Viral Video May Have Repelled Fans of This Beer for Good

Clip online seems to show worker peeing in ingredients container at Tsingtao plant in China
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 23, 2023 7:54 AM CDT
Viral Video May Have Repelled Fans of This Beer for Good
In this Aug. 19, 2005, file photo, a bartender serves Tsingtao beer in the Qingdao (Tsingtao), in China's Shandong province.   (AP Photo/Elizabeth Dalziel, File)

While we probably don't want to know every single ingredient that goes into our beverages, that may be especially true for drinkers of China's Tsingtao beer. The South China Morning Post reports that a video has gone viral showing what appears to be a worker urinating into a tank believed to have held raw ingredients for China's biggest beer exporter. The clip, which popped up Thursday on the Chinese social media platform Weibo, shows a male in an orange hard hat climbing into a brewery container at a Tsingtao factory in Pingdu, then apparently relieving himself onto whatever was in the container.

The video soon took off online, and Tsingtao said Friday it had informed law enforcement and that an investigation was underway. "At present, the batch of malt in question has been completely sealed," Tsingtao said in a statement. "The company continues to strengthen its management procedures and ensure product quality." A source tells the state-controlled National Business Daily that both the person in the hard hat and the person recording the video were "externally hired workers," per Insider.

Online commenters weren't thrilled to see the clip and predicted trouble for the Tsingtao brand as a result. "This worker has done some real damage here," one person noted on Weibo, per the BBC. "I've always said the beer here is like horse pee. Turns out I was wrong," joked another, per the SCMP. And from someone who may be turned off to beer forever: "Thanks, I think I'll have wine instead." Tsingtao shares on the Shanghai Stock Exchange "fell sharply" when the markets first opened Monday morning, but "were trading broadly flat by the afternoon," per the BBC. (More beer stories.)

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