|They always had Baltika somewhere there.|
Mongolia has huge problems with alcoholism within their population; the Russian vodka drinking culture introduced by the communist regime did nothing good for the public health. It still is a common sight to bump into a drunk Mongol in the broad daylight downtown Ulan Bator. However, nowadays the local brewery business has risen and more and more people have changed vodka to beer, which has actually improved the public health. Indeed, Mongolia managed to surprise us with their neat beers. We tried at least Gem draft and Chinggis, which had notable character compared to easy international lagers. Especially Gem was really good. Ulan Bator bathed in the hot sun during our visit, so the best choice for refreshing drink was always a cold pint of Mongolian brewed beer. Many things were left undone by us during our short visit, but I'd go back only for the beer!
|Chinese hotel room necessities. And a gas mask.|
However the most interesting Chinese beer incidence during this trip wasn't the richness or other quality aspect of the beer. It was the origins: Once we had crossed the Chinese border, after the bogie change, our new cabin mates happily carried a load of Harbin beer for themselves and us from the railway station grocery shop. What made the beer so special was that the city of Harbin, where they brew it, is the twin town of Rovaniemi, Finland, where our cabin mates come from. Ganbei!
Previous chapters of Soaking up Siberia:
- Tea and Coffee
- Vodka (and Wine)