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Bottoms up! Qingdao Intl Beer Festival welcomes world revelers

By Xie Chuanjiao | (chinadaily.com.cn ) | 2019-07-30

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The 29th Qingdao International Beer Festival is being held through Aug 18 in East China's Shandong province. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

If you are planning to go on vacation to China in summer, one of the must-go destinations is the East China city of Qingdao, where an annual beer festival offers visitors from around the world three weeks of fun.

Initiated in 1991 and hailed as Asia's Oktoberfest, the 29th Qingdao International Beer Festival is the largest of its kind in Asia and one of China's biggest tourism events.

With a wealth of beer brands from across the globe, the festival is an event with diverse cultures, art performances and sports games.

The ongoing festival opened in grand style on Friday in the city's West Coast New Area, which is home to the world's largest beer square- Golden Beach Beer City. At the seafront location, the festival's venue covers more than 800,000 square meters.

This year's festival has been included as part of the city's International Fashion Season, a citywide campaign initiated by local government that aims to improve the city's fame as a fashion metropolis.

As a ceremonial routine, the city's mayor, Meng Fanli, tapped the festival's first barrel of beer, witnessed by foreign diplomats and delegations from home and abroad, as well as tourists, marking the start of the 24-day carnival.

The opening ceremony witnessed the establishment of an international beer festival alliance, formed by organizers of the Qingdao International Beer Festival, the Oktoberfest in Munich, the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, and the Festival of Beer in Toronto.

The alliance aims to create an exchange and cooperation platform to promote tourism among members, boost the sustainability of the festivals and support development in the brewing industry.

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The 29th Qingdao International Beer Festival is being held through Aug 18 in East China's Shandong province. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

More than 1,400 types of beer are available in nine halls, including Heineken from the Netherlands, Russell Brewing Co from Canada, Er Boqueron from Spain, Carlsberg from Denmark and Jeju from South Korea.

Not to be left out, China's own Tsingtao, which is brewed in Qingdao, is also available.

Visitors will be able to sample a huge variety of beers from across the world, from pilsners and pale ales to lagers, stouts and porters, including offerings from Qingdao's own Langyatai Group.

Phoenix Bar Street is a gathering place for craft beer fans, where more than 30 bars offer a wide range of specialty beers.

There are tea houses, book stores, cigar bars and platforms set up to demonstrate different cultural and creative products.

The float parade used to be a big part in the festival's history but has been absent in recent years. This year the organizers renewed the parade, which was the largest in scale in the beer festival's history. Nineteen custom-designed and decorated vehicles may evoke a strong feeling of nostalgia among locals and visitors.

In addition, more than 400 cultural performances and activities will take place, including sports games, concerts and e-sports.

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The 29th Qingdao International Beer Festival is being held through Aug 18 in East China's Shandong province. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

If you go:

The 29th Qingdao International Beer Festival

Date: Through Aug 18

Venue: Golden Beach Beer Square, West Coast New Area, Qingdao

Address: No 1 Huangdao Road, Huangdao District, Qingdao, Shandong, China (West Coast New Area is also called Huangdao District)

Qingdao is roughly 560 kilometers from Beijing, with an average travel time of one hour and 10 minutes by air, or three to five hours by train. The city is 693 km from Shanghai, and takes about one hour and 25 minutes by air.

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The 29th Qingdao International Beer Festival is being held through Aug 18 in East China's Shandong province. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn] 

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The 29th Qingdao International Beer Festival is being held through Aug 18 in East China's Shandong province. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn] 

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The 29th Qingdao International Beer Festival is being held through Aug 18 in East China's Shandong province. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn] 

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The 29th Qingdao International Beer Festival is being held through Aug 18 in East China's Shandong province. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]