Beijing has a pollution problem. A really bad pollution problem. As of today, the air quality index in the China capital clocked in at 180 on a 500 point scale, with 100 - 150 being considered unhealthy for sensitive people such as senior citizens or those with lung disease, and 151 to 200 considered unhealthy for everyone. Los Angeles, for reference, sat pretty this morning at a neat 85.
All those smog clouds aren't without their silver lining, though. Nope, turns out really bad air can sometimes make for some really cheap beer.
In a shining case of dark humor, Beijing microbrewer Jing-A-Brewing recently released an unfiltered, 8.8% alcohol by volume IPA inspired by the city's notoriously awful breathing conditions. Dubbed "Airpocalypse," the beer has been the strongest for the brand so far, and even featured a launch party where prices were decided by the city's current AQI. If readings hit beyond 500 (the top of the scale — as they did in January of last year at an insane 755), beer would be free.
“We wanted something strong and that had some quality that’s beyond index,” Alex Acker, creator of Airpocalypse, told the Wall Street Journal.
(Un-)luckily, conditions that day were fair enough only to garner a 5 yuan discount, though several fans have requested another party around Chinese New Year, when air quality is "almost always off the charts." Talk about glass half full.
H/T WSJ + Picthx Jing-A