By Jim Boyce | Expect a brand new “qu brew” as Jing-A in Beijing returns this year with another baijiu-inspired beer. Last year’s recipe for World Baijiu Day got its kick from qu, the fermentation agent in baijiu, an ingredient that is being partnered this year, says co-owner Alex Acker.
“We’ve taken a different twist with it,” explains Acker. “We’re brewed it as a 4.5 percent red sorghum kettle sour, fermented with both baiju qu in the kettle and then Belgian yeast in the fermentation vessel.”
“It’s a mixed culture, but we soured in the kettle with 100 percent baijiu qu as a first step,” he adds. “The flavor was promising!”
The final taste is hard to predict, especially as this is the first time the Jing-A team has tried such a beer.
“From tasting it this morning, I think it could come out a little like our pomegraneate sour,” he says. “Kind of a light tartness with some nice esters in there, although we still have a ways to go.”
Qu Brew II is expected to be available around August 5, in plenty of time for World Baijiu Day on August 9. It will also be handy for visitors to the baijiu event at Pop-Up Beijing on August 7 given Jing-A is only 50 meters away. More details soon. For now, here are some photos from last year’s qu brew experiment.