Tsingtao Beer, What Is It Like?

Tsingtao Beer is an imported premium lager from China. Although I have had this beer a few times over the years I have never reviewed it. So I thought it was about time I did, so what is it like then?

Tsingtao beer is a nice pilsner style lager, crisp and smooth. It pours a clear light gold with a generous head. biscuit malt and cereal come through on the nose with a hint of floral and citrus. The taste is sweet with a biscuit malt and a slight citrus edge. The mouthfeel is smooth, if a little thin, which is the way it finishes. It gets a straight 4.0 out of 5.0.

Tsingtao won’t blow you away, but it is pleasant enough, an east drinking lager that is crisp and light.

Table Of Contents

Tsingtao Beer Review

Tsingtao Chinese Beer

Tsingtao beer does stand out on the store shelf in its big green bottle with its red, gold and green label. A premium lager brewed in Qingdao, China and a powerhouse within the country.

It is an imported premium lager that is always made in China using the pure spring water from the Laoshan Mountains. So this is not a beer made under license in the UK, or any other country, it’s a real authentic Chinese beer.

So what is it like?

It pours A clear straw like gold with a two finger white fluffy head. This does fade fairy quickly and becomes just a thin cover. A constant stream of bubbles rise up the glass and its ready to go.

On the nose there is a biscuit malt with a slight grain aroma. On top of that there is a slight floral and citrus scent, although really faint, it is there.

The taste really follows the smell with a sweet biscuit malt and a touch of citrus on the backend. The mouthfeel is smooth if not a little thin. I look forward to a little bitterness on the finish, however it doesn’t come.

Tsingtao beer is a light crisp and very drinkable lager, but it is too sweet with no bitterness to balance it.

Score Tsingtao Beer

It might be all sweetness and no bitterness. It might be a little thin in the mouth. But it is still a pretty good lager.

It is smooth, fresh, crisp and very easy drinking, you certainly wouldn’t think it is a 4.7% ABV. For me it is a light lager that is very drinkable, It gets a rate my beer score of 4.0 out of 5.0.

M’Lady quite likes it, I think, Lou says “I don’t have much to say except it’s a little dry with a hint of lemon citrus.” Lou scores it a straight 4.0 out of 5.0.

That is the first time Lou and I have given a beer the same score, 4.0 on the nose for both of us.

If you like a light drinkable lager, then Tsingtao is not a bad choice. It won’t blow your socks off, but it won’t offend either.

Just don’t pour it like Lou did in the video, not her best beer pour.

Tsingtao Brewery

Surprisingly the Tsingtao brewery and of course the beer originates from Germans. I don’t mean it comes from Germany, but it has German heritage.

It all started back in the late 19th century when Qingdao was a German Colony. It was then that the Anglo-German Brewing Co was formed. Although the German presence didn’t last too long, they did make their mark in the way of beer.

That mark is Tsingtao Beer, which was first brewed in 1903 although it wasn’t called that back then, but is what it eventually evolved into. As the brewery went through many changes and two world wars, Tsingtao brewery is what we are left with today.

Still brewing the German way, I guess you could say that Tsingtao beer is a German style Chinese Lager.

Tsingtao Beer Range

If you go on the UK Tsingtao, then you only see two beers, the Tsingtao imported premium lager (the beer of today’s review) and 1903 a rich bold lager with 5.0% ABV. Obviously a beer to celebrate the beginning of the brewery.

However if you go onto the dot com version of the website, you will find some more beers from the Tsingtao brewery. Here are a few that appeal.


The Tsingtao IPA is a traditionally crafted IPA which I think is based on the old English style. It’s a straight forward IPA with a malty body and a hoppy top with a few fruity notes.

Although IPA’s are know to be hoppy, which give them a nice bitter edge, this one is pretty subtle on the bitterness. It weighs in at 6.2% ABV, so not one for a session.

Certainly a beer I would like to try, I just hope the subtle bitterness isn’t too subtle.

Wheat Beer

Tsingtao Wheat beer is described as smooth, aromatic and hazy. Think malt, banana, bubble gum, cloves and a little citrus.

I am not a huge fan of wheat beer, mainly because of the combination of flavours I have just mentioned. However Tsingtao say it’s a harmonious premium beer with a clean fruity and floral finish.

Which does sound nice, I am not going out to track it down, but if I come across it then I will have to give it a go. It comes in at a sessionable 4.7% ABV, so if you like wheat beer then fill your boots.


So the Tsingtao Stout according to the brewers themselves is smooth, rich and creamy. A bold stout that has a nice balance and well rounded bitter finish.

So I’m In, however looking at the few reviews there are of this beer, I am not so sure. Some describe it as salty, with notes of soy and rotten vegetables, which doesn’t sound so appealing.

At 7.5% ABV it has plenty of strength, but does that transfer to the overall experience I wonder. I will just have to find out for myself if I find this lurking in a store somewhere in the world.

Final Thoughts

Tsingtao brewery are a well established brewery that produce a fairly decent lager in the original Tsingtao beer. However it seems there other beers are a mixed bag with a mixed reaction.

Having said that, you can’t judge a beer until you actually experience it for yourself. We all have different palates, so I will hold judgement until I try them for myself.

As for the Tsingtao lager, it’s okay, if you like a light lager with a crisp refreshing edge, then it’s a goer.

If you have tried Tsingtao beer then do share your thoughts. What do you think?

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