Monday, March 3, 2008

Beer of the Week: Tsingtao

Before saying anything about Tsingtao I must point out that I have only had it in two situations during my life. Most times I imbibed in this Chinese beer was when growing up we would order Chinese food from The Cottage. My father would get about 4 or 5 Tsingtao, and then only drink one. After a couple of week I would have a dozen beers accumulated in the fridge. Trust me, nothing says party like free Chinese beer to go with a free house. The other times I drank Tsingtao were always while out having Chinese food, particularly in Chinatown. It always seemed like the right type of beer to order, perhaps because I was trying to show the waiter, yes, I may be ordering the most Americanized version of Chinese food around, but dammit I want that authentic Chinese beer to go with it.

Tsingtao's taste is almost that of a light beer, with a malty flavor and minimal hops. It smells nice, and is a good palate cleanser when eating something spicy or salty. It seems to almost have been made for the American palate, being slightly heavier than a light beer, but not full of so much flavor that it overwhelms the food you are eating. I probably wouldn't drink Tsingtao unless eating Chinese food, or as a really silly choice at a bar. I don't think I've ever seen Tsingtao on tap, and very rarely outside of a Chinese restaurant or bar will you ever find it even offered.

Number of Beers Drank in one Sitting: 4
Pair with Food: Anything Chinese is made for this beer, but particularly the heavier spicier dishes. I love it with hot and sour soup, or spicy szechuan dumplings.

The #1 Chinese Beer in America

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