Joy of joys, Shanghaiist discovered a new beer last night. We were at an opening party for the new tudou.com (formerly toodou.com) office up on Suzhou Creek, and we found a slab or two of Blue Cowrie Beer sitting atop the bar. “Cowrie” as in the shell, which makes the cowboy motif on the label a little difficult to work out. At any rate, here are some of the beer’s vital statistics:
Provenance: Hubei Province
Price: Free (on this particular night)
Available from: tudou.com parties
Blurb on label: “It is releasing and free when getting rid of the living of rules. What we see is happy facial expressions. And leaving laughing from the bottom of the heart. Feeling kind of estrangement and makes far from us. Just this moment, raise your wine with warm in your heart.”
Website: www.lanbeibeer.com. There’s an English option on the site complete with blog articles which make for fascinating reading, particularly with a frosty can of Blue Cowrie Beer by your side. Our favourite article is the one titled “Fat crab plus beer isn’t good for the men.” The commendably health-conscious article includes this reminder for tubby boozers:
There are some tricks in choosing the mating foods, the wrong mating causes you the symptoms of diarrhea and bellyache. Especially for the men fond of beer, most will call their friends for the party in the special season that the people can taste the fat crabs, which offends the taboo of “don’t drink beer, when people eat crabs”, because both contain the high purin which will causes you gouty.
We also like this description of non-alcohol beer: “The alcohol content is lower than the low-alcohol beer; therefore, it is suitable to women, children, the aged, the weak, the handicapped and the sick.” Indeed.
Which just leaves one specification to mention. Taste. How does this brew rate on a sliding scale from Coopers Sparkling Ale at the very top end and Camo Silver Ice High Gravity Lager at the bottom?
Unfortunately, we have no idea. Not because we didn’t sample the stuff. Just that our tastebuds were a little desensitised by the time we finally lifted a Cowrie can to our lips, having been at O’Malleys to watch the Wallabies thrash the Springboks, then dinner at Colourful Hot Pot (a new restaurant on the corner of Nanchang Lu and Yandang Lu), then the tudou.com office launch where, prior to stumbling upon the Cowries, we found a huge pyramid of free Suntory, which naturally required sampling — not because we like Suntory beer (far from it) but because it was free.
Despite all this, if we were forced to give an assessment of Blue Cowrie Beer we would say that it was … warm. (You tudou guys really need to get a fridge.)
For the record, Shanghaiist later proceeded to Tanghui to watch some live music, which naturally called for the consumption of more beverages. An hour later we suddenly began to feel like a night on the aforementioned non-alcohol beer would have been a better option, so we snuck off to find a taxi without telling anyone, despite the fact that we still owed Nick Withycombe a drink.