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Spirit Sampler

16 janvier 2014

Red Star Erguotou Museum

There are certain quintessential Beijing experiences, universally recognised as ‘must dos’ whether first time visitor or longtime resident – these include getting lost within the vast, iconic Forbidden City complex, sampling the city’s signature roast Peking duck, climbing (or taking the cable car) up the Great Wall. Occupying a lower rung on the ladder – but equally essential – is drinking Erguotou, China’s most popular baijiu. A locally-brewed liquor made by many distilleries across the nation, its most renowned brewer is probably Red Star, so what better way to sample the spirit than with a trip to the museum opened in honour of the humble drink?

The Red Star Erguotou museum was opened in 2011 at the brand’s factory in Huairou, with the mission to ‘spread the culture’ of the mysterious spirit, though we think it serves also as a warning to would-be imbibers about exactly how dangerous the drink can be. The museum details the vinification, a six-month process using sorghum, and which can yield baijiu with alcohol content as high as 112-proof (or a whopping 56% by volume)! Of course, no distillery tour comes complete without a tasting, and so you can sip the ‘second distillation’ (as the name ‘Erguotou’ literally translates), but be warned – one’s good, two at most, three you’re under the table. Ganbei!

1 Hongxing Lu / Huairou / +86 10 6169 7259 / daily