Last night at dusk, Shanghaiist boarded a bus for Kunshan to indulge in an evening of beer and pretzeled bread. For those of you who haven’t experienced the delights of Kunshan, it’s halfway to Suzhou — though not nearly as replete with the canals and gardens that Marco Polo raved about.
However, it does have an annual International Beer Festival, which we doubt the Venetian explorer had the pleasure of enjoying during his travels around China.
Not that he missed a great deal. To be fair, Kunshan faces an uphill battle hosting a beer festival as meritorious as Munich or even Qingdao (from where a friend of ours rang on Friday night, mumbling that he’d indulged in about “50,000 steins”), and the organizers are doing a decent job in only their second year. For corporate groups — particularly those with business connections in the rapidly developing satellite city — this is certainly something to get behind.
We were just a little bummed that the German tent had a gleaming row of draught beer taps all emblazoned with the Budweiser logo. Okay, Budweiser sounds German enough, and we guess that something has to be done with the 3.4 million barrels of the stuff brewed in Wuhan every year. But a few drops of Löwenbräu wouldn’t have hurt.
(We’re told that there was a wider selection of beers available outside the tent. But the stench of chou doufu from the smoky food stalls made it difficult to spend more than thirty seconds at a time out there, not long enough for us to track down a decent brew.)
Still, the night offered plenty of revelry, and if you’re partial to lederhosen, table dancing and the oompah-loompah sounds of the tuba, then check out the beer festival’s website for information on Getting There and, well, Get There.
The Kunshan International Beer Festival 2006 runs until Augut 26. Web: www.china.ahk.de/beerfestival