Try this: Beer in a bag

Stocking up on beer? It's in the bag

Conventional wisdom would probably argue that liquid be stored in solid vessels. However, from bagged milk to goon sacks (we’re looking at you, Canada and Australia), there’s a bit of a precedent of liquids served up in bags. In Qingdao, home of China’s second-most popular beer Tsingtao, beer is commonly poured in plastic bags and taken home to be consumed, in what’s a regular occurrence known as the ‘beer takeaway’.

Qingdao's pride and joy.

Here in Beijing, Dongzhimen store 9 Jiquanpin (9记全品) also sells Tsingtao the way Qingdao intended, but with upgraded packaging. Affectionately referred to as ‘urine bags’ by locals, for, well, obvious reasons, these beer sacks feature stronger plastic (unlike Qingdao’s unnervingly flimsy bags) and actual handles for an easier, less nerve-wracking experience.

For those of you asking 'why?', it's not necessarily the packaging that's the main draw (though it does, frankly, look cool and make for easier storage), it's the fact that 9 Jiquanpin gets its beer delivered directly from Tsingtao's factory (out in the Fifth Ring Road) every two days – making the beer in these boozy bags arguably a lot fresher than the stuff sold in convenience stores.

Bagged beer 1

9 Jiquanpin offers three different types of beers: Tsingtao draught beer 清掏鲜啤 (18RMB), raw beer 原浆啤酒 (50RMB), and for dark beer lovers, stout 黑啤 (38RMB). The difference between draught and raw beer lies in the fermentation process, we’re told. Raw beer is beer that hasn’t been pasteurised or filtered. It therefore has a shorter shelf life, and might contain some fine particles and more yeast.

Bagged beer 3
(Left to right) Stout, raw and draught beer.

These bagged beers come in 1 litre bags, and are meant to be consumed immediately. But if you’re buying these for a party, these bagged beers (if unopened), can be kept for an additional one to two days refrigerated. The shop is located inside a supermarket building (Xianhui Shenghuo Supermarket) on the first floor – just look out for that one shop that’s surrounded by several beer kegs.

Bagged beer 4

For those of you who don't live near Dongsishitiao, we're told there are also two other locations, one in Hepingli and the other in Dongdan. These establishments are completely unrelated to each other and have different store names, despite offering identical products – even the owner of 9 Jiquanpin is unsure of exactly where these stores are located. However, if you’re in luck, you might spot them on your next errand run.

9 Jiquanpin (9记全品) 6-8 Beimencang Hutong (inside Xianhui Shenghuo Supermarket), Dongsishitiao, Dongcheng district (东城区东四十条北门仓胡同6-8号). Open 9.30am-8pm daily.

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