Off the Wall: Yanjing Beer

 Off the Wall: Yanjing BeerName: Yanjing Beer
Brewery: Beijing Yanjing Beer Group Corporation
Country of Origin: China
City & State: Beijing
Style: American Adjunct Lager
Alcohol Content (ABV): 4.00%
First Brewed: 1980
Price: $1.69

Ricky’s Thoughts

We are on our way to China, and beer is complimentary on the flight. That might the only good thing about this flight. At any rate, I told Sheryl we should write an “off the wall” beer review of this Beijing beer. We are cursing at 35,000 foot 2 hours into our flight, so what better time to review a beer? Oh, I am also 2 shots of whiskey deep and a large Prohibition Ale in from the SFO airport.

I don’t expect this beer to be good. I can’t read the label, but I expect this to taste like most Asian beers I have had. I’m not sure, but most Asian beers use rice in the brewing process. If they do, it will balance out the hops and provide a nice semi sweet lingering finish. Let’s hop to it. Cheers!

In the Glass: Boring! It looks like most American domestic beers. I’ve never had nor seen this beer, but just based on what I know about Asian brewing companies, this will be bland. I will say the beer leaves a nice layer of foam on top. Let’s hope it smells OK.

Nose: Close your eyes for a second. Imagine you are on a farm in the middle of the summer, and just spent the day feeding pigs and mowing grass. Take a deep breath. That is what I am smelling here. I am getting a lot of earthy notes on the nose. It smells drinkable and will be something I can chug. I hope they let me chug a 6-pack. That will be the only thing getting me through this flight!

Flavor: Also boring. Again, I didn’t expect much. But it IS beer brewed in China. I saw online that you can get a beer in a bag on the streets of Beijing. I am so doing that when we land. I don’t care what the beer tastes like. Beer in a bag is a cool concept!

I’m not sure if this beer uses rice, but I have an eerie suspicion they do. The subtle sweetness at the end is a dead giveaway. I will need to look into that when I find an Internet connection.

Mouthfeel: There isn’t much going on here. The beer is slightly carbonated, but not overwhelmingly so. To be honest, the mouthfeel is nice. If I lived in Beijing I could see this being compared to a Bud or Coors Light. There is a place in craft beer for this style. We’ve all been there. But that doesn’t mean I have to frequent this style.

Aftertaste: There really isn’t much going on here. I don’t expect there to be nor do I care. This isn’t a beer I would order unless I was in said country it was brewed or on the way to the country that brews it. Case in point! Not like I have a lot of options on this flight! They don’t have liquor, so beer it is. I am curious to see what other local beers we can find in Beijing and Shanghai. I am sure there are some craft beers to be had.

The beer isn’t the best, but it has been fun reviewing it. It was fun reviewing a beer from another country while on our way to that country! We don’t have time on this trip to visit this brewery, but it would be neat to see their brewing process up close and personal. So from 35,000 feet traveling nearly 600 miles an hour, I salute you. Cheers!

Yanjing Beer – The bottle says: “NA” (It says something… But it’s in Chinese. I don’t speak or read Mandarin!)

Rating: 2/5

Sheryl’s Thoughts

So… I’m pretty sure that I did a review of this, right when Ricky did – on the plane on the way to China.  But I can’t find it!  There’s a certain program I use for writing, and everything gets saved in the same place, including all of my 1001 Bottles blogs.  But my review of Yanjing is not in there.  Boo!  So I don’t know what happened to it.  So I’m basically going to review this beer from memory.  It shouldn’t be that hard, really.  I had plenty of Yanjing in China.  All of the beers that I’ve had in or from China taste pretty much the same.

The beer is yellow and pretty thin and clear.  It’s smell is pretty basic… smells like beer.  In this case, with kind of a bread and rice smell.  Any head that is there is gone quickly.  Pretty much all of the Chinese beers that I have had have tasted basically the same.  They are only slightly better than domestic beers in the U.S.  They are thin, mostly clear, have a very basic taste, and are mostly just boring.  One sip of Yanjing and you realize that it fits into this category as well.  But Ricky is right – Chinese beer tastes better in China, or on the way to China.  So in that instance, the way we had this beer… it was good!  Well, not really, but it tasted better.  I would never drink this at home.  Well, unless I wanted to reminisce about China.  Which is a possibility, as it was a fun trip.  But that’s for another blog!

Rating: 2/5

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