Just two weeks ago – it’s taken that long to recover – we arranged to take journalists from the Evening Standard, i, Mail on Sunday, Shortlist, Sainsbury’s Magazine and Craft Beer Channel to China for client Tsingtao Beer, the world’s second largest beer brand.
The aim was to take the writers to the source of the Tsingtao product, enabling them to educate their readers about the brand and why it’s becoming so popular now in the UK.
Starting in Beijing, with a tour of The (vast) Forbidden City and some haggling in the Silk Market, we then sampled Beijing’s street food and toured some of the local brew pubs. This provided a great grounding in Chinese beer culture in general.
Then, we arrive in Qingdao, aka ‘Beer Town, home to the Tsingtao Brewery and Tsingtao Museum. The journalists discovered more about the heritage of Tsingtao, which dates back to 1903.
We even hot-footed it up into the Laoshan mountains to the source of where Tsingtao harvests the spring water for its beer.
But nothing… nothing…. could prepare us for China’s International Beer Festival. Quite possibly the loudest, most colourful and crazy beer festival ever!
Tsingtao stole the show with its almighty structure – forming the hub of the Festival, it was the size of a small town with its live entertainment, multiple bars, VIP suites, squid-on-a-stick snacks and stations where people were buying beer poured straight in carrier bags.
The journalists partied like celebrities as the Chinese queued for pictures with them – beards and bald heads are not so common in China so we sparked quite a bit of attention!
Here’s the first piece on the Craft Beer Channel. We’ll be updating this with more links as the coverage is published. An amazing trip and a great education piece for Tsingtao.