Tsingtao Brewery was founded by the Anglo-German Brewery Co. Ltd., an English-German joint stock company based in Hong Kong which owned it until 1916. The brewery was founded on August 15, 1903 as the Germania-Brauerei (Germania Brewery) with a paid-in capital of 400,000 Mexican silver dollars divided into 4,000 shares priced at $100 each
The beer market in China was very underdeveloped in the 1980s and the brewery was forced to concentrate on overseas markets. The Chinese economic reforms in the early 1980s facilitated exportation. However, while concentrating on international markets, the brewery also attempted to sell its beer on the domestic market and competed with other domestic brands as well as foreign brands.
The main export company for the brewery was the “Good Harvest of Five Grains Corporation” based in Hong Kong. The Good Harvest of Five Grains Corporation also tried to market the beer in Hong Kong itself and later built a wholesale network consisting of up to 300 companies.