Jiannan Distilled Liquor (Jiannan Shaochun)

Last updated by chinatravel at 2013-11-3

The liquor brewage history in Mianzhu City dates back to the time of the Warring States of China. From the rare copper, used for brewing liquors and unearthed in 1979 in Jintu Village, Qingdao County and Mianzhu City, people infer that Mianzhu’s liquor brewage history is more than 2,000 years. Brewing, selling and consuming Mianzhu’s liquors reached a considerable degree in Han Dynasty. The unearthed pictures of brewing, selling, hosting and drinking liquors reflect the prosperity of the Han society and the development of liquor brewage industry. From the Han to the Jin dynasty, liquor brewage industry suffered from banning now and then due to social instabilities. This was a special phenomenon of China’s liquor brewage history. Objectively, it prompted the development of the culture of liquors. In Tang Dynasty, which is a golden period in Chinese history for its stable politics, prosperous economy, flourishing cultures and multi-dimensional communication with the foreign countries, people produced the “Jiannan Distilled Liquor” (Jiannan Shaochun) by using the techniques in the Warring States Period. “Jiannan” is a name of the place located in south part of “Sichuan Jianmen Pass”. “Shao” refers to the brewage craft which brews liquors from grains, that is, the distilling. “chun” is the nickname of liquor at that time. “Jiannan Distilled Liquor” is also called “Distilled Fragrant Liquor” or “Raw Liquor”. It was one of the famous liquors in Tang Dynasty according to the historical book Supplement to the History of Tang Dynasty written by Li Zhao of Tang Dynasty. In the periods reigned by Deizong, Li Shi, it became articles of tribute due to its excellent quality. With the legend that young Li Bai(a famous poet in Tang Dynasty) bought this liquor by selling his mink coat, it is still popular today in Mianzhu that the cost of a mink coat worth the whole city of Luoyang. Li Yin of Tang Dynasty has a record of Jiannan Distilled Liquor in his book DaiPing in General. Another book History of Liquor written by Song Boren of Yuan Dynasty also records this. As for the first milestone of Mianzhu’s liquor brewage history, Jiannan Distilled Liquor is appreciated by people from generation to generation due to its excellent quality and plays an important role for today’s wine brewing and evaluating. The liquor brewage industry in Mianzhu formed the backbone of the country’s finance in history. The historical records in Important Events Happened in Song Dynasty show that the taxes on liquors were almost spent on national defense in fighting against Jin Dynasty and greatly eased up the shortage of military supplies of Song Dynasty. It was said in History of Song Dynasty: Food that in the 17th year of Shaoxin, Sichuan had an official whose duty was to supervise liquor trade, so did Mianzhu. Yang Zhuzhi, mentioned in History of Song Dynasty: Food, was such a tax collector with great achievements in Mianzhu. Thus we can see the prosperity of Mianzhu liquor brewage industry and the important role it played in history.

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