Asia Scope

Chinese Cheer, Chinese Beer

The huge Chinese National Day parade has ended in style. Just a couple of hours ago, tens of thousands of colorful balloons were reportedly released into the sky to close the official festivities at Tiananmen Square.

And in the meantime, we are left imagining the sorts of unofficial celebrating that could be going on as the nation marks the big 6-0. Images of beer kegs being cracked open at boisterous parties across China, like a US July 4th, are a bit far-fetched perhaps…or are they?

Some studies on global beer consumption numbers, such as one conducted by Japan’s Kirin Holdings Co., report that China’s beer consumption has topped the global chart for years.

A recent article in the Beijing Review confirms this:

“China’s beer output grew 6 percent year on year to 20.5 million kiloliters in the first half of 2009, leading to the country’s eighth straight title as the world’s largest beer producer and consumer.”

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Also noted is that, “A record 3.7 million tourists were attracted to Qingdao for this year’s 19th Qingdao International Beer Festival. Visitors drank 1,065 tons of beer.”

There must be something about that beer to manage a turnout like that. The most popular brands of domestic brew are Tsingtao and Zhujiang – and if you manage to find a bottle in your area, that means there’s still time to take part in the festivities.