Let the good times flow

By Li Yingxue/Xie Chuanjiao | (China Daily)| Updated : 2018-08-03

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The Qingdao International Beer Festival draws tourists and locals with a range of beers and snacks from different countries and a variety of entertainments. The annual event, with the slogan "Qingdao ganbei (toasts) with the world", has become a symbol of the city. [Photo by QI XIULI/FOR CHINA DAILY]

With a bevy of brews on tap at this year's Qingdao International Beer Festival, organizers have gone all out to bring a visual feast to the party, too, Li Yingxue and Xie Chuanjiao report.

Drinking beer and eating clams has long been a way of life for people in the coastal city of Qingdao, and now tourists can pull up a seat and join the locals in celebrating the tradition.

The 28th Qingdao International Beer Festival kicked off on July 20 and will run for a record 38 days at multiple venues across the port city in East China's Shandong province.

And since Qingdao played host to the 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit on June 9 and 10, this year's festival will feature a wide range of beers and artists from SCO countries.

At the festival venue in the Xihai'an (West Coast) New Area that stretches across 800,000 square meters in the city's Huangdao district, more than 200 beer brands from over 30 countries are available for thirsty visitors to sample.

Ten revelry tents and three leisure tents have been set up to keep tourists and locals fed and their thirst quenched with a mind-boggling array of beers and snacks.

The leisure tents take on a new form this year, offering a blend of light music and fine dining.


Friends gather at the bacchanal carnival in Qingdao. Ten revelry tents and three leisure tents allow visitors to enjoy more than 200 beers and local snacks. [Photo by SONG XUGUANG/FOR CHINA DAILY]

Ge Weijie, manager of the International Beer Tent, one of the three leisure tents, says they have prepared a range of beers from such countries as Germany, Belgium, Japan and South Korea.

"This year's beer festival provides around 1,300 types of beers, and 1,000 of them can be found here," says Ge. "We also have beers from SCO countries, such as Russia and Kazakhstan."

Ge runs a beer-experience center in Qingdao, where people can learn about how to make different types of beer and sample brews from different countries.

"Unlike other revelry tents that are crowded with loud music, our tent is a quiet place where you can sit down and enjoy the beer and food casually," says Ge.

"We have paired Chinese and Western dishes to match the different kinds of beers, from (kebab-like) chuan'er to baked lobster with cheese."

Local seafood complements the beer that can be found in every tent. According to Ge, besides shrimp and clams from Qingdao, they also offer Argentine red shrimp and Japanese scallops.

The more than a monthlong bacchanal carnival is not just about drinking beer, but is also a great way to spend the summer enjoying entertainment by the sea.

The Phoenix Fire Dance Show is a must-see showcase that gathers more than 160 fire performers from over 40 countries, kicking off at 8 pm every day during the festival.

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