In last week’s edition of the Indy you mention that Max Baucus is heading to his appointment as ambassador to China “where the beer is weak and the stakes are high” (see “etc.,” Dec. 26). I’ve gotten lit up, not really intentionally, on Chinese beer while partying in Beijing’s Super Bar District. Chinese beer is based on German lagers but don’t let the pale color fool you. The brand that Max will likely be drinking is Yanjing, which has an alcohol content of 5 percent. That’s higher than most American mass-produced brands.
China has a proud tradition of boozing that rivals Egypt’s. Mr. Baucus will likely be doing a lot of toasting, called “ganbei,” at official events or on casual outings with friends. You leap to your feet, holding a pretty little shot glass of hard Chinese liquor between your fingertips and direct it at the toastee. He/she too stands up and it’s bottoms-up for both of you. This goes on all night.
Enjoy that Chinese beer, Mr. Baucus. I’m getting thirsty writing this.