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Tsingtao - Tsingtao Brewery Co., Ltd.

TsingtaoTsingtao

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
65
poor

1,093 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1093
Reviews: 523
rAvg: 2.77
pDev: 23.47%


Brewed by:
Tsingtao Brewery Co., Ltd. visit their website
China

Style | ABV
American Adjunct Lager |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-20-2001)
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Ratings: 1,093 | Reviews: 523 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of catalinacapri
catalinacapri

China

4/5  rDev +44.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first post here on beer advocate, so I apologize if I screw it up.

I will start by saying that overall, I'm not really a big fan of the "Skunky" smell and flavor that you typically get from beers in green bottles. That said, I'm living in China, so if I wan't a bottled beer, green it usually is!

Anyway, my friend recently posted a story about of her tour of the Tsingtao brewery over on her website (www.tongatime.com), and reading it reminded me of the flat out excellent flavor of this stuff when served on tap when I was in Qingdao. I don't entirely undertand all the details of this, but when you drink it on tap in Qingdao, it seems to come two different ways. The more common is the typical pilsner-lager stuff like you buy in stores, but better than the bottles in my opinion due to the distinctly missing skunk smell. If you buy the stuff in cans, it basically tastes the same to me. Not bad, but really not much going on here. Sort of like a Budweiser, if you ask me. The other way I had it on tap in a few places in Quingdao however, was some sort of unfiltered version, and oh boy, that was a pleasant surprise!!

While I anticipated (gladly) the aforementioned "lack of skunk" what I wasn't expecting was the really really nice floral hoppiness it had. It caught me off guard in such a nice way. Crisp and cold and filled my sinuses with all sorts of nice aroma. Closest thing I could compare it's taste to would probably be a Sam Adams Boston Lager. Appearance-wise, it is an attractive pale golden-yellow, mildly cloudy beer. If feels nice and smooth going down, and I found it quite easy to drink a large quantity rather quickly!

After leaving Qingdao (I live in a different Chinese city), I thought "Hot Damn, I'm gonna find this stuff in a can and be a happy Laowai!!" Sadly, this quest has thus far been unfruitful. I've found numerous different Tsingtao varieties in cans and bottles on the shelves in local stores here, but none of them that I've sampled so far have the awesome hoppiness of that cold draft stuff available near the brewery.

Amongst the ones I've tried have been the standard green label stuff, one in a white/silver can labeled "Pure Draft", a gold colored can (can't remember the name on it at the moment), and also a green bottle one labeled "Augenter" (can't find that one in a can anywhere). So far, no heavenly hoppiness!!!

If anyone knows where to get this unfiltered nectar in a can, please let me know!!! Until then, I'll have to wait until I make it over to Qingdao again and get some on tap!

Serving type: on-tap

04-05-2014 11:16:02 | More by catalinacapri
Photo of beergoot
beergoot

Colorado

3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pale yellow body with a thick, fluffy white head. Funky, strong wet grass aroma. Thin grain flavor, corn-like notes and finishing with a fair hop bitterness; a bit acrid and metallic. Light, fizzy mouthfeel; crsip and dry finish.

A “classic” blah American adjunct style lager – bland, boring, and plain ol' funky/weird. But, hey, it's wet and sure does look outstanding!

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2014 23:13:18 | More by beergoot
Photo of reddragon13
reddragon13

Washington

4.39/5  rDev +58.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

delicious, easy-to-drink lager that is not arrogant, pretentious, or hangover-on-the-first-sip inducing. This is China's top beer, and realistically, the only good beer coming out of China today. Multiple flavors = red label, green label, more. Tastes better on draft in mainland - the bottles travel ok to America.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2014 23:58:02 | More by reddragon13
Photo of curasowa
curasowa

New York

2.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Clear, pale yellow color with a thin cap of head that fades quickly with some lacing.

Aroma: Grainy, mild malt sweetness, just a touch metallic

Taste: Thin, fairly crisp, grainy, some mild bitterness, finishes fairly fast and clean with some metallic notes.

The Rest: Meh, what can you say, it's an adjunct lager. Gets you buy in a pinch.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2014 12:50:36 | More by curasowa
Photo of CalgaryFMC
CalgaryFMC

Alberta (Canada)

2.59/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Poured from the green bottle into a pint glass. A super pale straw yellow brew, maybe just a hair darker than some American examples of the adjunct lager, with the expected foaming white bubbles filling the glass. Beer remains fizzy and effervescent throughout. Smells grainy and slightly tangy, rank waterlogged barley and no trace of corn sweetness ... Rice is king here, astringent, crisp, and clean other than the aforementioned wet grain notes. Palate benefits from a cold temperature, drink up quick. Some tangy lemon rind and grape flavors, vaporous and fleeting, followed by old grain mill or malt liquor, a little like Singha but no where near as flavorful. Some medicinal aspirin and a sour metallic tang throughout. Plastic flavors emerge as the beer warms. Somewhat skunky, another feature that unfortunately gains salience over time. Stripped down. Far less sweet than most American adjunct beers. Finishes dry and with an unexpected American hop currant twang (but this feature is decidedly subtle). Meets expectations. This beer may very well complement Chinese food but that ain't going to bump up my ratings.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2014 22:49:15 | More by CalgaryFMC
Photo of papat444
papat444

Quebec (Canada)

2.7/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Poured from a 12ox bottle, produced (that doesn't scream corporate) 06102013.

Appearance is a light gold, decent head that recedes to a fat ring with little to no lacing. Wet cardboard is the aroma, skunkiness is dialed down. Flavor is mineral and salt a bit, fairly bland but a tinge of flavor is found. Not offensive but not really what i'm shooting for in a beer. Still, for the price, you could do a lot worse.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2014 03:05:11 | More by papat444
Photo of BucannonXC5
BucannonXC5

California

2.96/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: 0.5L mug
From: Beer Advocate’s heresy22
Price: N/A
Purchased: Received it on Jan. 1, 2014
Consumed: Jan. 3, 2014
Misc.: N/A

Thanks to Chris for the beer.

Poured a golden pale clear color with about one finger of light white head. Lots of bubbles coming up. Minimal lacing on the sides. Minimal retention.

Smelled lots of wheat and barley up front, reminding me slightly of a pilsner. Also got honey, cereal, hay and caramel. Not too bad for an AAJ.

Taste didn’t quite live up to the smell. Got watery honey malts, cereal, corn, grassy notes, hay and some caramel. Very bland.

Light body. Thin texture. Soft carbonation. Watery, abrupt finish.

This beer had its moments for sure. I’d say above average for an American Adjunct Lager.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2014 07:12:54 | More by BucannonXC5
Photo of cheesepuffs
cheesepuffs

Connecticut

2.06/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Tastes like a watered-down Heineken. Has a strong skunky smell and offers a thin yet off-putting body that basically amounts to a Chinese Heineken Light. I had but one bottled poured into a glass and I'm glad I did for the sake of trying it, but I will never pay for one again. Can't recommend this one.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2013 01:54:34 | More by cheesepuffs
Photo of BucBasil
BucBasil

South Carolina

3.18/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Drank from the 600mL green glass bottle in Shanghai China.

Slightly skunky on first glance, but then pleasant in a classic beery sort of way. Grainy and grassy.

Taste has a slight bitter tang to it but is mostly grain and crackers. Pretty typical in many respects.

Overall you could do a lot worse. Here in China you can get one of these big bottles for less than a dollar (5 Rmb), unless you are at one of Shanghai's fine nighttime drinking establishments in which the price can, of course, range anywhere from 2 to 10 dollars. (12-50 Rmb). For something typical, pretty smooth, and drinkable you could do much worse than this one. Probably one of the better mass produced Chinese lagers. I'll keep coming back to this one again and again.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2013 12:37:12 | More by BucBasil
Photo of Jsteez
Jsteez

China

2.93/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Been living in old Manchuria for work (Northeast China) for the past month. I have drank this brew in the States and it is widely available here in China. It is not only brewed with an ABV of 4.5-4.8%, there is also a 3.7% Tsingtao, and a 4.3% draft style here in China. You can also get an unfiltered style that is available in the city of Qingdao (birthplace of Tsingtao) and a stout style Tsingtao in a can.

I've had this beer from tall cans, short cans, short bottles, and tall bottles. Poured this into a short stubby Chinese beer glass.

A-Pale, yellow piss/straw color. It poured a soda-pop-Sprite-like head that dissipated quickly into a few bubbles around the edges. No sticky lace left on the glass whatsoever. A lot of carbonation present.

S-Sweet rice, grains, and slight skunk. Pretty much an adjunct. Nothing too thrilling; but hey, it's China. They aren't known for being master brew makers in my opinion. I would've liked to smell more malt or hops, but I just couldn't sense them.

T-Slightly sweet, grainy, a little metallic, it is wet going in and the aftertaste is quite mild. There is a little sweet malt leftover in the aftertaste, which adds some positive quality to this substandard beer. It is refreshing on a warm autumn evening while eating spicy pork noodles.

M-Very light, crisp, and watery. Light bodied. It is a good lager in China.

Overall, it is what's available in China and it is one of their best beers. It is thirst quenching and is excellent for the last days of summer and the transition into fall. Are there better lagers out there...yes. Does this one hit the spot...hmmm...sure.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2013 03:02:19 | More by Jsteez
Photo of Clanceykid
Clanceykid

Pennsylvania

3.26/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I was morbidly curious as to what a Chinese beer would actually taste like. Was surprised in a decent way. Not exactly a stellar beer but fit the Chinese food we were eating well. Was a more refreshing light kind of beer than anything else. I would recommend if you're not looking for anything fancy and want to try something new.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2013 02:49:16 | More by Clanceykid
Photo of mikethebeerguy
mikethebeerguy

Maryland

3.36/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Despite the atrocious smell of this through it's actually quite delightful. It is one of the smoothest beers I have ever had and leaves a good aftertaste. It has great flavor and is always enjoyable. Hands down my favorite chinese beer, and also one of my select choice beers personally as well. I would always recommend tsingtao.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2013 02:58:01 | More by mikethebeerguy
Photo of joeseppy
joeseppy

Illinois

3.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've had this on and off, mainly at Chinese and Japanese restaurants for over 25 years. I remember when this brew packed a punch and was damn tasty pre-adjunct privatization in 1993. Let's face it, when you go to an Asian restaurant, the choices for beer snobs is extremely limited and I would always get Sake. Last nite I decide to get a Tsingtao.

Pours a clear straw yellow with two inch large bubble head that calms down in timely fashion.

Aromas was very pilsenery with light sweet aromas, keeping in mind all the other wonderful food smells in this restaurant. No skunk here and I've never had a skunky Tsingtao.

Definite rice adjunct sweetness giving this the feel of a malt liquor.

Mouthfeel was medium with lower carbonation. Find it also to be filling.

On its own I could not session this-at all! This is, for me, is a beer food. The sweetness and lower carbonation pair well with wasabi, soy, ginger, sushi, sweet and sours, etc.. I would definitely get again at Asian restaurants.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2013 14:26:28 | More by joeseppy
Photo of rashley
rashley

Texas

2.23/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This was served in a bottle and I decanted to a glass.

In the glass this beer was very light straw colored. No haze, very clear. Small head with a small amount of lacing. Head disappeared very quickly. Noted carbonation rising in the glass.

The smell is the first thing that hit me. This beer smelled very skunky. Maybe it was just the restaurant and their lack of knowledge of keeping beer out of the light, when bottled in clear or green glass. I wasn't able to pick up any other undertones due to the skunk smell.

Taste followed suite with the smell. It was hard to put aside the skunky taste and search for deeper flavors.

Felt a little watery, but overall mouthfeel was not that bad.

Overall I give this beer a low score, however I will try it again from another establishment and see if it was just that particular bottle that did indeed get skunked.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2013 02:21:02 | More by rashley
Photo of Ryan_Graham
Ryan_Graham

Iowa

3.23/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 1.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Apple juice color. Almost no head. Fades quickly. Decent lacing. Slow rising carbonation. Not really a discernible smell. Taste is better than the appearance and smell would suggest. Starts very carbonated. Finishes very smooth with a great malty taste. Leaves a pleasurable aftertaste. Overall, not bad. It was my first ever Chinese beer and I enjoyed it.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2013 23:28:31 | More by Ryan_Graham
Photo of Darkmagus82
Darkmagus82

Virginia

2.78/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance- The beer pours a straw yellow color with a one finger pure white head. The head has a decent level of retention fading over time to leave a light level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The smell is of a grassy and lightly sweetened aroma. Along with this is a lighter skunky smell likely due to the non-light defensive green bottle.

Taste – The taste begins rather sweet and smooth with a caramel, rice, and a bit of sugariness. As the taste advances, a light hint of a grassy hop flavor works its way onto the tongue as well as a little bit of a candied sweet taste. The combination of flavors combined in the end to leave a rather lingering sweet rice flavor on the tongue.

Mouthfeel –The body of the beer is on the lighter side in thickness and creaminess with a carbonation level that is rather average. Not bad more the rice and sweet flavors of the brew as it makes for a rather easy drinking brew.

Overall – Ah… easy drinking and moderately refreshing, but nothing really good in this one.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2013 01:23:06 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of Sunnanek
Sunnanek

Sweden

2.58/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3

A: Color is very pale, more like dishwater than a beer. A tall white head sinks instantly leaving no lacings.

S: The first thing that comes to mind is a cannister of sweet corn. Then there is some unclean malty notes as well as citric, floraly hoppy notes. But actually it smells like dirt!?

T: Very mild taste, but there is adjunct malt - rice rather than corn. Some mild bitterhops.

M: Aftertaste lingers for quite some time, nice and bitter. Body is light and carbonation is strong.

O: A pretty poor beer in all aspects, besides the aftertaste - better than most Euro Pale Lagers.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2013 19:04:35 | More by Sunnanek
Photo of soju6
soju6

Missouri

2.23/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a very pale straw color with a small head that fades quickly to no lacing.

S: Aroma is a bit musty with a bit of citrus, malt sweetness and grainy.

A: Taste is quite blandwith some malt sweetness and bit of citrus. No real bitterness with a fairly clean finish.

F: Light body, but no real flavor.

O: Beer is quite bland but non-offensive. Goes best with spicy foods.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2013 21:33:02 | More by soju6
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin

Colorado

2.39/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

one of my least favorite of the Asian beers, it has a good mouthfeel, is well carbonated and drinkably light, but that's about it. it has a really strong adjunct metallic flavor, and the finish is mineral heavy and always a tad skunky no matter where it comes from. im not sure if there is rice or corn in this, but it tastes starchy, sweet for the wrong reasons, and it is unsettling in the stomach after a few of them. it always seems to be available at the Asian eateries, but I much prefer Sapporo or asahi or even tiger or kirin to this. it is bright enough to cleanse the palate, but it almost has a chemical preservative sort of finish to it that just really turns me off. maybe at the source this beer would be something to try again, but for now its one I stay away form when there are other options in front of me.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2013 19:31:18 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of dogfishandi
dogfishandi

New York

2.01/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

12 oz green bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a very clear light straw yellow color. Fairly retentive white head, somewhat soapy looking. Fast rising carb bubbles. No lace.

Aroma is maybe a touch skunky at first. Minerals are prevalent and it almost smells like glass if that makes sense.

Watered down weak flavors. Mineral water, light semi sweet hay like grain.

Very watery and light, almost like drinking carbonated water with a slit grain sweetness and mineral lager yeastiness.

Wouldn't this be a Chinese adjunct lager? Whatever. Nothing different here.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2013 18:09:02 | More by dogfishandi
Photo of VaRy
VaRy

California

2.93/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Poured from a can into a pint mug. Clear pale straw color, ample and quickly dissipating white head, no lacing. Nose is quite sour. Tastes of lime, with a faint hint of bitterness in the background, but neither malt nor hop notes are recognizeable. Actually, quite reminiscent of Radler, a mixture of light lager and Sprite and a popular summer refreshment in Germany. Thin, highly carbonated.

Serving type: can

03-27-2013 14:18:18 | More by VaRy
Photo of abijen
abijen

Netherlands

2.3/5  rDev -17%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A poor pilsener in my opinion. Very thin and watery. A soft carbonation and very abrupt finish.
The color is pale, golden wit a minimal white head. I tasted a little bit sweetness.

What I did like was the aroma of this beer. It smells like hay and there were some herbs and grass smells.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2013 10:09:11 | More by abijen
Photo of smokinyodas
smokinyodas

Florida

3.7/5  rDev +33.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Can be found at almost any good Asian restaurant. Out pours a nice pale golden color with a small white head, lively carbonation but it fades away fast. Faint aroma of malt, sweet corn, light grains and no bitterness. The combination of a thin body, low carbonation and sweet taste works well with oriental foods. Overall it's not bad, maybe a little watery, but works great as a thirst-quencher.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2013 16:05:52 | More by smokinyodas
Photo of dougbassett
dougbassett

Pennsylvania

3.15/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

One of the "1001 Beers You Should Try Before You Die" -- #15 of the ones I've reviewed here.

If I have a "guilty pleasure" in beer it's probably Tsing Tao. I can't justify my fondness for it -- it's in no way a good beer -- but I like it every now and then, and in certain venues I think it's a go-to.

Pours out a light golden yellow, with a dissapointing head that gives up the ghost the moment you remember to notice it. (Like a lot of cheaper beers, pouring it out does it no favors.) The nose is that classic mass Eurolager nose that anyone who's drunk a Becks or St Pauli Girl in their life will immediately recognize -- this time it reminds me a bit of Moosehead (another guilty pleasure of mine, actually) in that at times it's a pleasant nose of sweet malt, at times it's pretty skunky.

Very watery body, almost no hop flavors -- just a general sweetness and a kind of soothing bath of malt. Almost no finish.

Good in the summer, and the best accompaniment I know of to Chinese food, particularly very spicy Chinese food.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2013 02:18:56 | More by dougbassett
Photo of Fusion7777
Fusion7777

Virginia

2.3/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Reminiscent of a Chinese Heineken, except with an odd medicinal aftertaste that became increasingly difficult to drink as it warmed. Decent to drink with Chinese food, but not worth the price of admission at import premiums. I also laughed when I encountered the U.S. packaging touting Tsingtao as "the number 1 selling Chinese beer in the USA"

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2013 06:12:52 | More by Fusion7777
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Tsingtao from Tsingtao Brewery Co., Ltd.
65 out of 100 based on 1,093 ratings.