The 2012 Qingdao International Beer Festival takes place August 11 to 26, 2012, at the Laoshan Beer Passion Square (aka Century Square) near Qingdao Beer City and the Qingdao Convention Center in Laoshan district. This year marks the 22nd anniversary of the festival that originated at Zhongshan Park in 1991 and later occupied Huiquan Square and Beer City, since moved to the renamed Century Square for this year’s event.
The festival is open daily from 10 am to 11 pm. Beer brands on tap include commercial brews like Tsingtao, Budweiser, Carlsberg, Heineken, Kirin and Asahi as well as Krombacher, Paulaner, Beck’s, Černá Hora and more. Long time Chinese bar faves Tiger and Corona will also be available. See the beer fest’s official website for more info on the beers and venue (excuse the Chinglish).
The organizers of the Qingdao International Beer Festival have announced that ticket prices for the event will be fixed at 10 yuan (US$1.56) for morning entry and 15 yuan (US$2.35) after 3 pm. The announcement means that ticket prices for the event have remained unchanged for 12 years.
The organizers hope that the ticket price will make the festival accessible to all, and that it will also act as a beer expo and a city brand for Qingdao.
What to Expect
Vendors using the gaudiest costumes and loudest music at their disposal to attract thirsty drinkers and eaters. Beer drinking contests in a perfect storm of ganbei culture. Drunken public karaoke on big stages with performances by dancers and singers.
The perfect place for revelers who, in the words of the late Frank Zappa, “Seek the path to the sudsy yellow nozzle of their foaming nocturnal parametric digital whole-wheat inter-faith geo-thermal terpsichorean ejectamenta”.
Previous experience suggests that drinking beer at the Qingdao Beer Fest is an experience worth writing home about.
The Opening Ceremony
The opening ceremony takes place on August 11 at Tiantai Stadium. It will be televised throughout China on CCTV and broadcast live in Qingdao on QTV. The headliner scheduled to appear this year is Chinese-American pop star Li Wen. The opening ceremony traditionally showcases dancers and singers capped off by a huge fireworks display. The closing ceremony follows the same typical festival pomp and circumstance, and a fireworks show.
Tips for a Better Experience at the 2011 Qingdao International Beer Festival
- Feel free to strike up innocuous friendships with perfect strangers who would like nothing more than to get drunk with you and then part ways forever. Or not.
- Go on a weekday when the crowds are smaller. Less people means shorter lines at the WC.
- Eat well to soak up all the beer, which goes very well with meat on a stick, aka chuanr, on sale along with other Chinese food all around the fest.
- Ganbei (Cheers) with the World!
Qingdao Transportation and Accommodation for the 2012 Qingdao Beer Fest
The fest site is in the far east of the metropolitan Qingdao area, in Laoshan district near to the Old Stone Man Beach, aka Shilaoren. Getting to and from the Beer Fest may pose a challenge unless you stay within walking distance. The area around the fest is usually restricted for personal vehicles and some streets are completely closed off.
Taxis in Qingdao can be hard to come by during the summer tourist season, and the situation just gets 8 times worse around the Beer Fest. It’s probably best to avoid rush hours if you are trying to catch a cab in the downtown area. Downtown hotels are sometimes a good place to catch an arriving cab.
The 317 bus along Donghai Lu and the 321 on Hong Kong Middle Road both get you out to the area near the fest. Other routes that stop near Beer City and Shilaoren are 104, 125, and 304, all of which run along Hong Kong Road and stop near Jusco and Carrefour.
Finding a hotel in Qingdao: Accommodation includes the cheap and cheerful chains Home Inn and Jinjiang Inn to the top of the line Crowne Plaza, Shangri-la, InterContinental, Le Meridien and everything in between, either in eastern Qingdao near Beer City, downtown around May 4th Square, or somewhere in the middle i.e. near Qingdao University/Mai Dao area.
There are many hostel options in old town: Kai Yue Old Church Lounge and Old Observatory Youth Hostel, Nemo (Huangxian Lu near Strong Ale Works off Daxue Lu). A great place to stay might be near the old Tsingtao Brewery on Beer Street, Dengzhou Lu, the ancestral home of Tsingtao Beer. Check out Ctrip for good deals on flight and hotel packages for the Qingdao Beer Fest.
Contact Info For Hotels In Qingdao:
Near Laoshan Beer Passion Square
- Sophia International
217 Xianggang Dong Lu / 香港东路217号
- Kylin Best Western
197 Xianggang Dong Lu / 香港东路197号
- Home Inn
22 Xiang Gang Dong Lu / 香港东路22号
- Crowne Plaza
76 Xianggang Zhong Lu / 香港中路76号
9 Xianggang Zhong Lu / 香港中路9号
- Grand Regency
110 Xianggang Zhong Lu / 香港中路110号
98 Aomen Lu / 澳门路98号
- Le Meridien
112 Yanji Lu / 延吉路112号
- Qingdao Hotel
66 Xianggang Zhong Lu / 香港中路66号
Near Beer Street in Taidong
- Home Inn
54 Dengzhou Lu / 登州路54号
- Kai Yue International Youth Hostel (Old Church Lounge)
31 Jining Lu / 济宁路31号
- Old Observatory
21 Guanxiang Er Lu / 观象二路
Qingdao Beer Fest Official Website
Impressions of Qingdao Beer Festival
Photo Credits @ Steve Price, Qingdao Beer City