(From the Nation)
By Phoowadon Duangmee
Qingdao on China’s East Coast is best known for its German architecture and its brews. Traders, of course, know Qingdao for its seaport and naval base.
Located on the south coast of Shandong Peninsula on China’s East Coast, Qingdao shares the same latitude as South Korea and Japan. If you set sail from the tip of the peninsula and crossed the Yellow Sea, you would eventually reach Incheon or Jeju Island in South Korea and perhaps Nagasaki in Southern Japan. Traders, of course, know Qingdao for its seaport and naval base. To me, Qingdao is synonymous with Tsingtao.
Indeed everything I know about this seaside city comes from my acquaintance with Tsingtao, a lager that’s a favourite tipple all over China. So it’s not surprising that I regard my trip to Qingdao as the perfect opportunity to unearth the origins of the famed Tsingtao brewery.
The search though is held at bay by the weather. It’s dark, cold and very foggy when we arrive in Qingdao and it’s impossible to see where the sky ends and the Yellow Sea begins. The sun breaks through on the second day and quickly the strong German influence on the city becomes clear.
The old town, for example, is an interesting blend of Baroque, Art Nouveau and the kind of architecture Thais associate with European cities. And Tsingtao Beer – one of China’s largest breweries – was founded by the German settlers in 1903, thus explaining the taste of this well-hopped pilsner. Read more