In commemoration of the first high-speed train trials between Shanghai and Hangzhou, I’d like to present to you something I found on my last trip there: fake Tsingtao. That’s right, someone out there is actually making a shanzhai version of the local beer.
The culprit, called Quanmai (All wheat?) Beer, was found in Hangzhou South Railway Station and cost an exorbitant 5RMB. It was being sold alongside a shanzhai Budweiser brand called “Blue Diamond.” Out of curiosity, I bought it. My advice to you: don’t.
Quanmai beer tastes kind of like what would happen if someone accidentally dumped their cigarettes into your draft and you, being the forgetful person you are, just let it sit there overnight. It was beer that was steeped in nicotine wrappers and death. I may have lost a few minutes of my life downing it.
But does anyone have any idea where this fake Quanmai comes from? The closest thing I can find on the internet to it is an actual branded Quanmai from Shandong province, but their packaging looks nothing like this.
Anyway, if you’re in Hangzhou and plan on getting a few brewskies for the ride back to Shanghai, I sorely recommend hitting up a Family Mart before you even start heading for Hangzhou South.