Posted by: apal1528 | 09/10/2010

Qionglai and the Baijiu Distillery

A few days ago I found some long lost photos from my time in Sichuan.

[retroblog] – Our good friend Ting introduced us to her friend Dylan while we were visiting her home town, Qionglai [邛崃]. Dylan was a really great guy. Only knowing us for about a day, he invited us to his house for dinner with his grandma. She was hilarious with her super thick Sichuan accent, she kept telling us to be careful that evening because we were going up camping in the mountains. The food was great too.

Ting and Dylan and some of their friends took us to this resort/camping area on Emei mountain. We stayed in a cottage and played mahjong all night. It was fun. The next morning they took us to this forested water park mountain with all these team building activities. For this one you have to walk head to head and hand to hand over this pool, only walking on chains. They failed.

This is all of us in front of the boat ride to get in the park.

After we were done wandering around the park we started to drive back to Qionglai for dinner. But as we talked with Dylan he mentioned his dad owned a baijiu factory. In fact, he said, it was on the way back. So we stopped and took a tour of the place. It was fascinating. If you don’t know much about baijiu, it’s hard liquor found only in China. It’s very strong and is typically eaten with food. You drink it from little thimble sized cups. I think it’s pretty good.

Here is the storage area where they keep the grains before they begin the distilling process.

Here’s the outside of one of the storage buildings. For this particular brand of baijiu, they age the liquor for up to 20 years!

These gentlemen are scooping the slosh from the boilers. Baijiu, as we learned, is typically made from 5 grains, millet, sorghum, rice, wheat, and rye. Different brands vary the recipe. In this factory, the slosh is boiled twice and allowed to cool and ferment.

Here the slosh is cooled over this platform with air blown under it by a fan.

The slosh eventually cools down and it is allowed to ferment for a certain period of time.

After the second boiling process, the slosh is distilled. Here you can see the fresh baijiu about to be released. They let us taste it. I actually like baijiu so warm baijiu wasn’t bad at all. It was very crisp.

This is an aging yard. I believe the small cans, the porcelain urns, and the large silo like containers hold different grades of baijiu. Perhaps aged differently or with slightly different tastes.

This is the delicious hotpot meal we had.. you can see the glasses of baijiu that Dylan’s father gave to us. It was delicious.

If you’d like to learn more about baijiu, take a look at this wikipedia article.


  1. cool — awesome pictures! 🙂

  2. […] read a cool blog post from this site. The guy has great photos and talks about some of China’s alcohol is […]

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