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Sep 21, 2009 07:35 AM

Chinese dinner beer

We are planning a Chinese dinner banquet at a restaurant with a limited selection of wine and beer. The management has agreed to let us bring in our own beer. We have planned a menu that includes lobster with ginger and scallions, peking duck, scallops, asparagus and a variety of other dishes. Any suggestions for a beer that would pair well? TIA.

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  1. Tsingtao always hits the spot for me.. Elegant and chilly with a German parentage you cannot go wrong.

    10 Replies
    1. re: Naguere

      I haven't had this beer in a long time, but recall it was prone to skunkiness. I would consider Singha or any good pilsner.

      1. re: Jim Dorsch

        I recently ordered a Tsingtao by mistake when I really wanted a Singha. I was dissapointed.

        Singha is one of the better ones in this catagory IMO.

        1. re: LStaff

          Lest we forget Beerlao, a standard clean beer from Laos with the inexplicably cult like following...

          1. re: Insidious Rex

            I think Beer Lao has a cult like following because of the obscurity of the country to most Westerners. It is pretty standard(though the dark one is a bit better than avg) for an Asian lager. What seems to give it its cultlike following is the sense of fascination with the exotic, and if you have traveled in the area gives you a sort of attachment to something others have not heard of.

            1. re: MVNYC

              I definitely prefer the Beer Lao "dark" (actually, it's amber-colored at best). It's got somewhere around 6.5% ABV and tastes pleasant enough, sort of like liquid Rice Chex. If you want malt & or hops, though, you'll have to look elsewhere.

              1. re: Kenji

                Deep amber seems to be typical of 'dark' beers, certainly many Bavarian Dunkels, for example.

          2. re: LStaff

            I'm with you on the Singha...a truly under rated gem of a beer.

            1. re: The Professor

              I haven't had Singha in a long time. I notice that they reduced the alcohol, which used to be probably around 6-6.5 IIRC. I don't know how this has affected the flavor. I do recall getting a bit of a buzz drinking it while waiting for a meal.

              1. re: Jim Dorsch

                Yeah, Singha went from 6 to 5% ABV, and it also went all-malt -- although the beer was sufficiently malty in its 80s incarnation for Jackson to suggest that it probably evolved from a pale bock.

                1. re: Kenji

                  Interesting. I recall they used to add cane sugar.

      2. I am a big fan of pairing Saisons with Asian cuisine. Hennepin is a particular favorite of mine, if you are looking for a specific recommendation.

        3 Replies
        1. re: brentk

          Wow, a saison should be just dandy! Saison Dupont would probably work nicely, too.

          1. re: Jim Dorsch

            Avril is another great table beer from Brasserie Dupont with a lighter ABV then Saison. It's great for those long dinners.

            Hitachino makes a ginger beer that would be interesting to try with your lobster course.

          2. re: brentk

            Hennepin with Chinese food sounds really good. I'll have to try it.

          3. I've been to more Chinese banquets than I can count, and the choices are usually limited to American lagers, Heineken and Tsingtao. I'd go for Trumer Pils (or Victory if you can get it and it fits in your budget) or even a wit beer. You get palate fatigue after all those courses, and I'd go with a light but flavorful session beer to keep your palate fresh. Another option would be a Belgian, but they tend to be pretty high in alcohol.

            1. I strongly agree with the general consensus that you want to keep it light: a good Chinese banquet is all about the interplay of flavors and you don't want your beer to compete with that.

              1. If you can find it, Harbin is better (IMO) than any other Chinese beer.