Qingdao Brewery

Qingdao Brewery

The beautiful beaches of Qingdao, China is what attracts visitors, but it is also known for it’s beer

I wouldn’t call myself a beer connoisseur, but I have sampled my fair share of brews from around the world.  While Asia hasn’t impressed me with their light lagers, I’m always game to try a new beer.  So, when we arrived in Qingdao, China, home to the Tsingtao Brewery, I had to visit.  Tsingtao is the #1 best selling Chinese beer in the world and the number one consumer product exported from China.

Tsingtao didn’t make it’s way to the United States until 1972, but has been brewed and bottled at the Tsingtao Brewery since 1903.  Tsingtao Lager is now sold in 62 countries and regions around the globe including Japan, Germany, France, UK, Italy, Canada, Brazil and Mexico.  The brewery itself didn’t WOW me, but it was a rare chance to see the active bottling and canning processes in action.  Even the quality control was on display for visitors to observe.

Quality control Chinese style, watch every bottle go by

The samples provided throughout the tour were small, but I have since had many chances to taste their famous golden lager.  It is your basic drinkable beer, similar to a Bud Light or Miller, perfect for college keg stands.  But if your not keen to revisit your college drinking days with watered down, cheap beer this  might not be your best  bet.  However, for a mere one US dollar per pitcher I can’t complain.  It is definitely less objectionable than any of the beers in SE Asia.  While I don’t think I will be seeking out Tsingtao at the bar back home, I think I could find a place for it in my kitchen.

The Tsingtao Brewery provides some great recipes that use their brew as one of the main ingredients.  I couldn’t resist sharing this delicious recipe that I am eager to try.  Not only is it a great summer recipe, but it features shrimp, which is another reminder of Qingdao and it’s beautiful ocean front location.  Give this easy recipe a try and take a trip to China without leaving your kitchen.

Shrimp Steamed in Tsingtao Beer


1 cup Tsingtao Beer (or light beer of your choice)

1/2 cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger

1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic

4 whole star anise cloves

1 lb. large raw shrimp, de-veined in shell

Combine beer, soy sauce, sugar, ginger, garlic and star anise in saucepan.  Stir ingredients together until the sugar dissolves.  Add shrimp and stir to mix.  Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Cover pan and remove from heat: let steep two minutes.  Serve hot shrimp in bowls with enough cooking liquid to moisten.  Peel shrimp to eat and serve with cold Tsingtao Lager.  Makes 4 servings.


Know that Qingdao is a popular destination, especially among domestic tourists, so you will want to book trains to and from Qingdao early, you can book trains up to 10 days before departure, as well as your accommodation as the two main budget hostels in town fill fast (Old Observatory and Old Church Hostel).

You can fly, Qingdao is a hub for China Eastern Airlines, which makes it an easy place to reach via plane.  You can easily hop over here from South Korea or any other major city in China for under 150 US dollars if you watch the fares.

Enjoy or avoid the beer festival, Qingdao has a huge beer festival on “Beer Street” in front of Tsingtao Brewery every August (check for specific dates) that attracts larger than usual crowds.  Plan your visit around this, so that you aren’t in for a surprise when you get there.

Spend a few days, many locals claim that this is the best city in China.  It has a great sea side location, clean air, beaches and a fun arts district.  Take time to explore, see the city and enjoy the food and beer!

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» Cindy :
Aug 29, 2011

Will try the recipe as we even have some Tsingtao Beer here. Just finished reading your recent journal entries. They were awesome. Miss you both.

LOCAVORista Reply:

Cindy, can’t wait to hear how the Tsingtao recipe goes over. Let me know what you think of the recipe and any tweaks you have, I will be writing about the delicious Sichuan food we had in Chengdu as well- recipes included!

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About the Author

LOCAVORista: A curious adventurer exploring the culinary delights and local traditions around the world. Currently on a 3 year round-the-world trip discovering amazing cultures, must-eats and off-the-beaten-track destinations.

About the Author
LOCAVORista: A curious adventurer exploring the culinary delights and local traditions around the world. Currently on a 3 year round-the-world trip discovering amazing cultures, must-eats and off-the-beaten-track destinations.


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