The best beer, it's said, is the one in your hand. Indeed, what better beverage to beat the heat and chase the summer doldrums?
Brewed from cereal grains, it's among the oldest alcoholic beverages. Lower in alcohol than spirits and even wine, beer is an accepted drink across a wide group of people.
The recipe is fairly simple. The basic ingredients are water and a fermentable starch such as malted barley. Brewer's yeast is added and hops are used for flavoring.
Sometimes sugar is added to create more foam. Beer can also be made from grains like millet, sorghum and even corn. Sorghum is used to make gluten-free beer.
There are, of course, many varieties of beer that flow from the recipe, and beer lovers sometimes have their special favorites, such as British stout, German pilsner, Belgian lager or American-style craft brews.
And, yes, Chinese beer has also gained an international following with the popular export brand Tsingtao.
Before the beer we drink today made its way to China, beer-like drinks were being produced as long ago as 5,000 years.
The ancient Chinese used millet, wheat, Job's tears and some root and stem crops to make guya jiu (谷芽酒), or millet sprout wine.
But the ancient "beer" didn't really catch on. Alcoholic drinks like yellow wine and distilled spirits dominated for millennia.
Modern beer was introduced to China in the early 20th century, starting in the northern provinces bordering Russia. Beer is called pijiu in Chinese, with pi a transliteration of "beer" and jiu the Chinese word for "alcohol."
In 1900, the first brewery in China was built in Harbin City by Jan Wróblewski, a German of Polish origin. Its purpose was to supply beer for the Russians who came to China when work began on the Trans-Manchurian Railway in 1898.
The facility evolved into the Harbin Brewery, one of China's top beer companies today. In 2014, the company opened the Harbin Beer Museum to showcase the history of the brew.
The 50 yuan ($7.46) entry ticket includes a complimentary glass of cold Harbin beer.
In the first years of the 20th century, other breweries were opened in Harbin by the Russians, Germans and Czechs.
In 1903, Tsingtao Brewery was founded by British and German settlers in the coastal city of Qingdao in Shandong Province.
The first pilsner was produced using imported grains, hops planted outside the brewery and fresh spring water. Today, Tsingtao is China's second most popular seller. The company is noted for its pilsner and lager.
In Qingdao, seafood and beer complement the local lifestyle. People there prefer to buy Tsingtao draft beer sold in open plastic bags, fresh from the brewery. Some people joke that Qingdao residents drink beer instead of water.