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Tsingtao - Tsingtao Brewery Co., Ltd.


Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,096 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1096
Reviews: 523
rAvg: 2.77
pDev: 23.47%

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

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)
View: Beers (13) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,096 | Reviews: 523 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of VaRy


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 RollTide05


3.38/5  rDev +22%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I decided to review this beer because I live in China and it is the most famous Chinese beer. I actually like it for and adjunct lager. It is very drinkable and has a tiny bit of hops to it. The beer also has a little richness as well, which I like.

I really enjoy this beer for an everyday drinker but tend to find it a bit under carbonated. It leaves virtually no head... not surprising for this category of beer but it tends to taste a bit flat to me. I also must mention that I have always noticed a soapy taste to Tsingtao. I know what you are thinking, wash your glasses better! I know what I am doing though. I have a great glass collection and only use hot water and baking soda to clean them. Still, I always notice a mysterious soapy taste which is strange. It does have a certain sweetness as well which makes this beer stand out in this category to me.

Overall a good adjunct and I much prefer it to Budweiser and the like. I don't need to be eating Chinese food to enjoy it.

Serving type: can

09-25-2011 16:21:18 | More by RollTide05
Photo of Mdog


3.35/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pale yellow, ok head.

Smell: A little corn, sweet.

Taste: Mild corny sweetness, slick but somewhat substantial body for a macro lager.

Drinkability: Goes well with the Chinese cuisine here in Shanghai.

Beer #3 for reviewing here in China. Tsingtao is everywhere seemingly in China, it's not too bad, not too good, just something to go with the good food you're having.

Serving type: can

06-14-2011 10:34:16 | More by Mdog
Photo of WoodBrew


2.33/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Sitting in the FC lounge in Hong Kong on my way to Singapore and I am trying the Tsingtao beer from a can. The appearance is fine....clear golden color with good carbonation that provides a minimal white head. The smell is dominated by grain. The taste is over powered with grain and comes off the pallete a bit bitter toward the end. The mouthfeel is like rubbing dry wheat on your tongue then washing the dust down with water.

Serving type: can

06-13-2011 10:33:27 | More by WoodBrew
Photo of ticklechicken

Korea (South)

3.13/5  rDev +13%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tsingtao is "the Chinese beer" that I never had a particular reason to try, so I decided to give is a shot. My tsingtao poured from the can with next to no head over a clear golden body . It really looks like a cup of chilled piss. The aroma put off was slightly skanky with a bit of citrus. The taste test revealed initial grainy maltiness that soon gave way a crisper bitterness that has some citrus quality to it. There's some prickliness and a thin watery mouthfeel to it. On overall drinkability, it goes down like a charm but probably because there's not much reason to reflect on this one. The only poor point is probably the smell, while the rest render it merely a decent means by which to get drunk.

Serving type: can

03-14-2011 15:40:26 | More by ticklechicken
Photo of woodychandler


3.23/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A huge note of thanks to EinWeizenbitte who seems to have embraced the madness of The CANQuest with the best of them! This CAN really evoked some memories for me as it was the first pop-top CAN I have seen in a long, long time. An actual tab that pulled away from the CAN, like pulling the pin on a grenade, if you CAN dig it.

This will be one of my submissions for New Beer Sunday (Week 286).

From the CAN (what I could read anyway - much of it was Chinese characters): "Since 1903. China's well-known trademarks. Tsingtao, the beer brand was established in 1903. Our master brewers choose only the high quality hops and barley malted to produce this award winning beer." I also liked that there were raised/embossed characters on the top of the CAN, probably reminding me either not to litter or to recycle or both. No worries! This is going into school with me. Our Foreign Language department and I refer to such things as "applied language skills". The students get a charge out of seeing different languages on the various CANs and attempt to translate the verbiage for me.

The "Glug" was not as pronounced coming out of the pop-top as from the now-standard crack-open CANs, at least not until the end when it suddenly rushed out. It was The Case of the Mysterious Disappearing Head as one second it was there and in the next, it was gone. Vaporized! Color was a pale sunshine-yellow with NE-quality clarity. Nose was pretty much standard for the style - a light lager sweetness underlain by a cereal smell. Oh well. Mouthfeel was medium with a light sweetness born of malt and adjuncts on the tongue. I am getting to the point that I do not mind the better ones as much as I used to. This was really not too bad, I know, damning with faint praise, but at least it was not gag-inducing like some I have tried. Finish was crisp and dry, fairly refreshing and I think that we/I need to remember why beers of the style are referred to as "lawnmower beers". They are not intended to be wildly hoppy or big in ABV, so as long as I CAN drink it down, it will get a satisfactory review.

Serving type: can

08-08-2010 16:08:22 | More by woodychandler
Photo of malmquna


2.33/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours fizzy, then the bubbly head completely disappears. Completely. Color is crystal clear yellow.

Smells like rice. Not altogether disagreable. Tastes light and rice-y as well, very little bitterness...from hops or otherwise. Maybe a hint of formaldehyde in the finish. That surely distracts from the overall mouthfeel.

This is not all that bad of a beer, but should be relegated to washing down Chinese food.

Serving type: can

08-26-2009 20:00:52 | More by malmquna
Photo of pradipta


2.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

looks quite lovely when poured - a slightly translucent pale yellow with a fresh white head. The head disappears in seconds though. Not much of anything in the nose, though creditable for its genre - no skunkish odour either. Slightly sweet, watery taste, and no aftertaste at all. Overall, an unremarkable but not foul beer.

Serving type: can

05-04-2009 13:58:59 | More by pradipta
Photo of choyhosoi


3.5/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a can into a pilsner glass. The can was from China couldnt carry glass because of the airplane rules.

Appearance- Pour was very familiar to a budweiser. The head left as if it owed somebody money.The color was golden yellow.

smell- not too much here just a light hoppy smell

taste-suprisingly better than I thought it would be. A nice crisp taste that had no bitterness at all.

mouthfeel/drinkability-My brother-in law brought this for me fron China and if I ever go there I will drink this and the other brands. I have tried this over here and it didnt taste like this. This is a crisp beer you should try. Enjoy

Serving type: can

02-13-2008 03:50:26 | More by choyhosoi
Photo of hunteraw


2.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

I drank a lot of this while I was in China, but that was before I was a BA - I'm reviewing now a can I had at a Chinese restaurant in South Africa of all places.

Pours a light amber with a small head and no lacing. Smells like adjunct, with some lager yeast scent in there too.

Taste is a bit more bitter than your typical AML, but there's some adjunct flavors apparent too - is it rice? Slightly sweet.

Mouthfeel is watery, finish is crisp, but the aftertaste lingers... Carbonation is fine. Despite its flaws (or perhaps because of them) it's pretty drinkable, especially when washing down some Chinese food, but doesn't have a whole lot of appeal on its own.

Serving type: can

06-07-2006 14:30:52 | More by hunteraw
Photo of ORM1

Russian Federation

2.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The can I drank yesterday was brought from Paris. I never saw Tsing Tao in a can so the attention was paid :) Usually TT was being drunk in Chinese restaurants from a bottle.
French canned variant had 4,5% abv.
Appearance seemed to be perfect: golden yellow colour with good thick snow white head.
Smell: rice and floral.
Taste: Body is medium to light. Boiled rice and green grass flavours dominate, sugar sweet and strong wheat flour aftertaste..
I an not impressed at all. Just something exotic.
It always goes well with Chinese and other Oriental food, but I can not imagine myself drinking it somewhere in a bar:)

Serving type: can

06-26-2002 00:14:09 | More by ORM1
Photo of catalinacapri


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


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


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

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

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

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


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


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

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


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


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


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


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


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
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Tsingtao from Tsingtao Brewery Co., Ltd.
65 out of 100 based on 1,096 ratings.