Craft Beer Classics

In April 2015, when I was developing my content strategy for The Great Hop Forward‘s Twitter feed, I came up with the idea of offering a Mandarin Beer Word of the Day. Although unplanned at the time, these words became the basis for my book, How to Drink Beer in Mandarin: An English-Chinese Craft Beer Glossary.

Then, when remembering a beer-related pun I had thought of for Lao Tzu’s famous travel quote — “The journey of a thousand li begins with a single step.”— I decided to do the same for other famous Chinese quotes and idioms. These became my weekly Craft Beer Classics. For your enjoyment, here are the 52 with their original sources:

If the king loves beer, there is little wrong in the land. (Mencius)

Able to assist the transforming and nourishing powers of barley and hop, he may with barley and hop form a ternion. (Confucius)

Beer is like the eternal void: filled with infinite possibilities. (Lao Tzu)

I am not at all interested in immortality, only in the taste of beer. (Lu Tong)

When you are brewing for others let it be with the same zeal as if it were for yourself. (Confucius)

A frog in a fermenter cannot conceive of the ocean. (Zhuang Zi)

Better to be deprived of food for three days than beer for one. (Unknown)

Beer in the soul can be tasted by the universe. (Lao Tzu)

The way you drink your beer reflects the way you live. (Confucius)

Tap the keg when it is ready to be tapped. (Unknown)

I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I drink and I understand. (Confucius)

A bit of fragrance clings to the hand that harvests the hops. (Unknown)

A pint of beer is repaid with a wellspring. (Unknown)

Do not remove a fruit fly from your friend’s beer with a hatchet. (Unknown)

Lager does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. (Lao Tzu)

A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a beer perfected without trials. (Unknown)

He who waits for a beer to fly into his hand must wait a very long time. (Unknown)

When you drink of the pint, be thankful for the brewer. (Unknown)

You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from shitting in your beer. (Unknown)

When we see men of a contrary character, we should grab a beer and examine ourselves. (Confucius)

Cheap beer is not good, good beer is not cheap. (Unknown)

Defeat isn’t bitter if you don’t swallow it. Drink an IPA instead. (Unknown)

To see things in the wort, that is genius. (Lao Tzu)

Talk does not brew beer. (Unknown)

Recompense injury with a beer, and recompense kindness with kindness. (Confucius)

A beer is not brewed from a single grain. (Unknown)

A fly before his own eye is bigger than a beer across the table. (Unknown)

A hasty man drinks his beer with a fork. (Unknown)

1,000 beers do not suffice when true friends meet, but half a sentence is too much when there is no meeting of minds. (Unknown)

With time and patience sweet wort becomes a lager. (Unknown)

The more man meditates upon good beer, the better will be his world and the world at large. (Confucius)

Scholars talk books, brewers talk beer. (Unknown)

Pick your pub before the dark; get on your road before the dawn. (Unknown)

A good brewer lets his intuition lead him wherever it wants. (Lao Tzu)

Beer does not intoxicate a man – a man intoxicates himself. (Unknown)

More hop bines are upright than men. (Unknown)

He who drinks without modesty will find it difficult to make his words lucid. (Confucius)

A wise man adapts himself to circumstances as beer shapes itself according to the vessel that contains it. (Unknown)

It is easier to meet friends at the pub than to live with them. (Unknown)

Give a man a beer, quench thirst for a day. Teach a man to brew, quench thirst for life. (Unknown)

Some prefer porter while others like IPA. (Unknown)

I hear, I know. I see, I remember. I drink, I understand. (Confucius)

Better the pub where one is merry than the palace where one weeps. (Unknown)

Without beer, there would be no Tao. (Lao Tzu)

It takes sweat to brew a beer, but it only takes saliva to criticize it. (Taiwanese proverb)

Sour, sweet, bitter, pungent, all must be tasted. (Unknown)

With coarse rice to eat, beer to drink, and my bent arm for a pillow – I have still joy in the midst of all these things. (Confucius)

Beer is finite, while knowledge is infinite. (Zhuang Zi)

The journey of a thousand li begins with a single pint. (Lao Tzu)

Everyone eats and drinks; yet only few appreciate the taste of beer. (Confucius)

When friends gather round for a beer from afar do we not rejoice? (Confucius)

Tasting it once is better than being told 100 times. (Zhou Chongguo)

Note: Feel free to adopt any of these. But if you use them in print, post them online, or transmit them via social media, I would appreciate your citing me as the twisted mind that came up with them. 乾杯!