This beer is travelling at 309km on an engineering masterpiece – otherwise known as the Beijing-Shanghai Express. The beer is yet another “variety” from the Beijing Yanjing Brewery Co. Ltd. I’ve seen about 8 versions of Yanjing Beer since I’ve been here. I’m convinced it is all the same weak, watery beer flavoured fizzy water – just in different designed cans and bottles. It’s tough to avoid, due to its often exclusive ubiquity.
The Beijing-Shanghai Express is a fabulous way to travel. The 1318km journey is covered in a little under 5 hours and a ticket costs 555RMB or AUD$85. It flies along at over 300km for much of the journey and second class is very comfortable. The dining car is a cool place to hang and even has the smallest of bars. It could improve its menu, but then again they aren’t catering for laowei like me. There is no better way to travel between Shanghai and Beijing, particularly with the domestic air travel being so prone to delay. Given this isn’t run by NSW State Rail, everything here runs like clockwork.
After a frantic final day of shopping, BotF scrambled to get to the airport on time – leaving no time for lunch. Fortunately, there was a choice of two bars both promising beer, steaks and snacks. BotF opted for the Lucky Shamrock, which offered Guiness and Kilkenny on tap as well as Carlsberg and Tsing-Tao. Beijing airport is an absolute collosus and has been designed to look like a dragon. There is a five minute ride from check-in to the exit gates. Plenty of workers keep the place as shiny as a button.
The last photo is of a can of YanJing – Beijing’s beer in a great can coloured with Beijing Blue. My choice for a beer t-shirt, of which there are a dearth in China.
Today’s beer porn features two staples of the Chinese long neck diet. These were purchased from the clubhouse shop of the compound in which Tony from Toowoomba lives. In the is Tony’s 3 story house (not including the basement). It has been a joy to stay here.
The two long necks – which are admittedly only 600ml in volume – cost 4RMB each, and the Hot and Sour Fish Soup Flavour Lay’s were $6.50RMB each.
Yanjing is just about the most common beer that I’ve seen on the streets. In the morning, blokes are taking milk crates of empties away and the evening the locals are sitting around their hutongs tucking into a few. The second photo has the evidence, along with some hutong wildlife. Tsing-Tao is also very popular, but I recking Yanjing probably has the majority of hearts, minds and livers of the average Beijinger. It is starting to flex its export muscles and it would be in my Chinese stock portfolio if I had one. As to taste, it’s fine. Nothing offensive, nothing outstanding.
Harbin Ice is brewed by Harbin Brewery, which as previously discuss is the oldest brewer in China, but is now owned by AmBev or someone like. If Ice is in the title, it is an indicator of an absence of taste. Best thing to do is freeze it and drink it very fast on a very hot day.
What is it with the authorities and banning drinking on short ferry trips. Beijing is no different and as the sign indicates there is no drinking on the “ferry” between the Marble Boat and 17 Arch Bridge Island. Not sure what the punishment is (hopefully not corporal), but BotF threw caution to the wind and imbibed a Yanjing – seemingly the only beer available within Beijing tourist attractions.
The Summer Palace is an amazing place to visit. Unfortunately much of it was remade in the early 1900′s after the 1860 Anglo-French army laid much of it to waste. The Anglo-French did the same thing to the Old Summer Palace which was even bigger and the Chinese have made a conscious decision to leave most of that in ruins to remind them what pricks the Poms and Frogs are. The Summer Palace has vast lakes, beautiful bridges, amazing temples, a 500m covered walkway known as the “Long Corridor” and one of the great follies of China’s last empire – the Marble Boat. You can see that in the back of the photo.
Pomegranate trivia night tonight.