Sunday, February 3, 2013

Beering in China: The Flight Out

So it turns out that our International vacation in 2012 found us going to China.  We were thinking Brazil... well honestly I was thinking Europe.  As far as I'm concerned, I can travel to Europe EVERY year.  First off it has incredible Continental infrastructure so I don't have to THINK about driving or getting on a stodgy bus to get around.  Great architecture, cooler weather than Houston (which isn't saying much)... and um LOTS of different types of beer.

The wife and I like to travel with other couples and some friends of our were going to Shanghai with their employee network and we were allowed to tag along.  So a few grand and some Mandarin food planning sessions later and off we go.

So I figured for this trip I'm going to throw out all my old assumptions and just blog up every beer I have on this trip if possible.  So let's get started.

Beer Log: October 11, 2012
State: Late Morning flight (just after Beer 30).  Flight is delayed to San Francisco.  Hanging out in the United Lounge

Besides the great networking opportunities, comfortable seating, and great wireless, the United Club also has free beer and spirits.  Each club around the world tends to have a local beer on tap as well as Heineken and a Bud Light.  However I am a Heineken guy ever since my last trip to Amsterdam, so let's go.

Clear and straw colored.  Head is thin and white with some decent lacing on the glass.  The nose has a little bit of fresh green beans.  Taste has a cracker thing to it, almost like sun chips or maybe a lowfat pita bread you can get from Kroger, not so much the pita bread at one of the good HEB's. 4 Stars for one of my go to beers.  The wife is chopping it up with George Foreman, who actually hangs out in this lounge all the time at Bush Airport.  I do have on my Precision MMA shirt on, so I could feel froggy.  But nevermind.

So the flight was so delayed that our pick up flight to San Francisco was going to be a photo finish.  Our trip coordinator left their thinking cap at home and did not bring her cellphone, so everyone was basically on their own.  The wife and I ended up getting on two seats to a flight going to LAX and then onward to Shanghai, getting us there about 30 minutes after the original flight.  Plus that flight to LAX and then to Shanghai had TV's with all the movies while the flight from SFO featured the sound of a jet engine as in-flight entertainment.  SCORE!

State: LAX was a new airport for both of us so we ended up not having time to hoof it to the United Club and found our way to a little Karl Strauss bar near the Baja Fresh.  Apparantly Baja Fresh is the best place known to man if you ask the folks out there.

Karl Strauss Amber Lager 
Amber color, good caramel and toasty nose to it.  Tastes fantastic after the flight for sure.  The flavor is a nice melange of toasted English muffin with a dusting of brown sugar.  High 3 stars.

They did not have anything else available so we hit the flight.  Luckily they had free drinks on the flight although we were in Economy Plus and I made it through all the Avenger series of movies.

After landing we caught up with our team, waited for a few folks, and made it late to the hotel.  We found our way to what they call the "American Embassy"... Kentucky Fried Chicken.  I was eating fried chicken like it was nectar and ambrosia.  We checked in to the Marriot (very American I know) and found the hotel bar.  Although I've had it very often, we got ourselves some...

State: Headache, been up 36 hours, late night in Shanghai.

They had it in a bottle instead of on tap.  Whatever's clever.  No nose and brilliantly clear.  Taste has a light sugar sweetness and moderate hops yielding some veggie flavor.  Refreshing after being up 36 hours.  High 2 Stars.

Tiger Draught
Green 22 oz bottle.  Clear again and very fizzy gold beer.  Not much to it in the taste.  Bud Light of Singapore if you ask me.  But that's all we go so I'll have another. 1 Star.