Fearing the worst in the Qinhuangdao Holiday Inn’s minibar, BotF smuggled a couple of oddments from the expat supermarket in his luggage to enjoy on the balcony of his deluxe Sea View apartment.
Utica Club is a throwback pilsener brewed by the Saranac Brewery. It is apparently the first beer to be legally brewed after prohibition. I bet you I am the first bloke to drink it in Qinhuangdao. The Holiday Inn’s bar fridge wasn’t the hardest working so the beer wasn’t that cold. Nothing too distinctive about it, and I’d really want to try it again under different conditions.
I’ll never try Beck’s Green Lemon again. It was purely about the bottle top and that it cost $1.80 – but gees – talk about foul. BotF’s correspondent, Mick, is very partial to Beck’s but they should really stick to their flagship Pils. Their website indicates that they’ve also created Ice, Chilled Orange and Level 7 versions of Beck’s. Hopefully no Beck’s Pils was hurt in the process.
The unrelated shot is of a wedding shoot taking place on Qinhuangdao beach. No surf but parasailing and jet skis can be hired and then there are fun fair rides for the kids.
Upon my return to the Holiday Inn, I noticed that they weren’t too shabby in the beer department with a selection of weird German 5 litre kegs, but the opportunity didn’t present itself on the family weekend.
BotF ventured to the seaside town of Qinhuangdao with his daughter and Tony from Toowoomba’s family for the weekend. Qinhuangdao was a venue for the Olympics in 2008 and hosted mens and womens soccer and the windsurfing. Nearby is a beach “resort” town called Beidaihe and to the North is a town called ShanhaiGuan where the Great Wall meets the ocean.
Whilst trying to find our hotel, I kept an eye out for a drinking hole, but other than the ubiquitous KTV (karaoke) barns, Qinhuangdao looked like a place free of drinking establishments (not that BotF was expecting to get away). Later on, BotF had to venture out onto the streets to purchase a swimsuit for his daughter and was stunned to discover in his travels the most unusually name bar he’d seen. There must be some Chinglish going on with the name “Age of Burning Lives Bar”, but despite looking, the insides of the bar offered no clue as to the origins of the name. The insides of the bar were intricately decorated and almost everything was covered in graffiti.
There were two kids running the bar when I walked in and they were very pleased with my “Feishung Hao” or “Very Good” comments, but I couldn’t get any further conversation going other than gesticulations to find out more about this place. Presumably it has live music. Tony from Toowoomba may get back to Qinhuangdao before I do, and if he does – I’ll get him to report back.
A quick googling doesn’t reveal any reference to “Age of Burning Lives” as a phrase so it remains a mystery. Love to be there if this place went off though.