Tsingtao with Callie Hietala


I. Introduction

In 1903, as the Qing Dynasty waned a group of German brewers on the Shandong Peninsula established the aptly named Germania-Brauerei, offering a taste of Europe in the midst of the German concessions in Northeast China. Soon, however, the Brewery would undergo a series of transformations mirroring those taking place in China and Shandong more generally.  The brewery would remain in German hands following the Chinese Revolution of 1911, but when the First World War came to a close the Germans would lose their concessions to Japan and the brewery would be forcibly sold to Dai-Nippon Brewing, the company that in 1949 would be split into the Asahi and Sapporo labels.  After the Second World War the brewery was briefly put under the administration of the Tsui family by the Nationalist government, at least until the fall of the Republic of China on the mainland that same year, when it was made into a state-owned enterprise by the fledgling People’s Republic of China.  And so the brewery remained for decades until the thawing of Deng Xiaoping’s reforms led eventually to its privatization and merger with three other breweries of the same metropolis.  Now sold in 62 nations, this beer, once brewed according to strict German Beer purity laws though now an adjunct lager, constitutes around 50% of the PRC’s total beer exports and is the second most consumed beer on Earth, its growth mirroring that of the economic development of China itself.

Today's Theme - Pine Top Smith's 1929 "I'm Sober Now." 

II. Our Delightful Guest, Callie Hietala

Mr. Clayman, Dr. Smith, and Ms. Hietala
III. Rubric

BeerAdvocate: 2.76 of 5

RateBeer: 2.04 of 5

Untappd: 2.86  of 5

ABV: 4.7%

Origin: Originally brewed in Qingdao, Shandong, China, this beer is now brewed at 69 different breweries throughout the People's Republic and exported to 62 different nations.  Derived from a German colonial brewery, the recipe is adjuncted with rice.

Ingredients: Water, hops and rice (Western Chinese), and barley malt (Canadian, French, and Australian)

Cost: $ to $$; depending upon how readily available it is in your market will determine the upswing in price, but generally inexpensive.  We paid around $8 for a six-pack.

IV. Our Reviews and Talking Points

Appearance: Golden, slightly bubbly, translucent, light head

Aroma: Typical of a European lager - reminiscent of Heineken according to Eric and Clayman; reminiscent of "someone smoking marijuana" according to Callie.

Flavor: Excellent pale, adjunct lager, easy drinking without sacrificing the essential flavor profile,  paired very well with the Kentucky Fried Chicken we purchased to go with it.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, low carbonation

Authenticity, Marketing, and Other Factors: Exactly what it claims to be, a large-scale Chinese beer still in touch with its European roots.

Overall:  Callie gave Tsingtao 3.8 stars, Clayman 2.5, and Eric 3.75 for an average of 3.35 stars.

V. Plugs

As always, please support local breweries, eateries, artists and music - also, please check out:

Chick-N-Little of Abingdon, Virginia

Dip Dog of Marion, Virginia

Martha Washington Inn of Abingdon, Virginia

Rain of Abingdon, Virginia

Wolf Hills Brewing of Abingdon, Virginia

Wolf Hills Community School of Abingdon, Virginia

VI. Recommended Reading and Viewing

Rachel Deason. December 6, 2017.  "A Brief History of Tsingdao Beer." Culture Trip.

Charles Riley and Virginia Harrison. September 16, 2015. "The World's Most Popular Beer Is. . . " CNNMoney.

Staff. June 24, 2017. "Strict Standards Win Tsingtao Beer World Brand."  China Daily.

Ronald Theriot. December 16, 2016. "Tsingtao Revisited (Special Edition)." Louisiana Beer Reviews.  YouTube.

VII. Selected Advertisements

c. 2014

c. 2014

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