In an incident that has left beer enthusiasts feeling flushed, Tsingtao Brewery, the sixth-largest global beer maker, finds itself navigating a turbulent PR crisis. A viral video revealed a man, donning a hard hat and blue overalls, climbing into a malt container at the Pingdu factory and making a most inappropriate “contribution” to the brewing process.
The Incident and Its Fallout
The alarming footage seen here, shows the man unzipping his trousers and urinating into the vat, an action that has had many questioning the “safety measures” at Tsingtao’s factories. This bizarre and distasteful episode has led to the brand sealing off all batches linked to the incident.
A statement from the company read: “Our company attaches high importance to the relevant video that emerged from Tsingtao Brewery No. 3 on 19 October. We reported the incident to the police at the earliest opportunity, and public security organisations are involved in the investigation.”
Further inquiry found that the man caught in the act was not an employee of Tsingtao but a loader hired through a third-party labour supplier. This revelation, however, did little to contain the damage. Tsingtao’s shares on the Shanghai Stock Exchange plummeted, showing a 1% dip on Friday followed by a staggering 7.5% on Monday morning.
Public Reaction and the Urine Humor
While the company grapples with the crisis, the internet has been brewing its own set of reactions, most notably on Weibo. One user mockingly noted, “Good thing I don’t drink beer – but it’s unimaginable if this brand is finished because of this.” Another added, “I’ve always said the beer here is like horse pee. Turns out I was wrong.” It appears the jokes on the brand’s misfortune are flowing faster than beer from a freshly-tapped keg.
If you’ve ever joked that a particular beer tastes like “wee,” you may have been closer to the truth than you’d like. And while the humour is debatably rich, the shares of Tsingtao are decidedly not, having taken a robust hit.
Company’s Response and Next Steps
Tsingtao assured the public that it “continues to strengthen its management procedures and ensure product quality.” Given that some customers already had reservations about the flavour of the beer, the brand now faces a more arduous task of convincing its audience that this was an isolated episode, not a secret ingredient.
The Workers Union Says…
“To its credit, the company acted swiftly in addressing the issue and sealing the contaminated malt. But the bigger question that looms is whether Tsingtao can overcome this PR hiccup and rebuild trust. Otherwise, the only thing the brand might be brewing in the future is a recipe for disaster.”