Bottoms up! Qingdao Intl Beer Festival welcomes world revelers

The 29th Qingdao International Beer Festival is being held through Aug 18 in East China’s Shandong province. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

If you are planning to go on vacation to China in summer, one of the must-go destinations is the East China city of Qingdao, where an annual beer festival offers visitors from around the world three weeks of fun.Initiated in 1991 and hailed as Asia’s Oktoberfest, the 29th Qingdao International Beer Festival is the largest of its kind in Asia and one of China’s biggest tourism events.

With a wealth of beer brands from across the globe, the festival is an event with diverse cultures, art performances and sports games.

The ongoing festival opened in grand style on Friday in the city’s West Coast New Area, which is home to the world’s largest beer square- Golden Beach Beer City. At the seafront location, the festival’s venue covers more than 800,000 square meters.

This year’s festival has been included as part of the city’s International Fashion Season, a citywide campaign initiated by local government that aims to improve the city’s fame as a fashion metropolis.

As a ceremonial routine, the city’s mayor, Meng Fanli, tapped the festival’s first barrel of beer, witnessed by foreign diplomats and delegations from home and abroad, as well as tourists, marking the start of the 24-day carnival.

The opening ceremony witnessed the establishment of an international beer festival alliance, formed by organizers of the Qingdao International Beer Festival, the Oktoberfest in Munich, the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, and the Festival of Beer in Toronto.

The alliance aims to create an exchange and cooperation platform to promote tourism among members, boost the sustainability of the festivals and support development in the brewing industry.