International beer festival opens

This year's event in Harbin features world's largest indoor ice hall

By TIAN XUEFEI and ZHOU HUIYING in Harbin | China Daily | Updated: 2024-07-08 09:53
Share - WeChat
Visitors enjoy beers during the 22nd Harbin International Beer Festival at the same park that hosts the Harbin Ice and Snow World in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, on July 6, 2024. LIU YANG/FOR CHINA DAILY

The 22nd Harbin International Beer Festival kicked off on Saturday, transforming a vast park into a haven for beer lovers and offering a summer surprise: the world's largest indoor ice and snow hall.

This year's festival boasts the largest venue ever. Organizers say it's also the most diverse in terms of beer selection, aiming to provide a comprehensive cultural and tourism experience.

With an area of more than 300,000 square meters, the annual festival, which usually lasts for about three weeks, is held at the same park that hosts the Harbin Ice and Snow World in winter.

The festival boasts over 1,000 beers from more than 10 countries, including China, Russia, Germany and the United States. The first barrel of beer in China was produced at the Harbin Brewery in 1900. Themed zones at the beer festival offer everything from beer halls, gardens and camping to comic exhibitions.

Harbin hopes to replicate its success in winter, when a record number of visitors flock to the city to admire its ice and snow scenery at the Harbin Ice and Snow World, which features numerous ice and snow sculptures and has long been a must-see for tourists from all over the country.

As night falls, the Dream Stage at the center of the beer festival venue, covering over 40,000 sq m and accommodating 30,000 people, comes alive with interactive activities and performances.

Tourists pose for a photo through a heart-shaped formation created by two ice swans at the indoor ice and snow hall at the park in Harbin on July 6, 2024. ZHANG TAO/XINHUA

Each week, electronic music festivals or concerts will be held, featuring star performers, top DJs and internet celebrities. The four beer halls will host a variety of performances every day, creating a high-end cultural and tourism experience that brings together unique beers, fashionable bars and cultural tourism.

Each of the 21 beer gardens has its unique features, offering not only drinking but also barbecue gatherings, leisurely afternoon teas, socializing with friends and corporate team-building.

The camping area features 24 RVs, five double-peak tents, 40 camping tents, 30 trendy tents and multiple space capsules for visitors. The self-driving RV base covers an area with camping parking spaces, and provides dining and entertainment including a drive-in cinema and a public activity plaza, as well as a public bath center.

But the biggest draw might be the new 23,800 sq m indoor ice and snow hall, recognized by Guinness World Records as the largest of its kind.

The immersive hall features cutting-edge ice and snow carving techniques, creating an ice wonderland with temperatures ranging from -8 C to — 12 C. Divided into nine themed areas and offering 13 experiential projects, visitors can explore the wonders of ice and snow year-round.

For tourist Bu Jing, the chance to experience a 40 C temperature difference within the park was irresistible.

"I came for the festival, but then I saw the ice and snow hall and knew I had to visit," said the 42-year-old tourist from Taizhou, Jiangsu province. "I was sad to miss Harbin's famous winter displays, but this is like an incredible summer miracle."

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349