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Black, white and foamy

By Liu Zhihua | China Daily | Updated: 2015-06-16 07:11

 Black, white and foamy

The bittersweet fragrance of kuding echoes the Chinese proverb, "sweetness comes after bitterness". [Photo by Bruno Maestrini / China Daily]

Two Chinese craft brewers are hoping the popular appeal of pandas - and some of China's distinctive flavors - will be a hit in other countries, Liu Zhihua reports.

The giant panda, the beloved emblem of China, now also bears two young Chinese men's dream to take the country's distinctive flavors to craft-beer lovers around the world.

The Chinese brand Panda Brew, co-founded by Xia Yulin, Pan Dinghao and a former partner in early 2013, has just released its newest craft beer, Kuding Pale Ale, at its flagship pub in Beijing.

"The panda is the most recognizable emblem of China, and Pan chose it for our brand name because he hopes one day we will sell our craft beer to Canada, where he learned about craft beer," Xia says, adding that Pan used to study automotive engineering in Canada.

The team's new brew uses the leaf of broadleaf holly - the widely used traditional Chinese herb kuding - to enhance the taste and function. As medicine, it's credited with boosting eyesight and intelligence, and is also widely used in China by those seeking to quench thirst, lose weight, reduce high blood pressure, and slow aging.

The two entrepreneurs went to Fujian province, where the best broadleaf holly is said to grow in China, and ultimately selected a sub-species that is not too bitter as an additive for the new beer.

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