One of the greatest gifts that Chinese culture has given the world is their delicious cuisine.
While I’m sure you’re familiar with noodles, stir-fries, and Peking duck, China has a great beer-brewing culture to explore.
These Chinese beers pair well with your favorite Chinese dish.
Read on to discover my list of Chinese beers to accompany your meal.
Yanjing Beer 燕京啤酒
Founded in 1980 by Geng Chao in Beijing, Yanjing has grown to be the third-largest brewery in China, with one of the largest brewing operations in the world.
Yanjing beer is a household name in Beijing, acting as the state’s official beer.
You’ll find it in every restaurant, convenience store, and event. They produce a line of light, refreshing lagers.
Tsingtao Beer 青岛啤酒
Celebrating 120 years, Tsingtao Beer is a longstanding favorite and China’s second-largest brewery.
Founded by German settlers in Qingdao in 1903, Tsingtao beer was first promoted to European settlers looking for German-style hop beer.
Now, their flagship hoppy lager is one of China’s most popular beers. They also have a dark beer and even a green-colored spirulina beer.
Harbin Beer 哈尔滨啤酒
The oldest Chinese brewery, Harbin Beer, was founded in 1900 in its namesake town in Northeast China by Polish settler Jan Wroblewski.
Today, Harbin Beer is under the umbrella of the Anheuser-Busch brewery.
Harbin beer is a pale lager using a blend of European and Chinese hops and German yeast.
Snow Beer 雪花啤酒
Snow Beer is not just the best-selling beer in China.
It’s also the best-selling beer brand in the entire world, owing to various world-renowned investing and partnering breweries like Heineken, Busch, and Budweiser.
Snow Beer originated in 1993 and has quickly grown to be China’s largest brew company, producing a tasty pale lager.
Check out the best selling American beers as well!
Kingway Beer 金威啤酒
Kingway beer is another popular Chinese beer owned by the Chinese state government in Guangdong.
Kingway sells a pale lager with a pale-yellow appearance, light carbonation, and a lemony, slightly sweet taste that all but masks any hoppy taste.
Kingway is very mild and refreshing. It’s a good beer for those that don’t like dark or strong-tasting beers.
Kingstar Beer 金星啤酒
Kingstar Beer produces various pale lagers in cans and bottles.
Their beer is cheap and a popular beverage at affordable restaurants and bars around China.
The beer has a mild taste with little to no hops and heavy carbonation.
Kingstar beer is a great option for a hot day. It has a low alcohol content, so you can down a few of them to cool off without the strong effects of inebriation.
Shancheng Beer 山城啤酒
From the Chongqing Brewing Company in Chongqing, China, Shancheng beer originated in the 1970s.
Its popularity is limited to the Chongqing region, but Shancheng is as tasty and refreshing as any lager on my list.
It has a very low abv of 3%, with a sweet, grainy aroma and a malty taste.
Wusu Beer 乌苏啤酒
A favorite of the Xinjiang District, Wusu came under the leadership of the Carlsberg company in 2016, expanding its operations and sales.
Wusu is a lager, but it differentiates itself from the competition with a stronger flavor and creamier mouth feels.
The color is also a deeper golden amber, with a nice foamy head and a rich flavor that beer lovers will appreciate.
Spelling “beer” backward, Reeb is a product of the Shanghai Asia Pacific Brewery and one of Shanghai’s best-sellers.
It’s a simple pale lager with a subtle sweetness from the malt. It has a low alcohol content and a pale-yellow appearance.
It pairs well with spicy street food, with a fizzy and mild flavor that neutralizes the heat.
Zhujiang Beer (珠江啤酒)
Another Guangdong-based brewery, Zhujiang beer, originated in 1985 from the Zhujiang Brewery Group, a Chinese state-owned enterprise.
They’re also the owner of the famous Pearl River beer brand. Zhujiang Brewery self-proclaims as a modern brewery, offering a variety of contemporary lagers.
I like their rice lager, with a sweet taste, bitter finish, and very light carbonation.
China Pabst Blue Ribbon
Is PBR in China? Who knew? I’m sure you’ve heard of Pabst Blue Ribbon in the US as an affordable basic lager with a cult following.
However, in China, Pabst Blue Ribbon is an affiliate, using its own CBR Brewing Company to produce and distribute Pabst Blue Ribbon from Guangdong.
Furthermore, Pabst is a luxury beer in China and one of the most expensive beers on the market.
Laoshan Beer (崂山啤酒 / 嶗山啤酒)
Laoshan beer is a product of the Tsingtao Brewery Co. out of Qingdao, China.
Laoshan beer is a light lager named for the mountains that supply the fresh spring water used in its production. It comes bottled or in flashy gold cans.
It has a much higher alcohol content than other pale lagers while still offering a mild taste.
From the Hangzhou Qiandaohu Beer Company, Cheerday is one of many brands to come out of its Qiandaohu-based brewery.
It’s marketed as a craft beer, using local ingredients, including fresh water from Qiandao Lake to deliver its crisp and refreshing taste.
Cheerday is a pale lager that has garnered local popularity.
- Yanjing Beer 燕京啤酒
- Tsingtao Beer 青岛啤酒
- Harbin Beer 哈尔滨啤酒
- Snow Beer 雪花啤酒
- Kingway Beer 金威啤酒
- Kingstar Beer 金星啤酒
- Shancheng Beer 山城啤酒
- Wusu Beer 乌苏啤酒
- Zhujiang Beer (珠江啤酒)
- China Pabst Blue Ribbon
- Laoshan Beer (崂山啤酒 / 嶗山啤酒)
China has a long list of breweries producing a wealth of Chinese beers that are mainly pale lagers. While you may not have heard of many of them, a few are the top-selling beers in the whole world!
If you’re looking for a refreshing, crisp lager, try one of the options on my list of Chinese beers.
Pair these beers with your favorite Chinese dumplings!
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