Welcome to the International Beer Festival in Qingdao!
! GAN BEI ! ! CHEERS ! ! PROST ! ! SANTÉ ! ! CHINCHíN !
Every year Qingdao hosts the largest beer festival in Asia with beer from International breweries all over the globe. Being German, and even Bavarian, I was quite excited to see what the Chinese would make out of our traditional beer festivals in Germany. I don’t know how many of you have already been to a beer festival, but imagine the huge beer tents, stuffed with benches and millions of Chinese people drinking beer, screaming and cheering to Chinese music. It was great!
Besides the tents and the benches it didn’t really have a lot to do with a traditional German beer festival. They had awesome Chinese BBQ, a lot of other food stands (including a McDonalds stand), tons of rides and even some nice German sausages. Besides that, tons of different brewery tents were present; just to give you an impression: Beck’s from Germany, Kirin & Asahi from Japan, Carlsberg from Denmark, Corona from Mexico, Heineken from Holland, Tiger from Singapore, Budweiser from the states, and of course China’s Tsingtao.
There are several ways to get to the festival, probably the easiest way is going by taxi. But be careful especially taxi drivers try to make the best our of these 2 weeks, therefore they ask for absurd numbers like 200RMB to go to the festival, instead of the usual price of 25RMB. You can work around that by saying a side road of the beer fest, which we did.
When we finally arrived at the beer fest it was really crowded, no wonder because about 3 million people visit the event every year. Finding our way through, we were asked for tons of pictures, it seemed like a group of 7 foreigners is not a common picture for most of the tourists there.
We wondered along the site, had some BBQ, had a look at the different tents where you could find all kinds of Chinese music and a lot of KTV. We finally ended up in the Tsingtao beer tent, because we felt the need to support the Qingdao brewery which is a big part of our Chinese life … We had a great time at the festival, drinking beer, meeting new Chinese people and dancing to Chinese music which we’ve never heard before. After a lot of “Gan Bei” the festival closed down, it is just officially open till 10:30pm.