Qingdao Beer Festival – Asian Oktoberfest

Qingdao International Beer Festival - Asian Oktoberfest

The 2016 Qingdao International Beer Festival – Asian Oktoberfest will be held during August at two main locations: (1) Golden Sands Beach (金沙滩) — WanRen Square (万人广场), located in Huangdao District, and (2) Century Plaza (崂山区世纪广场-青岛), located behind the International Convention Center in Laoshan District. A third satellite location will be constructed in ChengShiYangTai (城市阳台).

What is the Qingdao Beer Festival?

A festival in honor of the nectar of the gods, beer — how great is that? Every summer, usually starting the second weekend of August, Qingdao (青岛)  hosts the largest beer festival in Asia with international breweries from all over the globe flocking to the sandy shores of China’s Sailing City in Shandong Province. If you are a serious drinker or a casual weekend enthusiast, you’ll see the best of China’s beer drinking culture at this event.

Picture huge tables filled with beer-swilling, elated Chinese and beautiful women performing on stage as the sound of Gan Bei 干杯 !  (bottoms up) rings out across the numerous beer tents. With music of all kinds featured at the numerous stage venues and beers from around the globe: Beck’s from Germany, Kirin & Asahi from Japan, Carlsberg from Denmark, Corona from Mexico, Heineken from Holland, Tiger from Singapore, Budweiser from the states, and of course China’s Tsingtao Beer, just to name a few.

As a foreigner, you’ll be swamped with offers of free beers to “GanBei 干杯.”  I’ve gone to the beer festival in the past and not had to buy a single beer.  The Chinese are generous and kind, they are happy to show foreigners a good time.  I’ve seen only a couple of fights all the times I’ve been there, and that’s pretty amazing considering the amount of drinking that’s going on.  How good is the Qingdao Beer Festival?  Take it from a professional drinker, you’ll have a good time! ~ 2006

The annual event, which started back in 1991 as the 100th birthday celebration of Qingdao City, lasts for two weeks and begins with a grand opening concert and ceremony, followed by beer tasting, evening entertainment, drinking competitions, carnival events, and concluded with a themed final ceremony. This event has matured over the years into Asia’s largest annual beer festival (Asian Oktoberfest) with themed mascots that follow the animals of the Chinese Zodiac. The 2015 mascot, “Little Beer Elf”, was inspired by spiritual stories about happy elves who once lived on Qingdao’s sacred Laoshan Mountains.  Besides beer there’s tons of food, both Chinese and Western, to gorge on when you get the munchies. If you’re at the east coast venue don’t forget, beautiful Shilaoren beach is just a 30 minute walk away! Mount Lao Scenic Recreation Area, only 30-40 minutes by bus or taxi from the Beer Fest, offers a refreshing reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the beer fest.

Beer Festival Schedule

  • Grand Opening Concert & Light Show:  August , 2016 @ Golden Sands Beach (west venue).
  • East Venue Opening Ceremony:  August , 2016.
  • Qingdao GanBei with the World! (青岛和世界干杯):  August , 2016.
  • Closing Ceremony:  August , 2016.

Beer Festival Admission & Lodging

  • 10 RMB (09:00 – 15:00) — ticket sales begin at 8:30.
  • 20 RMB (15:00 – 22:30) — tickets sold until 22:00.
    For more information call:  +86 (532) 8889-8935.
  • Popular hotels close to Golden Sands Beach WanRen Square (万人广场)
    * Hilton Qingdao Golden Beach: 1 JiaLingJiang East Road 青岛金沙滩希尔顿酒店, 中国山东省青岛市黄岛开发区, 嘉陵江东路1号.
  • Popular hotels close to Tsingtao Beer Passion Square (Qingdao Century Plaza)
    * Hyatt Regency: 88 DongHai East Rd. 青岛鲁商凯悦酒店,东海东路88号.
    * Kilin Crown Hotel: 197 XiangGang East Rd. 麒麟皇冠大酒店,香港东路197号.
    * Sophia Int. Hotel: 217 XiangGang East Rd. 索菲亚国际酒店, 香港东路217号.
    * SPR Hotel: 316 XianGang East Rd. 弄海园酒店,香港东路316号.
    * Blue Horizon Hotel: 18 QinLing Rd. 蓝海大饭店,秦岭路18号.
    * Home Inn: 33 XianXiaLing Rd. 如家快捷酒店(青岛香港中路店),仙霞岭路33号.

Other Places of Interest

  • Old Town – Full of German architecture and historical attractions.
  • Qingdao Beer Street – Located in Taidong and centered around the Beer Museum & Tsingtao Beer Bar.
  • Tsingtao Brewery Museum – China’s first beer museum and home of Tsingtao Beer.
  • May Fourth Square – Monument to China’s May 4th Movement near the Olympic Sailing Center & International Marina.
  • Zhanshan Temple – Close to the downtown Central Business District and the only temple and active Buddhist monastery located within Qingdao city limits.
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