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If you want to know a city, it’s enough to open a bottle of local beer.
On the stalls at night, I only heard a “Bo”, the cap of the ice cold beer bottle in my hand was crisp and opened, the pale yellow beer rose into a jubilant foam, and I drank it in one gulp with my friends around me.
The happiness of this summer is given by beer.
However, in China more than 100 years ago, beer, as an imported product, was far less common than it is now. At that time, people described this yellowish drink as “similar to horse urine in color and similar in taste to Decoction”.
Until the 1980s, after China implemented the “beer special project”, the beer industry rose. In just a few years, there are more than 800 beer enterprises in China, and almost every city has its own brewery.
Yanjing in Beijing, Libo in Shanghai, Huiquan in Fujian, Liquan in Guilin, Jinxing in Henan, Wusu in Xinjiang, the Yellow River in Lanzhou, Hans in Shaanxi, mountain city in Chongqing, blue sword in Sichuan… Many beer brands with unique local characteristics occupy people’s tables.
Some people say that if you want to know a city, it’s enough to open a bottle of local beer.
However, with the changes in the pattern of the beer industry, the phenomenon of large factories merging small factories has emerged. China’s beer market has been carved up by five major beer giants, namely, China Resources Snow, Qingdao, Yanjing, Budweiser and Carlsberg, accounting for more than 90% of the market share.
At present, Chinese people consume 42.96 billion liters of beer every year, with an average of about 30 liters per person per year. In addition to the five beer giants, there are also some local beer, which have harvested a group of loyal fans with quality and taste.
Northeast: a bowl of stretched noodles, a chicken rack, a bottle of old snow
Northeast China is the first place to contact beer in China.
In 1900, the first brewery in China was born in Harbin. The brewery was founded by Russian businessman ulubrevsky and was renamed “Harbin Brewery” in 1950.
At that time, Harbin beer (Harbin beer for short) was popular in Harbin, and people in other parts of the country drank less beer in a year than people in Harbin drank in a day.
As the earliest beer brand in China, Harbin beer at first had a strong taste and strong momentum.
However, after joining Budweiser InBev in 2008, Harbin beer has become relatively light in taste and is famous for its freshness and purity.
In Northeast China, people prefer beer with high strength and great stamina.
“A bowl of stretched noodles, a chicken rack, and a bottle of old snow.” This is an authentic Shenyang ordering term.
The “old snow” in Shenyang’s population has a domineering nickname: stuffy donkey. The biggest feature of this kind of beer is its full stamina. The concentration of wort is 12 degrees, which is known as “lethal 12 degrees”.
Even Shenyang people who can drink a lot, with threeorfour bottles of old snow, will basically stand unstable. Not to mention outsiders who are inept at drinking.
Therefore, the local spread of this sentence: “Shenyang old snow with barbecue, outsiders all dry.”
△ on social media, netizens expressed their nostalgia for Lao Xue
In 1993, Shenyang brewery, which produces laoxue, was merged by China Resources Group, giving birth to China Resources snowflake. Nowadays, the label of laoxue, which Shenyang people prefer, says: snow mellow beer.
In the northeast, like Lao Xue, there is Jiafeng beer, a beer brand produced in Jiamusi City, Heilongjiang Province, an emerging industrial city on the banks of the Songhua River, which is now owned by foreign beer giant Budweiser InBev.
Jiafeng beer has a wort concentration of 12 degrees, which is called “lethal Jiafeng”. Jiamusi people are proud that in 1984, Jiafeng beer won the “golden cup” in the national light industrial products alcohol quality competition.
In addition to the old snow in Shenyang, Jiafeng in Jiamusi, Kailong in Dalian, Daocheng in Tieling and Yalu River beer in Dandong, everyone makes outsiders fear three points.
North China: buy beibeer in the east of the city and five-star
in the west of the city
Beer brands in North China also have a long history.
In 1915, two brothers trading in Vladivostok established the “Shuanghesheng five-star brewery” in Beijing. “Double prosperity” means that two brothers prosper together, “five stars” means “five stars shine”.
At the beginning of its establishment, the beer produced by this brewery was mainly used for export or for foreigners in Beijing.
In the late 1970s, when people were well-off, beer really entered the life of Beijingers, and there was a scene of men, women, old and young queuing up to buy bulk beer with thermoses.
At that time, there were only two beer brands in the Beijing market: Shuanghesheng five-star beer and Beijing beer. The prices of these two kinds of beer were not expensive, about 40 cents a liter, and they were very popular.
Since the two distilleries are located on the East and west sides of Beijing, there is a saying that “the east of the city buys northern beer, and the west of the city buys five stars”.
△ screenshot of Yanjing Beer’s official website
Yanjing beer was born relatively late. It was the product of the brewery in Shunyi County (now renamed Shunyi District) on the outskirts of Beijing in 1980.
In the beer development strategy of “one city, one beer” in that era, Yanjing beer is one of the few beer enterprises that have developed and are growing. At present, it is one of the five giants in the domestic beer industry.
After being acquired by Tsingtao beer in 2000, Shuanghesheng five-star beer gradually faded out of the market and stayed in the memory of the older generation.
Compared with other places, the beer production and varieties in North China are not many – the production accounts for about 10% of the country. The most popular evaluation of the beer taste in this area is: light.
The only exception is Inner Mongolia’s Kingsoft beer, which may be the private collection of Inner Mongolia’s forthright men. Many outsiders commented on it the next day after drinking it: who drinks it will be ignorant.
Northwest: gulp meat and drink
In recent years, when the “light beer” with low degree and less foam occupied the mainstream of the market, Wusu Beer from Xinjiang has been favored by many people for its many characteristics of “different from regular wine”.
Wusu is a county located at the northern foot of Tianshan Mountain in Xinjiang. In the 1980s, this small town established its own brewery, named “Wusu Beer”. For a long time, people in other provinces rarely drank Wusu Beer.
In 2016, after Wusu Beer became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Carlsberg, a foreign beer giant, it went out of Xinjiang and became a “dark horse” in the beer market.
Wusu Beer has a well-known title – “lethal big Wusu”, because it is full of stamina, the concentration of wort is as high as 11%, and the alcohol level is higher, which is 4%; And the capacity is larger than ordinary beer, 620 ml per bottle.
△ netizens share their feelings about drinking Wusu Beer on social media
The most special thing is that Wusu Beer tastes fresh, which always gives people the illusion that they can drink another bottle, but it is “intoxicating in the invisible”.
Before Wusu Beer became popular, Huanghe beer, a beer brand from Lanzhou, Gansu Province, once had the aura of “the king of beer in the northwest”, enjoying the same scenery in the three provinces of Gansu, Qinghai and Ningxia.
In Lanzhou, Yellow River beer and mutton kebabs are the best partners.
When night comes, the heat of the day gradually subsides. About 35 friends sit around the Yellow River, eating mutton kebabs that are Zizi and oily, pouring a mouthful of iced Yellow River draft beer, and listening to the waves of the Yellow River. This is one of the happiest moments for Lanzhou people.
△ picture source of roast mutton kebab: pixabay
Beer and barbecue are not exclusive to Lanzhou people.
In Yinchuan, hongliuzhi roasted mutton kebabs are paired with local Xixia beer. With the sound of “tons of tons of tons”, drinking water is the forthright of northwest people when drinking beer, which also echoes the slogan “Northwest men drink Xixia”.
East China: Harbin beer eats clams, local standard
East China is the crown of China’s beer industry, and more than 30% of beer is produced in this region every year. If Shandong is the Pearl on the crown, Qingdao is the shining point of the Pearl.
△ figure source: 2021 annual report of Tsingtao Beer Co., Ltd
Tsingtao beer, which was born in 1903, has long been synonymous with Qingdao. Every summer, “Ha beer, eating clams, bathing in the sea” is standard for local people.
Qingdao people like to drink bulk beer. This kind of beer is different from the beer bought in the supermarket. It does not pass the traditional high-temperature sterilization beer. It tastes delicious and nutritious, but its storage time is short.
In Qingdao, whether supermarkets or beer houses, as long as there are wine barrels, there are a dozen plastic bags next to them. Pull out a plastic bag and take a few kilograms of beer home to drink. Qingdao people still enjoy this special way of loading wine.
Beer in plastic bags has also become “a big monster in Qingdao”.
△ image source: image worm creativity
The dainty Qingdao people also choose the beer factory. They can accurately distinguish the subtle differences in the taste of different factories. This is difficult for outsiders to do.
There are four breweries in Qingdao, one, two, four and five. There is a popular saying: “one factory is true, two factories are dizzy, four factories are smooth, and five factories are close.”
In addition to Tsingtao beer, local people often buy laote beer, a local brand. They will say, “laote beer is brewed with Laoshan spring water, and the wheat flavor is better.”
Strangely, as an important economic city in East China, Shanghai has no beer brand matching its reputation. But the memory of local people must be the shadow of Reeb.
In 2001, Libo beer’s advertising song “why I like Shanghai” swept the country, and the lyrics were like love letters: “Shanghai is where I grew up. With all my feelings, cheers for the first time, love for the first time, in the eternal age of innocence…”
△ reasons to like Shanghai is popular across the country
In Shanghai, this song is the drink and dish of Libo beer, but now Libo beer is gradually fading out of people’s vision, and it is coffee that occupies the streets of Shanghai.
Nanchang beer, also located in East China, is not well-known. The distillery was founded in 1958 and has now been acquired by Budweiser. This beer is mainly refreshing, perhaps in order to neutralize the taste experience of local people who are directly affected by the spicy flavor.
South China: Fruity beer, “the whole family drinks it”
In the beer industry, compared with Harbin beer and Tsingtao beer, which have a hundred years of production history, Zhujiang Beer has not appeared for a long time. It was born in 1985, a few years later than Yanjing beer.
At present, Zhujiang Beer has Zhujiang pure draft beer, Zhujiang Beer (that is, the classic version, known as the old Zhujiang Beer), Zhujiang 0 degree beer, Xuebao beer and other series.
△ products of Zhujiang Beer
Source: screenshot of Zhujiang Beer official website
Among them, Laozhu beer, which has the classic “big green stick” bottle, is mixed with Cantonese love and hate. Love is because it is cheap, has a unique bitter taste, and the aftertaste is sweet; Hate is that the concentration of bud juice reaches 12 degrees. Drink it quickly.
However, people like this defect. For a long time, Zhujiang Beer has been developing and expanding relying on the local market, and now it has become a well-known beer brand in China.
In addition to Zhujiang Beer, in Lao Guang’s childhood memories, “Guang’s Pineapple Beer” occupied a seat.
This drink, which began in the 1970s, retains both the mellow wheat flavor of beer and the aroma of pineapple.
Lao Guang recalled that after the reform and opening up, young people in Guangzhou liked to drink beer, and women also pursued the trend. Pineapple Beer, a drink with low alcohol content and refreshing taste, was a good choice.
“Guang’s Pineapple Beer is drunk by the whole family”, this slogan has been heard all over the streets of Guangzhou.
However, later, Guangshi Pineapple Beer once fell into a downturn. In recent years, the revival of domestic products has risen, and it has reappeared in people’s vision.
Southwest: hot-pot/" 22375 rel="nofollow" target="_self">hot pot with beer, taste buds explode
The beer tastes in Chongqing and Sichuan are generally similar, mainly refreshing, and the concentration of alcohol and wort are generally low. The formation of this taste system should be related to the local preference for hot-pot/" 22375 rel="nofollow" target="_self">hot pot.
Fresh tripe in the rolling red oil up and down, transfer to the garlic paste sesame oil, suddenly drop the temperature, and then dip in the green pepper and pepper noodles dry plate, taste buds in this stimulation, drink a refreshing beer, after the mouth returns to tranquility, welcome the next taste bud explosion.
△ attractive hot-pot/" 22375 rel="nofollow" target="_self">hot pot source: pixabay
At the end of last century, blue sword beer accounted for nearly 85% of the market share in Sichuan and Chongqing, and its sales volume in Yunnan and Guizhou regions was considerable. At that time, China’s beer industry had the saying of “North Yanjing, South Pearl River, East Qingdao and west blue sword”.
However, in the tide of capital mergers and acquisitions, Lanjian sold all its shares to China Resources snowflake in 2007. Since then, the blue sword disappeared in the southwest and was replaced by snowflakes.
In Guizhou, Moutai, which is famous for its Baijiu, also produces beer, but it was later acquired by China Resources Snow.
Dali Beer, Fenghuaxueyue and Lancang River in Yunnan are well-known locally. Their common feature is good water. In particular, most of the water near Cangshan Mountain in Dali flows into the brewery.
However, these breweries have also been acquired by large breweries, but some names have been retained.
Don’t think there is no beer on the Tibetan Plateau. On the contrary, Tibetan beer has a monopoly in China’s beer field. The branch is Lhasa beer, which was born in 1988.
Because Lhasa beer contains highland barley, it tastes very unique.
△ highland barley source: pixabay
In recent years, Tibet has built several new beer enterprises, such as Linzhi beer, which was put into operation in 2018, and Reba highland barley beer, which was established in 2017.
Looking back at the 100 year history of China’s beer industry, some local beers have been acquired and annexed, which has become a common memory of people’s hometown; A few lucky people, who keep their names, are still with people at the dinner table.
This summer, it is a happy thing to recall the old things of my hometown with a bottle of beer.
原创首发 | 猛犸工作室（ID：MENGMASHENDU），作者：黎广。