February 6th, 2008
Toasting Chinese New Year
By Scott N. Howe
Chinese New Year is almost here. For some of us, that means a trip to Chinatown to check out the pageants and dodge the firecrackers. For the rest of us, that means a better-than-average excuse to order some Chinese take-out and throw down a few cold bottles of Tsingtao lager.
As the retro beer trend has taught us, context can trump taste. Grill me a hot dog at a backyard barbeque, and I want a PBR. Order me some greasy fried rice and a carton of crab rangoons at 2:00 a.m. after the bars have closed, and pour me a Tsingtao.
The nice thing about Tsingtao is that it gives you context and taste. It is the number-one imported beer from China, and you can find it in virtually every Chinese restaurant — and for good reason. As the nice folks at Tsingtao assert, “Tsingtao complements spicy or flavorful Asian cuisine.” They’re right. The beer is light, but not bland, malty, but not bready. From my experience, it goes great with high-end, authentically prepared Chinese cuisine, low-end, indifferently prepared take-out, and everything in between.
Crisp, tasty and hard to pronounce, it’s the beer you should be drinking as you celebrate 2008 — the Year of the Rat.