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Beijing brewery raises a pint to pollution

A man wearing a mask rides a bicycle during severe pollution on February 25, 2014 in Beijing, China.
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A man wearing a mask rides a bicycle during severe pollution on February 25, 2014 in Beijing, China.

The heavy pollution in Beijing is often enough to leave a bad taste in its residents' mouths.

Looking to put a positive spin on a bad situation, Beijing-based brewery Jing-A recently released Airpocalypse IPA. Touted as a tribute to the city's well-known air-quality issues, Airpocalypse IPA is unfiltered in order to make it hazier and has 8.8 percent alcohol by volume, in honor of eight being a lucky number in China.

To mark the beer's release, Jing-A turned to variable pricing, where the price of Airpocalypse was adjusted according to the city's Air Quailty Index (AQI) rating. The higher the pollution, the lower the price of the beer.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, if the AQI reached 500 or above, "a measurement identified on the U.S. Embassy's Beijing Air Twitter feed as 'beyond index,' " the beer would have been free.

In case of good news/bad news for beer drinkers, the pollution rating didn't rise very much during the promotion. The price of the beer, set typically at 40 Chinese yuan (or about US$6.40), fell to 35 Chinese yuan (US$5.60).

The pricing promotion may be over, but brewery officials say customers are already asking for it to return during the Chinese New Year, when air pollution levels tend to be at their highest levels of the year.

To read the Journal's full report, click here.