All memories of the last year-plus in Shanghai are fond. But I realize that I took too long to bow to the inevitable: months ago I should have called off my quest to find actual good beer in China and instead made my peace with the thin, weak, rainwater-bland local brews. All in all it's a minor cost of the major adventure of being here.

Here is what I finally got hold of in Shanghai:

And here is the representation of my new beer philosophy as I start my new life in Beijing:

That's a little can of Beijing Beer in the foreground, among devotional Mao-era figures. It and (the identical-tasting but oddly more popular) Yanjing Beer are cheap, are available everywhere, and require no thought or effort to locate or wash down.

Going local, step by step


We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to