Content of the material
- Popular Posts
- Chinese Baijiu
- Máotái 茅台酒 Baijiu
- Wǔliángyè 五粮液 Baijiu
- Lúzhōulǎojiào 泸州老窖 Baijiu
- Snow Beer (雪花啤酒)
- Snow Beer ice cool
- Wusu Beer (乌苏啤酒 / 烏蘇啤酒)
- Red Wusu Beer
- Popular Chinese beer brands
- Food pairing with Chinese beer
- Chinese Ingredients Used for Flavor and Seasoning
- Final Thoughts
- Further Reading & Resources
- Traveling or Moving to China Soon?
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EggsScrambled eggs with chives
China has a large consumption of eggs each year. People consume eggs laid by many types of poultry; the most common ones are chicken, ducks, geese, pigeons, and quails.
Eggs can be steamed, boiled in soup, or fried with vegetables like tomatoes, cucumber, chives, green chilies, and green onions.
Food savvy Chinese people make lots of dishes with eggs. The most unique and famous ones are probably salted duck eggs and century eggs (preserved eggs) — both are produced and eaten all over China.
Learn more about egg dishes:
When it comes to alcohol, China is most famous for baijiu.
If I were to compare it to something you would consume in Western countries, strong vodka and other high proof alcohols come to mind.
There are so many varieties of baijiu in China and all are typically high proof, so expect a heavy burn when drinking it and be sure to drink this one responsibly.
Baijiu translates directly as “white liquor” and is made from sorghum, white rice, sticky rice, wheat, corn, or a blend of these ingredients.
It’s also not fermented from yeast, but from an agent called Qu, which has been used in Chinese alcohol production since the Han Dynasty.
Here are the top brands of baijiu I suggest trying in China. You can find these in any small to large liquor store in China. I’d also be careful when buying the more expensive brands and verify they are real by having a local point you to a legit store where they are sold.
Máotái 茅台酒 Baijiu
Maotai is China’s premium brand of baijiu and is the drink of choice for China’s top government officials and business elites. It’s also among the most expensive you can buy, so it also makes for a good gift for any business associates with whom you want to make a good impression.
Wǔliángyè 五粮液 Baijiu
Wuliangye baijiu is a blend of the sacred “5 grains” in China. Not only do the 5 grains make this baijiu really popular among Chinese, but it also gives the alcohol an abundance of flavor. This Chinese baijiu is also slightly less expensive than the Maotai brand above.
Lúzhōulǎojiào 泸州老窖 Baijiu
Luzhou Laojiao is one of the four oldest distilleries in China and originated way back during the Ming Dynasty. Apart from its flavor, the Chinese value the tradition behind how this baijiu is made.
If you’re on a tight budget but you still want to try Chinese baijiu, the Erguōtóu (二锅头) brand of baijiu is the Chinese equivalent of a cheap vodka you used to stock up on in college.
It’s easily available at any Chinese convenience store for cheap.
You can learn more about how Chinese baijiu is made, consumed, and even purchase it on Baijiu America. It’s not a casual drink, though, so in China you should only expect to drink baijiu during formal occasions, weddings, or during Chinese New Year.
For older Chinese as well as serious business types, baijiu tends to be the drink of choice. Rule of thumb when drinking baijiu is to also drain your glass like you would when taking a shot at home.
And good luck with the burn. Chinese don’t tend to drink baijiu with chasers.
Snow Beer (雪花啤酒)
Snow is a brand of larger beer from Shenyang, China. It is brewed by CR Snow, which was a joint venture between SABMiller and China Resources Enterprises. When Snow was first released in 1993 it was produced by three breweries.
Although the headquarters is in Beijing, the birthplace is in Liaoning. Snow Beer has a very rich foam and tastes more popular. It is the best drink in hot summer. But what the local people like to talk about should also belong to the old snowflake which tastes much stronger. If you don’t know much about drinking, you wouldn’t be really happy with it.
Snow Beer ice cool Series: Ice CoolBeer wort concentration: 9 PNet content: 500mlBeer style: lager (yellow beer)Package: can
Wusu Beer (乌苏啤酒 / 烏蘇啤酒)
Wusu Beer was established in 1986 as a state-owned brewery under Wusu county. In 1999, Wusu Beer implemented the reform of enterprise property right structure and operation mechanism, state-owned capital withdrew from Wusu Beer, and Xinjiang Wusu Beer Co., Ltd. was established with the investment of multinational brewer Carlsberg.
Since then, Wusu Beer has become a brand of Carlsberg. In 2002, the headquarters of Wusu Beer was moved from Wusu city to Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang.
Now, Wusu has become a well-known local beer brand in Xinjiang and has a certain popularity in other parts of China. The company has launched a variety of products, including red Wusu, green Wusu, Wusu pure raw, Wusu black beer, and fruity alcohol-free beer;
The Red Wusu has a higher alcohol percentage (4%) than most domestic beers in China. If you don’t drink very often, you should be careful when drinking Wusu with people.
Red Wusu Beer Series: Highland barley beerBeer wort concentration: 11 PNet content: 500mlBeer style: lager (yellow beer)Package: canAlcohol percentage: 4%
Popular Chinese beer brands
The most popular Chinese beer brands discussed in this post are Tsingtao, Snow Beer, Blue Ribbon, Yanjing and Zhujiang; however, there are also many other local brands not as widely known outside of China.
Tsingtao: Chinese beer exports haven’t made a dramatic mark on international markets, although the tide is slowly turning and Tsingtao is beginning to make inroads. The popularity of Tsingtao is in no small part due to its brewing heritage under the guidance of expert German and British brewers. This pilsner-style lager is created using hops, barley, rice and pure spring water from the Laoshan Mountain region. Pronounced ‘Ching dow’, the mild flavour is suited as an accompaniment for a range of cuisines.
Snow Beer: Although many people have never heard of it, Snow Beer is the world’s best-selling beer, as might be expected coming from a nation of more than a billion people. To give some indication of the pulling power of Snow Beer, the brewer has established 80 breweries – after launching with just 3 in 2004. Snow Beer is a light, crisp and quite refreshing lager.
Blue Ribbon: The Blue Ribbon brewed in China has some different characteristics to its American namesake. Blue Ribbon ‘1844’ produced in China costs around $60 a bottle and in a nod to US brewing traditions is aged in American whiskey barrels. It is an all-malt strong ale, reddish brown in colour. The regular Blue Ribbon pale lager is similar in taste to the American variety.
Yanjing: Harking back to a time when almost all industry in China was government controlled, Yanjing Beer is now the only state-owned beer remaining in China. It still has some influence though, as the Beijing Yanjing Brewery is the third largest in the country. Yanjing is a clean lager with a slight maltiness and a slight floral bouquet.
Zhujiang: Although brewed locally in Guangzhou, Zhujiang beer is produced from international ingredients including Czech hops, German yeast and Canadian barley malt, along with locally sourced natural spring water.
Food pairing with Chinese beer
Spicy dishes are complimented well by light-bodied pale lagers, and Chinese beers could be the ideal pairing. People who enjoy hot dishes from the Chinese regions of Sichuan, Hunan and Yunan, along with Indian, Malay or Thai food will appreciate the refreshing crispness of Chinese lager. Delicate sea-foods and subtle flavours can be overwhelmed by heavier and stronger beers, with lagers the more suitable option.
Chinese beer producers have focussed on easy to drink beverages that are suited for sipping on a warm day, and are a fine accompaniment for outdoor snacking and dining.
Chinese Ingredients Used for Flavor and SeasoningGinger, garlic, and green onions
Ginger: the most common Chinese food ingredient used as a spice for seasoning. It is usually used along with garlic in stir-fried dishes, when making soup, or in a dipping sauce.
Garlic: it is often used to season cooking oil along with ginger. It is used throughout Chinese cooking.
Chilies: green or red, fresh or dried, they are usually added to dishes as a seasoning to improve the taste, or used to make chili and other sauces
Spring onions: often used as a garnish, or added to stir-fries in a wok
Coriander: a popular herb with a strong flavor, it is used as garnish, or used to make a dipping sauce
If you’re looking to try some Chinese alcohol on your trip to China, as you can see, there are plenty of different options for you to discover.
Die-hard drinkers looking to enjoy some firewater will be plenty satisfied with Chinese baijiu. If visiting a local family during Chinese New Year and you know they consume alcohol, baijiu can make a good gift to bring for Chinese.
I’m personally a fan of beer and luckily in China, there are so many different beers to try from (albeit they all taste similar to me) and they really complement any meal you can have in the country.
For wine lovers, I can’t say that China is anything like Napa Valley, but there is small enough of a wine culture to enjoy in the major cities.
Just remember to have fun and drink responsibly!
Further Reading & Resources
China 10 Year Visa Explained (Frequently Asked Questions)
How to Travel to China Without Speaking Chinese | 2022 Traveler’s Guide
Chinese Rental Contract Template & Bilingual Agreement (2022 Update)
Traveling or Moving to China Soon? Download “44 Tips You MUST Know Before Traveling to China”. These simple but often overlooked tips could make or break your trip! Download the Tips Here