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Beer Reviews

We Tried Every Tsingtao Beer So You Don't Have To: Here's Our Take On The World's Favourite Chinese Beer

 

The secret to Tsingtao's widespread acclaim lies in this paradox: to the rest of the world, Tsingtao represents an exotic Chinese brew, but within China, Tsingtao exudes the prestige of a heritage German beer brand. This duality has catapulted Tsingtao to the forefront, making it the second-best selling beer in China and the most popular Chinese beer outside of its homeland.

 

 

Tsingtao’s history can be traced back to German imperial ambition in the late 19th century. Germany's naval force forcibly seized Jiaozhou Bay – a region in the southern coast of the Shandong Peninsula - from the hapless Qing Dynasty government. Qingdao, a strategically important port city, became the capital of Deutsch-China, and with the influx of German settlers came a yearning for the familiar comforts of home. Accustomed to the crisp refreshment of pilsners and hefeweizens, the German settlers in Qingdao found themselves craving a taste of their homeland.

 

 

In 1903, this thirst for a real German beer led to the establishment of the Germania-Brauerei, the precursor to Tsingtao Brewery. Led by a skilled German brewmaster, the brewery adhered to the rigorous standards of the Reinheitsgebot, the German Beer Purity Law, which dictates that beer can only be made with water, hops, and barley. However, Tsingtao's brewers also infused their creation with a unique local touch: mineral water sourced from the pristine Laoshan spring. This marriage of German expertise and Chinese terroir resulted in a beer that was both familiar and exotic, a perfect reflection of the cultural fusion taking place in Qingdao at the time. By late December 1904, the first batches of this distinctive brew were ready to be savoured, marking the beginning of Tsingtao's enduring legacy.

 

The early German brewmasters of Anglo-German Brewery - which later became Tsingtao Brewery.

 

Tsingtao's early success was not without its challenges. The outbreak of World War I in 1914 led to the expulsion of Germans from Qingdao, and the brewery fell under Japanese control, and became part of Dai Nippon Breweries (the forerunner of Asahi Beer). However, the beer's popularity continued to grow, both within China and beyond its borders. After World War II, Tsingtao Brewery became controlled by the Chinese Nationalist government for only a very brief period before the Communist takeover happened and he brewery became a state-owned enterprise.

 

 

Though initially aimed at quenching the thirst of fellow German expatriates, Tsingtao introduced beer to the wider Chinese market at a significant scale, sparking a nationwide love affair with the golden brew. Tsingtao, with its unique blend of German heritage and Chinese adaptability, also emerged as the most recognisable Chinese beer brand outside of China and secured its position as China's most widely exported beer, a testament to its enduring appeal.

 

 

Many years since 1904, the Tsingtao beer recipe has undergone transformations to cater to evolving tastes and economic realities. The current lager the brewery produces is now much closer in profile to other light Chinese beers than to the robust German pilsners that inspired its creation. Though mineral water from the Laoshan Mountain (崂山) still forms the base of Tsingtao, the brewers have incorporated domestically-grown rice into the mix. This is a common practice in Chinese brewing but one that deviates from the strictures of the German Beer Purity Law.

 

 

It's worth noting that, unlike many other internationally exported beers, Tsingtao is not brewed under license in various countries. Every single bottle of Tsingtao, whether enjoyed in a China or in a London bar, is brewed in China.

 

The Tsingtao Brewery (Source: M. Meitzel)

 

We have a complete range of Tsingtao beers sitting in front of us, generally beginning from the lowest ABV. Let’s give them a taste!

Tsingtao Light, 3.3% ABV – Review

 

Tasting Notes

Colour: Clear, canary yellow.

Nose: Surprisingly lively. The initial burst is all citrus, like a freshly peeled lemon, followed by a sweet lemon candy aroma that reminds me of childhood treats. A sweet buttered corn scent then emerges, adding a comforting warmth, followed by a light yeasty note and a hint of sweet malt. The hoppiness is barely there, if at all. Interestingly, this Light version seems to have a bit more complexity than the classic Tsingtao.

Palate: Substantial, with a decent medium-bodied, velvety texture – once again quite suprising for a “Light” beer. The effervescence is lively, like tiny bubbles dancing on my tongue, complementing the fresh citrus notes. There are light corn and indistinct grain flavours initially, but these evolve into more compelling fresh barley notes as the beer lingers. A distinct dryness persists, felt as a light zing on the tip of my tongue and the roof of my mouth. This is also definitely much drier than other Tsingtao beers.

Finish: Quite lasting, leaving a clean and refreshing impression of fresh barley malt notes.

 

 

My Thoughts:

Tsingtao Light is a delightful surprise. It's incredibly fresh, surprisingly complex, and quite tasty. The velvety texture is unexpected for a lower ABV beer, and the prominent grain notes give it a real depth of flavour. Compared to other light Chinese beers like Snow, Tsingtao Light tastes more authentic and robust. The distinct dryness on the tongue also sets it apart.

Overall, it's a very enjoyable beer. It doesn't feel like an inferior or watered-down version of the original Tsingtao. In fact, it holds its own remarkably well. The only minor quibble is that the heavy effervescence seems to dominate the other flavours a bit, taking up more room on the palate than I'd prefer.

I can imagine this pairing beautifully with heavy northern Chinese food, cutting through the richness and cleansing the palate between bites.

My Rating: 7.5/10

Score/Rating Scale :

  • 9-10 : Exceptional, highly memorable, 10/10 would buy if I could.
  • 7-8 : Excellent, well above most in its category, worth considering buy-zone.
  • 4-6 : Good, okay, alright; a few flaws, but acceptable; not bad, but not my personal preference; still worth trying, could be a buy if the price is right.
  • 1-3 : Not good; really did not enjoy; wouldn't even recommend trying.
  • 0 : Un-scored, might be damaged, new make, or very unusual.

Tsingtao White (Belgian Witbier), 3.7% ABV – Review

 

Although Tsingtao already has a Wheat Beer variant, this intriguing edition is specially made as Belgian-style witbier that presumably includes the additions of coriander and citrus peel.

Tasting Notes

Colour: Gold.

Nose: The classic witbier aroma is immediately evident. A rich, apricotty fruity character takes the lead, with a slightly synthetic banana sweetness intertwined with sweet corn notes. A touch of clove adds a hint of spice to the mix. It’s a bit musty too and decidedly funkier than the usual Tsingtao offerings.

Palate: The funkiness carries through onto the palate, accompanied by a wave of toasted cereal flavours. Cloves, coriander seed and orange peel meld harmoniously with sweet lemon notes, creating a complex and layered taste experience. As the sip progresses, the toasted cereal notes intensify, joined by a rustic sourdough breadiness and a hint of grist. The overall profile is rounded and less dry than other Tsingtao beers, with just a touch of dryness tickling the back of my throat. A subtle apricot note adds another layer of complexity.

Finish: The funkiness gradually subsides, leaving behind cleaner barley notes. Yeastiness becomes more prominent towards the end, leaving a lingering reminder of the beer's Belgian-style heritage.

 

 

My Thoughts:

This is huge departure from the classic Tsingtao lager. It's a full-fledged Belgian witbier, embracing the style's characteristic fruity funkiness with gusto. Despite its relatively low ABV, it has a surprisingly rich complexity that belies its lightness.

In terms of quality, it easily rivals commercial Belgian witbier brewers. It's a classic example of the style, well-executed and enjoyable.

My Rating: 7.5/10

Score/Rating Scale :

  • 9-10 : Exceptional, highly memorable, 10/10 would buy if I could.
  • 7-8 : Excellent, well above most in its category, worth considering buy-zone.
  • 4-6 : Good, okay, alright; a few flaws, but acceptable; not bad, but not my personal preference; still worth trying, could be a buy if the price is right.
  • 1-3 : Not good; really did not enjoy; wouldn't even recommend trying.
  • 0 : Un-scored, might be damaged, new make, or very unusual.

Tsingtao 2000, 4.0% ABV – Review

 

Next up, we have something very similar to the standard Tsingtao beer, but this is a slightly lower alcohol line that was released in the year 2000 to celebrate the turn of the millennium.

Tasting Notes

Colour: Bright gold with dense foam on top.

Nose: It’s got a gentle waft of fresh hoppiness, followed by light citrusy notes and a subtle honeyed sweetness. Very approachable and very clean.

Palate: The first sip reveals a velvety, almost pillowy texture, thanks to the dense and pillowy foam. The beer itself possesses a viscous quality that coats the tongue. Honeyed sweetness intertwines with bright citrus, punctuated by a touch of corn. Subtle yet distinct roasted grain notes emerge, adding depth and complexity. A hint of citrus rind and shaved zest further enhances the flavour profile.

Finish: The finish lingers pleasantly, showcasing the depth of barley notes and a trailing whisper of fresh hops.

 

 

My Thoughts:

The Tsingtao 2000 strikes a harmonious balance between sweetness and hoppiness. It leans towards a more traditional German profile, offering a rounded and satisfying experience.

For those who prefer a touch more hop character in their lager, this is a worthy contender. It's a well-rounded brew that showcases the best of both worlds: the lightness and drinkability of a Chinese lager, with the added complexity and depth of a German-inspired brew.

My Rating: 7/10

Score/Rating Scale :

  • 9-10 : Exceptional, highly memorable, 10/10 would buy if I could.
  • 7-8 : Excellent, well above most in its category, worth considering buy-zone.
  • 4-6 : Good, okay, alright; a few flaws, but acceptable; not bad, but not my personal preference; still worth trying, could be a buy if the price is right.
  • 1-3 : Not good; really did not enjoy; wouldn't even recommend trying.
  • 0 : Un-scored, might be damaged, new make, or very unusual.

Tsingtao Pure Draft 4.3% ABV – Review

 

The Tsingtao Pure Draft is made using a special low-temperature fermentation process and chill filtration to create a smoother lager that mirrors the draft beer experience. Let’s give this a shot.

Tasting Notes

Colour: Gold.

Nose: A distinct roasted corn note takes centre stage, intertwined with familiar grain aromas. There's a touch of honeyed sweetness and a very gentle hop presence, noticeably less pronounced than the standard Tsingtao. A hint of citrus adds a bright dimension to the bouquet.

Palate: The beer delivers on its promise of refreshment, offering a clean and crisp profile dominated by grain notes, while a bright yeastiness and a subtle dryness balance the sweetness. It’s got a slightly chalky texture that’s not unpleasant but adds a bit of unexpected texture. The citrus rind note from the nose also reappears, adding a touch of zest.

Finish: The slightly gristy grain notes and clean malt profile persist through the finish, along with a lingering hint of citric sweetness. There’s also a subtle umami yeastiness that lingers on the palate.

 

 

My Thoughts:

This is quite different from the standard Tsingtao in that it has a more pronounced yeastiness and a less assertive hop profile. This increased yeast character does make it seem a tad less clean than expected, but it also contributes to its unique appeal.

While enjoyable, it doesn’t seem to capture the crispness and freshness I typically associate with a draft beer. However, the rich umami notes do make it an excellent pairing for grilled meats and skewers as they would harmonise with savoury dishes very beautifully.

My Rating: 7/10

Score/Rating Scale :

  • 9-10 : Exceptional, highly memorable, 10/10 would buy if I could.
  • 7-8 : Excellent, well above most in its category, worth considering buy-zone.
  • 4-6 : Good, okay, alright; a few flaws, but acceptable; not bad, but not my personal preference; still worth trying, could be a buy if the price is right.
  • 1-3 : Not good; really did not enjoy; wouldn't even recommend trying.
  • 0 : Un-scored, might be damaged, new make, or very unusual.

Tsingtao Beer (Classic), 4.7% ABV – Review

 

This is Tsingtao’s iconic well-hopped standard lager and flagship brew, which accounts for most of the brewery’s production.

Tasting Notes

Colour: Pale gold.

Nose: A gentle sweetness graces the nose, reminiscent of toasted malt. It’s got a nostalgic aroma of roasted coffee beans from a traditional Singapore coffeeshop, accompanied by delicate floral notes and a touch of sweet corn.

Palate: The texture is remarkably fluffy, courtesy of the lively effervescence that fizzes upon first sip. Dominant notes of barley and toasted cereal set the stage, quickly followed by a very assertive citrusy dryness and effervescence that quickly take over the tongue and take centre stage.

Finish: The finish is where this truly shines. A lingering light barley sweetness persists while the lovely hop aroma begins to take the spotlight. Grapefruit pith, slightly bitter yet refreshing, harmonising with a hint of barley candy sweetness. It’s clean and devoid of any mustiness or umami yeastiness.

 

 

My Thoughts:

It's no wonder Tsingtao enjoys widespread recognition—it's clean, crisp, and boasts a more aromatic hop character than many of its Chinese counterparts. But here’s the rub: after tasting this side-by-side with other Tsingtao variants, I’ve found that the intense citrusy dryness of the flagship brew, while refreshing, seem to overpower other nuances that could have added complexity. It’s only in the finish that the beer really shines, and reveal its aromatic hop character.

It’s a decent beer overall, but my controversial take is that many of Tsingtao’s variants – including the Light – are a lot more balanced and enjoyable to me than its flagship brew.

My Rating: 6.5/10

Score/Rating Scale :

  • 9-10 : Exceptional, highly memorable, 10/10 would buy if I could.
  • 7-8 : Excellent, well above most in its category, worth considering buy-zone.
  • 4-6 : Good, okay, alright; a few flaws, but acceptable; not bad, but not my personal preference; still worth trying, could be a buy if the price is right.
  • 1-3 : Not good; really did not enjoy; wouldn't even recommend trying.
  • 0 : Un-scored, might be damaged, new make, or very unusual.

Tsingtao Gold, 4.7% ABV – Review

 

The Tsingtao Gold is a more premium edition and a pilsner-style beer which the brand claims to be made richer though a “double fermentation process”. Similar to bottle conditioning, the double fermentation process, which is a hallmark of pilsners, involves a primary fermentation at a cooler temperature followed by transferring the beer to another vessel for it to continue with secondary fermentation. This extended fermentation period allows the yeast to work more slowly, resulting in a cleaner, crisper beer and richer flavour profile. Double fermentation should also contribute to a smoother mouthfeel due to a reduction in harsh carbonation and the effect of clarifying the haze in the beer.

Tasting Notes

Colour: Gold, duh.

Nose: Similar but a step up from the standard Tsingtao. You get richer roasted corn notes intermingled with light floral hints. A bit more depth with a subtle creaminess, along with a zesty touch of lime leaves.

Palate: Richness continues on the medium-bodied palate. It’s got a rounded and robust flavour profile with a pleasant sweetness from the malt and honey. Toasted grain notes, initially light, gradually intensify throughout the sip. Malt and grain flavours to take centre stage while hoppiness is barely noticeable. The experience is straightforward yet quite satisfying in its depth and richness.

Finish: Clean, leaving behind a very light roasted grain aftertaste.

 

 

My Thoughts:

Tsingtao Gold does deliver on its promise of a richer, more complex experience compared to the standard Tsingtao. It's a simple beer at its core, but it's much easier to drink and satisfyingly rich. Notably, its effervescence is a lot more moderate than that of the classic Tsingtao, which feels a bit too much for me. Those who appreciate a smooth, malt-forward lager without any bitterness will likely enjoy this.

My Rating: 7.5/10

Score/Rating Scale :

  • 9-10 : Exceptional, highly memorable, 10/10 would buy if I could.
  • 7-8 : Excellent, well above most in its category, worth considering buy-zone.
  • 4-6 : Good, okay, alright; a few flaws, but acceptable; not bad, but not my personal preference; still worth trying, could be a buy if the price is right.
  • 1-3 : Not good; really did not enjoy; wouldn't even recommend trying.
  • 0 : Un-scored, might be damaged, new make, or very unusual.

Tsingtao Wheat Beer (German Hefeweizen), 4.7% ABV – Review

 

This is yet another wheat beer, but unlike the Tsingtao White which is a Belgian-style witbier, this one’s a traditional German Hefeweizen, presents a different take on wheat beer that relies on a special yeast to bring out more complexity and frutiness.

Tasting Notes

Colour: Cloudy apricot.

Nose: A classic wheat beer profile. Apricots, bananas and light cloves dominate, creating a slightly herbaceous and fruity. There’s a subtle copper not, while a hint of baked banana bread introduces a sweet touch.

Palate: The distinctive wheat beer character continues onto the palate, with a velvety, slightly sedimentary texture. It’s quite a sweet and rich brew which overflowing with more fresh apricot notes, a light grain sweetness and once gain slight copperiness. A light zestiness and spiciness gently nips at the tongue.

Finish: Quite sweet, with a lingering note of orange marmalade intertwined with roasted corn.

 

 

My Thoughts:

This is another departure from the classic Tsingtao lager. Like its Belgian counterpart, the Tsingtao White, it's juicy and vibrant, but perhaps slightly crisper and more citrus-forward, with less pronounced breadiness.

True to the Hefeweizen style, it’s fruity and approachable, and offers a refreshing and flavourful experience that's perfect for warm weather or pairing with light meals. Yet another testament to Tsingtao's expertise, particularly it’s versatility and ability to successfully experiment with different beer styles.

My Rating: 8/10

Score/Rating Scale :

  • 9-10 : Exceptional, highly memorable, 10/10 would buy if I could.
  • 7-8 : Excellent, well above most in its category, worth considering buy-zone.
  • 4-6 : Good, okay, alright; a few flaws, but acceptable; not bad, but not my personal preference; still worth trying, could be a buy if the price is right.
  • 1-3 : Not good; really did not enjoy; wouldn't even recommend trying.
  • 0 : Un-scored, might be damaged, new make, or very unusual.

Tsingtao Stout, 4.8% ABV – Review

 

This one’s a familiar departure: almost every major commercial beer brand would have a stout variant.

Tasting Notes

Colour: Espresso black.

Nose: Heavy molasses syrup hits first, followed by a familiar herbal sweetness reminiscent of Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa. The aroma deepens into Marmite and roasted coffee beans, culminating in a thick espresso note. A hint of fruitiness balances the darker elements, while a subtle whiff of robusta coffee beans adds another layer of complexity.

Palate: The richness continues on the palate, where the beer delivers a full-bodied experience akin to a thick Singaporean-style robusta black coffee (kopi-o). However, a rather strong dryness and effervescence accompanies the coffee notes, creating a slightly unusual sensation—almost like a cross between Pepsi and coffee.

Finish: Coffee notes linger, followed by a touch of light cream and a lingering dryness that cleanses the palate.

 

 

My Thoughts:

This Tsingtao Stout is a fairly cohesive brew. It’s got a great roasted aroma, boasts a good thickness and a classic stout character without excessive sweetness. While we get those thick stout notes, the body is surprisingly clean and buoyant, avoiding any cloying heaviness.

This isn’t the most complex or nuanced stout on the market, but it certainly exceeds the average in terms of flavour and drinkability. The prominent coffee notes, reminiscent of a strong local brew, are particularly enjoyable. However, the rather strong dryness and effervescence could feel a little too overwhelming and might not appeal to everyone.

My Rating: 6/10

Score/Rating Scale :

  • 9-10 : Exceptional, highly memorable, 10/10 would buy if I could.
  • 7-8 : Excellent, well above most in its category, worth considering buy-zone.
  • 4-6 : Good, okay, alright; a few flaws, but acceptable; not bad, but not my personal preference; still worth trying, could be a buy if the price is right.
  • 1-3 : Not good; really did not enjoy; wouldn't even recommend trying.
  • 0 : Un-scored, might be damaged, new make, or very unusual.

Tsingtao IPA, 6.2% ABV – Review

 

Now this one’s intriguing and not something you see very often! It’s an IPA-style Tsingtao designed to offer more fruitiness and a full-bodied hoppy profile.

Tasting Notes

Colour: Dark amber.

Nose: Rich, thick, and decadent, with a noticeable sweetness. Dried apricot and caramel notes intertwine with the scent of semi-roasted malt and molasses. A zesty and refreshing grapefruit aroma cuts through the thick sweetness.

Palate: This is reminiscent of an American pale ale in its balanced hoppiness, yet also has a touch of roasted malt character of an amber ale. Richness carries through onto the palate, opening with sweet roasted malt, caramel, complemented by a signature Tsingtao dryness that emerges on the mid-palate. The flavour then transitions towards overripe grapefruit, culminating in a distinct grapefruit pith hoppiness that intensifies without overwhelming.

Finish: Remains rich and lingering, with a fairly intense drying sensation alongside a subtle pitty sweetness persists. This is before fading into final notes of roasted malt, roasted barley and rice aromas.

 

 

My Thoughts:

This Tsingtao IPA is seriously superb, striking a remarkable balance between sweet apricot notes, zesty pithiness, roasted malt, and a pleasant dryness. It drinks more like a well-crafted amber ale than a traditional IPA, and this flavourful brew is sure to be a hit with the crowd.

It's rich, satisfying, and complex, and one of the most enjoyable beers in Tsingtao's lineup. Whether you're a seasoned hophead or a casual beer drinker, the Tsingtao IPA is likely to impress. Once again, like the wheat beers, this IPA demonstrates the versatility of Tsingtao and its ability to go beyond boring old lagers.

My Rating: 8.5/10

Score/Rating Scale :

  • 9-10 : Exceptional, highly memorable, 10/10 would buy if I could.
  • 7-8 : Excellent, well above most in its category, worth considering buy-zone.
  • 4-6 : Good, okay, alright; a few flaws, but acceptable; not bad, but not my personal preference; still worth trying, could be a buy if the price is right.
  • 1-3 : Not good; really did not enjoy; wouldn't even recommend trying.
  • 0 : Un-scored, might be damaged, new make, or very unusual.

Tsingtao Zero Alcohol – Review

 

We end off our Tsingtao exploration with two non-alcoholics – the Zero Alcohol as well as the Lemon Pilsner. Let’s begin with the Zero which promises a pilsner flavour without the alcohol and with lower calories.

Tasting Notes

Colour: Light gold.

Nose: The initial aroma is very promising. It’s got floral notes and a light yeastiness reminiscent of a standard Tsingtao, and a very gentle hoppiness that further reinforces the impression of a traditional lager.

Palate: The texture and effervescence are spot-on, mirroring the experience of drinking a regular beer. However, the flavour profile takes a rather peculiar turn. Initially, we have a bright yeastiness alongside a fresh, light hoppiness and lively citrus notes. What's noticeably absent is the expected maltiness, replaced instead by a strange coppery note that dominates. The bitterness, while present, feels somewhat imbalanced and harsh.

Finish: Long, with a lingering soapy bitterness and yeastiness. The bitterness, in particular, is a bit too sharp, with a basic note that overstays its welcome, a little reminiscent of getting soap in my mouth. Some floral notes attempt to break through, but they're still overshadowed by the lingering bitterness.

 

 

My Thoughts:

Even as a non-alcoholic alternative to beer, I think the Tsingtao Zero Alcohol falls short. It lacks the crucial malt backbone that defines the beer-drinking experience, and the off-putting soapy bitterness and metallic notes further detract from its appeal.

While the texture and effervescence mimic beer convincingly – an aspect which I realised Tsingtao puts a lot of focus on, the flavour profile simply doesn't deliver. This isn't a non-alcoholic option I'd reach for again. You’re better off being sober.

My Rating: 3/10

Score/Rating Scale :

  • 9-10 : Exceptional, highly memorable, 10/10 would buy if I could.
  • 7-8 : Excellent, well above most in its category, worth considering buy-zone.
  • 4-6 : Good, okay, alright; a few flaws, but acceptable; not bad, but not my personal preference; still worth trying, could be a buy if the price is right.
  • 1-3 : Not good; really did not enjoy; wouldn't even recommend trying.
  • 0 : Un-scored, might be damaged, new make, or very unusual.

Tsingtao Lemon Pilsner – 0.0 Alcohol – Review

 

We finally have something that seems to resemble a shandy. This is said to be brewed and fermented like a beer before alcohol is gently removed. It is then blended with lemonade to achieve fruity flavour with slight malty tones.

Tasting Notes

Nose: The aroma is unmistakably reminiscent of a shandy, sweet and candied like a lemon sweet. It has the freshness of an isotonic drink, with a bright, citrusy scent that immediately awakens the senses.

Palate: The first sip confirms the initial impression – it’s not so much a non-alcoholic beer but essentially a cross between lemon tea and shandy. The body is light and easy to drink, with a gentle sweetness and a subtle citrus tang. The lemon aroma intensifies slightly towards the finish, adding a pleasant zesty note.

Finish: The finish is dominated by the refreshing taste of iced lemon tea, with just a whisper of barley malt lingering in the background. It's a clean and thirst-quenching conclusion.

 

 

My Thoughts:

As a flavoured beverage, the Tsingtao Lemon Pilsner is undeniably enjoyable. It's not overly sweet, striking a pleasant balance between the citrus and malt flavours. However, it's important to note that this does not taste like a beer in the traditional sense. There's no hoppiness or yeastiness to speak of, making it more akin to a thicker lemon tea-like drink than anything.

If you're looking for a refreshing, drink with a hint of citrus, this might be a good option. But if you're expecting a substitute for a pilsner experience, you'll be disappointed. Still, it's a very pleasant and easy-drinking beverage.

My Rating: 7/10 (as a beverage, not a beer)

Score/Rating Scale :

  • 9-10 : Exceptional, highly memorable, 10/10 would buy if I could.
  • 7-8 : Excellent, well above most in its category, worth considering buy-zone.
  • 4-6 : Good, okay, alright; a few flaws, but acceptable; not bad, but not my personal preference; still worth trying, could be a buy if the price is right.
  • 1-3 : Not good; really did not enjoy; wouldn't even recommend trying.
  • 0 : Un-scored, might be damaged, new make, or very unusual.

Final Thoughts

First off, I bet many of you didn’t know that Tsingtao had such a surprisingly versatile and creative lineup. Whether you prefer a light, crisp lager, a rich, complex IPA, or even a German hefeweizen, there seems to be something in Tsingtao’s lineup well-worth exploring for its quality.

 

 

After sampling the entire range of Tsingtao beers, my standout favourite is the Tsingtao IPA, which impressively rivals semi-commercial American craft beers like Sierra Nevada's pale ale in both quality and depth. Both wheat beers are also noteworthy and comparable in quality to classic European wheat beer brands, though they occasionally exhibit a mild metallic note.

 

 

But when we’re seeking that quintessential Tsingtao lager experience, my controversial opinion is to opt for either the Tsingtao Gold or Tsingtao 2000, and not the classic Tsingtao. These variants in my opinion offer a more balanced and enjoyable experience compared to the flagship Tsingtao beer which I find a bit too carbonated.

@CharsiuCharlie