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Yanjing Beer | Beijing Yanjing Beer Group Corporation

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Yanjing BeerYanjing Beer

Brewed by:
Beijing Yanjing Beer Group Corporation

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by OldFrothingSlosh on 11-20-2001

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Reviews: 130 | Ratings: 231
Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.7/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear yellow with a foamy off-white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt and grain. Taste is much the same with a mild grassy flavor on the finish. This beer has a low level of carbonation with an almost flat mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty poor beer that smells better than it tastes but that isn't saying much.

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Photo of metter98
2.54/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

A: The beer is clear yellow in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high bright white head that died down, leaving a patch of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Faint aromas of adjunct malts are present in the nose—corn seems to stand out in particular.
T: Like the smell, the taste has flavors of corn adjuncts along with notes of rice and slight hints of sweetness, bitterness, and skunk, the latter of which might be a result of the green bottle.
M: It feels light-bodied, clean and a little watery on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This could be considered a lawnmower beer as it goes down easily and there's nothing really offensive about the taste, except that there aren't any interesting flavors.

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Photo of BEERchitect
2.65/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A very clean and floral Lager with the typical emptiness in body and mid-palate flavors. But it's got to be a great beer, its China's best selling beer according to the label.

Fizzy, yellow, and lacking any head character, the beer certainly looks the bill of an adjunct riddled Lager.

Floral with hop notes of honey suckle, the beer's scent carries a clean line through mild esters of lemon acidity and green apples.

Grainy-sweet with low-lying sulfur, fruity esters, light vegital/grassy taste, and cracker-like malts. Simple but clean taste throughout.

Light creaminess early fades into a smooth transition to a dry/crisp finish with mild astringency late.

The beer hits all of the moderate chords that's expected from the style while exhibiting low off-flavors and clean brewing techniques. Still, the beer offers not standout characteristics worth getting excited about.

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Photo of largadeer
2.06/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pale clear yellow with a two finger frothy cap. Nose consists of sulfuric lager yeast, boiled vegetables, bread and rice. No hop presence. Palate is simple but not overly clean; rice, white bread, boiled veggies, slickness in the finish. Thin and watery with no finish. Fairly bad.

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Photo of biboergosum
2.61/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Half-litre can - "No. 1 Beer from China", and "Using natural mineral water", it proclaims. 'Enjoyed' at the local Mongolian grill joint.

This beer pours a clear, bright medium golden yellow hue, with three fingers of foamy, silken soapy white head, which leaves some agreeable layered fuzzy cloud lace around the glass as it rather hastily recedes.

It smells of very tame white adjunct grains - cheap rice, mostly, and some skunky (surprisingly, for some reason) earthy, leafy hops. The taste is sweet grainy rice malt, a bit of stale lemon citrus, and mildly skanky, grassy, weedy hops. The secret police must be working hard to explain this one. Or not.

The carbonation is averagely perky, the body medium-light in weight, rather generically 'smooth', and just somewhat bordering on cloying, given the inherent rice attributes. It finishes clean, in a Yellow River sort of way, and a bit-off dry, owing again to that perception of sticky cooked rice.

Another pretty rough, gritty Chinese lager, which sort of encapsulates everything. Grainy, and skunky in an industrial effluent runoff manner, with a slight oiliness, and hints of rubbing alcohol in place of any basic ABV warmth puts this still mid-table on the small list of beers that I've yet sampled from this particular People's Republic.

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Photo of kojevergas
1.92/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

11.2 fl oz/330 ml green glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a conical Guinness pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are quite low.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours no head whatsoever - not even a floater. Colour is an awful clear dark yellow. Translucent. No yeast particles and no bubble show. Very boring.

Sm: Stale malted barley. That's it. A light aroma.

T: Stale malted barley. Very simple, boring, bland, and dull. No layering, complexity, or subtlety. Quite bad.

Mf: Smooth, wet, thin, and flat. Reprehensible.

Dr: Hard to drink on account of its low quality. A boring beer (even within the style). I would never get this again. Nor should you.


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Photo of chinchill
2.28/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

330ml green bottle served in pint glass. No date on bottle.

A - golden straw with substantial white head. Very clear. Head is rather short lived. Low carbonation.

S - slight hoppy lager; slightly skunky.

T - mild mass-produced lager with too much cereal- and off-flavors. Minimal or no skunkiness in taste.

M - watery; more so than any beer I've tried with the possible exception of 1 or more light beers.

Better than water? ... Debatable.

 447 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear bottle (but not skunked? Maybe they're using pre-isomerized hops like Miller). Clear golden body. Short head of bright white drops readily. Minor lacing. Sweet malt greets you in the nose along with some subtle yeasty fruitiness (apples, pear). Body is medium/light and it's crisp in the mouth. The flavor offers malt with obvious adjunct and a herbal (generic) hop background. There's just barely enough bitterness to balance it. It finishes with the malt lingering stickly as the hops fade and it becomes slightly acidic. Very basic and similar to American versions. Well done technically, but not particularly well-balanced.

 633 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.28/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

330ml bottle - $1.79 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a patently clear, pale gold body with a piddling, short-lived, white head.

Smell: Woefully washed out nose with a thin, uninspiring whiff of malted barley and grist mill dust.

Taste: A relatively weak taste of barley and dried rice bitlets. Mildly sweet, though it persists throughout, as there is not really much hop character to counteract it beyond a very, very vague reminiscence of grassiness. And that's really about all there is to Yanjing Beer. The lager doesn't really have a finish, it simply falls apart and drifts away like smoke.

Mouthfeel: Thin-bodied. Medium-low carbonation.

Drinkability: With any luck, the eventual takeover of America by China will go down about as easily as this cheap lager.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.31/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Since Yanjing is "The Official State Beer of China", shouldn't it be 'Red' rather than amber? One more label note. The back label says that it's "Made from the finest ingredients: Barley, Grain & Hops". Grain would seem to include barley, wouldn't it? I'll blame the translator.

The color is given away by the clear glass bottle (The U.K. must be sending their extras to the Far East), but is nowhere near as dark as the picture to the right. It's bright dandelion yellow and clear as a bell, with just a few fine particles swimming about. The bright white head isn't bad. It persists for a bit and deposits some acceptable looking lace in the bargain.

Yanjing smells like a million and one other adjunct lagers from the free world. It does smell quite a bit like grain, so I guess the label didn't lie. It's weak, it's far from pleasant, but it's equally far from offensive. Even though I've remarked on it a fair bit, it's pretty unremarkable as noses go.

I would have a hard time distinguishing the flavor from the average American macro lager. It tastes like corn was used (that's a grain, isn't it?) rather than rice, so we'll go with the Miller comparisons. If anything, it's even lower on flavor than many other macro lagers. It's also undermalted with very little hoppiness. There isn't much of interest here Comrade, except lightly carbonated, beer-flavored water.

There isn't a finish per se, since there's barely a beginning or a middle. It's hard for the flavor to say its goodbyes when it never really arrived. The exceptionally light body/mouthfeel is the poster child for watery beer. I'm really struggling to come up with positives. It's... uh... clean. In the end, Yanjing leaves the tongue and the memory untouched.

It's difficult to find much wrong with a beer that possesses so little beerness. Of course, that, in and of itself, is a major wrong if you ask me (and you must have since I've gone to such great lengths to answer). Yanjing is one of the least flavorful lagers that I've (sort of) tasted and is fading from memory even as I down the last few swallows. I say we invade, set up a democracy and get a little free enterprise going. It could only help the quality of the beer.

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Photo of woodychandler
2.74/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Ah, "The Official State Beer of China" according to the label.

I was looking at a finger of fluffy, bone-white head that was falling about as fast as I could pour, eventually reducing itself to mere wisps. It also released a smell of cereal adjuncts into the air and I immediately knew what I was facing. Color was a deep golden-yellow with NE-quality clarity. Taking a deep breath of it, I was unamused to smell grape bubble gum, a trademark of the very worst of the style. A drain pour may be on the menu with this one. Mouthfeel was rather effervescent and the flavor was much better than the nose had led me to expect, but it was still a simple lager sweetness overlain with adjuncts that have no place in beer. It was pretty pedestrian, especially for a beer that has achieved statehood. Finish was slightly sweet, not bad, but not worth revisiting. I am going to stick to my CANs after I get my bottle numbers up.

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Photo of johnnnniee
2.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The second beer on world beer Sunday this time from China. This one claims to be the number one selling beer in China so it must be good.
Pours a pale golden straw color with a decent white head that shows moderate retention and minimal lace. Smell is sweet honey like malts, slightly grainy, a bit or earth, a hint of bread, slight skunk. Taste is sweet grainy honey like malt up front, stays quite sweet through out, minimal hop flavor. Medium to thin body, moderate level of carbonation, sweet candy like mouth coating mouthfeel. Number one huh? I'd take Budweiser over this in a heartbeat. Hell I'd take Tsingtao over this too. This is overly sweet with almost no redeeming qualities. One and done.

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Photo of jwc215
2.63/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours light golden with a thin white head that becomes a thin island of a vanishing patch. Typical "macro" look.

The smell is of cooked veggies, some husk and a light grain.

The taste is of sweet grainy malt, some husk. The little touch of non-descript hops fade, leaving this one sweet, but in a watery, subdued way. A slight touch of "wet cardboard" comes through in a watery finish.

Watery, not too fizzy, but rather weak, even for the style. An undesirable aftertaste shows up, but soon fades.

This is water with a hint of grain, overall. A very weak, mildly sweet beer. I can easily think of a better Chinese lager, and better "macros" I would choose over this.

 670 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
2.78/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

"The Official State Beer of China"..glad to know the commies are looking out for the proletariate...or are they?
Clear, light yellow color, solid layer of white foam...good for the style.
Aroma: clean, sweet, soapy, grainy, fairly bare...typical...
Taste: empty, light, with sufficient taste to make it bearable, it doesn't suck, doesn't taste bad, just very light and corny...despite whatever, I can't hate this. It's better than MGD and even PBR, there's enough of a flavor to the malty, grainy aspect that it's bearable. Nowhere as bad as the worst of American beers...I'd be hard-pressed to call it the Bud of China, because it's better!.

 645 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
1.92/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

The YanJing Beer is typical chinese knock-off of an american adjunct beer. Pours clear yellow with big carbonation that continues to fuel a dissapating head. The smell once you get past the skunk is grain and malt. The taste is bad with grain, malt, and slight hop. Mouthfeel is typical of most adjuct beers...carbonation light body. Overall it is a crappy beer....but still drinkable.

 385 characters

Photo of GClarkage
2.35/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

11/01/2004--Purchased at Ranch 99 in Foster City, CA

Appearance- Pours with a decent size head that quickly evaporates. Next to zero lace.

Smell- Smells of corn and a sweet and sour scent. Not much smell really.

Taste- Zero hops. A bit of malt. Has a sweet taste to it. Some kind of sweet fruit. Not sure what though. Maybe an unripe orange. Pretty watery also.

Mouthfeel- Decent carbonation and goes down fairly easy.

Drinkability- That unknown fruity taste keeps it from being an awful beer. Even with it though it is not a good one. It is a bit intruiging though. Naaaa, I'll let others grab this one off the shelf. I will finish it though.

 660 characters

Photo of Tone
3.05/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear, pale golden color. 1/3 inch head of a white color. Slight retention and poor lacing. Smells of yeast, pale malt, slight hop, slight sulfur, grain, and a hint of sweet malt. Fits the style of an American Adjunct Lager. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of slight sulfur, pale malt, slight yeast, hint of hop, grain, and very slight citrus. Overall, perhaps a little light struck, but not noticeably strong if so, average other than that.

 489 characters

Photo of WesWes
3.6/5  rDev +38.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a pale gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing; decent head retention. The aroma is decent. It has a clean pilsner malt scent with little hop aroma. The taste is decent as well. It has a smooth pilsner and adjunct flavor that goes down real easy and finishes dry and clean. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a low bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a great session lager. It's simple and well brewed. Nice job.

 462 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
2.62/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

330 ml green bottle. On to the beer:

Pours out pale and arrives in the glass a clear pale yellow with a very short fuzzy head. Eh, it's beer. The aroma brings a little hope, and I use that term lightly. Assorted cereals and a touch of the hops (with stink, damn green bottle). It seems more European than American so far.

A bitter spicy bite from the hops hit first. Light waves of malt ride around. Sulfur echoes in and out. The light body and good crispness contrast the flavor pretty well. Spicy hoppiness in the aftertaste, but otherwise clean.

Not a completely hopeless beer, though only slightly more memorable than Tsingtao. Come to think of it, I can't even remember what Tsingtao tasted like.

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Photo of Mora2000
2.53/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to ericandersnavy for sharing this bottle.

I guess this is the right place to review this, even though the bottle was different. All the label said was Yanjing beer with no ABV or other information.

Pours a standard macro yellow with a white head. The aroma is corn and garbage. Flavor is more macro corn. Thin mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Not a very good beer.

 375 characters

Photo of tone77
3.4/5  rDev +30.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a clear into a weizen glass.Has a golden color with 1/2 inch head. Mild, malty aroma. Taste is crisp and refreshing but not very flavorfull. Light but pleasent in the mouth. Very drinkable, especially in warm weather. Overall a slightly above average beer.

 268 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.43/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Yanjing beer, The Official State Beer of China.
No discernable freshness date.

A. Clear 12 oz bottle with foil top into a Miller Lite pint glass. Soapy bone white head with good retention.

S. Semi pleasant nose of bready malt, yeast notes and a nice sweet small grain rice aroma.

T. Crisp malt coupled with light husk notes and some clean fusel alcohal in there as well. Definate grain/rice touch to add some additional flavor. Hops are missing except maybe a slight bitter/tea like moment.

m. Very light and crisp with ample carbonation.

D. An easy drinking macro from the Republic of China that actually outdoes other major breweries American Adjunct Lagers. Not something I would really seek out, unless looking for a light beer to pair with seafood. This is excellent for that.

 786 characters

Photo of biegaman
2.71/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

You wouldn't expect the number one selling beer in the world's number one largest market to be anything other than filtered and yellow would you? Of course not. And Yanjing looks like a shinning (literally) example of this type of lager. While head retention is poor, there is a constant barrage of bubbles and its complexion has a brilliant, golden sheen.

I respect Yanjing for being open with us about using more rice than barley malt (though it's not like I wouldn't have figured that out for myself). Any gibberish about 'floral nose' or 'clean maltiness', however, is pure rubbish. The aroma has a musty, adjunct-ridden taint and a more than slight hint of cider vinegar. Not exactly enticing me to take a sip...

For all the guff I give it, Yanjing is not the worst offending industrial adjunct lager. The taste is agreeable, if only for its nearly imperceptible flavour and underlying sweetness. While it is obviously made of extract, there isn't enough adjunct presence to foul the mouthfeel. That, and the right amount of carbonation, ensure I'll make it through the can.

I bet this pairs well with take-out Chinese food, it's the liquid equivalent: a bland, culturally-void product, boosted by cheap production costs and loaded with preservatives and questionable additives that make your body feel absolutely gross after consuming. If you like greasy, unhealthy, semi-artificial, shitty tasting foods I don't think you'll mind this.

Having 85% of the market share in a city the size of Shanghai, it's nearly unfathomable to imagine how many liters of this stuff sells annually. It just goes to prove that beer - like the music most people listen to, the movies most people watch, the opinions that most people have and most anything else that appeals to the masses - is pure shit.

This has been the best selling beer in China for over a decade? No wonder their human rights record is considered so terrible. We've seen a lot of Chinese products recalled in recent years - poisonous pet foods, lead-based toys, anti-freeze toothpaste - and it's only a matter of time before we add corrupt, toxic, adjunct-ridden lager to that list.

 2,149 characters

Photo of Zorro
2.77/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Upgraded Bottle look. 600 ML Green Glass and green and white label with red letters. Offbeat bottle size.

Clear yellow colored beer with a very slight white head. Looks like China stole the plans to Budweiser.

Smells quite dry with a slight soda cracker malt scent. Small hop scent mostly grass and lemon, though it is faint.

Starts out dry with a mostly cracker flavor and lemony hop flavor. Tastes like a generic American Mass Market Lager, again, stole the plans for Bud Light.

Light mouthfeel.

Very drinkable beer, as in seltzer water drinkable. Pretty much Bud Light made in China in a pretty bottle.

 610 characters

Photo of Derek
2.73/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Clear yellow with a white head, very little retention or lace.

S: Catty, perfume, floral, grass.

T: Taste is better than expected. Some floral, grassy & spicy hops flavour but the bitterness is barely perceptible. Thankfully there's not much sweetness. Hints of DMS.

M: Light to moderate body, moderate carbonation.

D: Drinkable.

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Yanjing Beer from Beijing Yanjing Beer Group Corporation
2.6 out of 5 based on 231 ratings.
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