Qingdao Beer Festival

Trip Start Jan 06, 2011
Trip End Jul 15, 2012

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What I did
International Beer Festival

Flag of China  , Shandong,
Saturday, August 13, 2011

Hi Everybody, I know it's been another long stretch between postings. The summer has flown by, so many great times with Mike. He left for Boston last week and is now doing his study abroad semester. I'l be starting a separate blog for his travels, with his permission of course. But now back to our summer trips.

This posting is  our visit to Qingdao, the city in China where Tsingdao beer is made. The city was a German concession more than 100 years ago. I was hoping to see more German architecture but I think we didn't find those areas of the city. We chose this weeknd because it was the beginning of the International Beer Festival. I thought this would be a fun weeknd for Mike, better than visting more temples and pagodas! It was fun for both of us. Typical of what I've seen in China - the festival was done on a grand scale with lots and lots of people. Another reminder of the magnitude of 1.3 billion people. 

   We flew to Qingdao and then got a cab to our hotel. A four star international hotel close to the festival.I was surprised how big the city was, so many apartment buildings and of course construction of more in the works. 

    The highlights of our trip - arrived on Saturday mid-day, did some exploring around the city - it's a coastal city north of Shanghai, about an hour and 2o minute plane ride.  The beach was not clean, the air pollution seemed worse than Shanghai. I've heard that  the farther north you go the worse it is. Anway, the reason we were here was the beer festival and that was done right. It's a permenant "beer city", the structures are there year round. Later in the evening we meet up with Filipe, who I work with,  and Onya, his girlfriend. The four of us had a great time - which you can see from the pictures, The festival closed around 11 and we found our way to an ex-pat bar with some new friends, two girls from England, never got there names. We stayed at this bar til around 3. Bars in China , esp. ex-pat ones, stay open as long as people are still drinking. It was  a really fun night. I was shocked to find out it was 3:30 when we got back to the hotel, haven't had a night that late in ages.
   The next day we went to Tsingdao beer museum. The museum was very well done, I learned a lot about the history of beer in China.Some highlights -
    The other interesting fact about Qingdao is that it was the sailing center for  2008 Olympics - you'll see that in the pictures

The thing about the Brewery that was interesting was that it was representive of  China's recent  history - European occupation, the Japanese invasion, the cultural revolution and communism,
and more recently the opening up to capitalism , and the busniess relationship between China and the US, see below for the details from wikipedia

The Tsingtao Brewery was founded by The Anglo-German Brewery Co. Ltd., an English-German joint stock company based in Hong Kong who owned it until 1916. The brewery was founded on August 15, 1903 as the Germania-Brauerei (Germania Brewery) with a paid-in capital of 400,000 Mexican silver dollars divided into 4,000 shares priced at $100 each.
On August 16, 1916 an extraordinary general meeting was held in Shanghai. Liquidators were appointed and it was decided the company would be sold to the Dai-Nippon Brewery (which in 1949 was split into Asahi Brewery and what later became Sapporo Brewery). The Japanese military administration in Tsingtao approved the liquidation on September 9, 1916.

After Japan's surrender to the Allies and its retreat from China, the Tsingtao Brewery was turned into a Chinese brewery under ownership of the Tsui family and supervision of the Nationalist government in Nanjing.[citation needed] However, this period of ownership only lasted until 1949 when, after a civil war, the People's Republic of China was founded. Shortly after, due to Communist policies, all private shares of the Tsingtao Brewery that had previously belonged to the Tsui family were confiscated and the company became a state-owned enterprise.

The company was privatized in the early 1990s and in 1993 merged with three other breweries in Qingdao and was finally renamed Tsingtao Brewery Company Limited. Today 27% of the company is owned by Anheuser-Busch. The company now owns several other breweries in China, some of which also produce Tsingtao Beer.

On January 23, 2009, Anheuser-Busch InBev announced that it was selling 19.9% to Asahi Breweries for $667 million. The sale will make Asahi Breweries, Ltd. the second largest shareholder in Tsingtao behind only the Tsingtao Brewery Group. Anheuser-Busch InBev will now have a 7% minority share of Tsingtao. On May 9, 2009 Anheuser-Busch InBev sold its remaining 7% to Chinese tycoon Chen Fashu for $235 million.[5]

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