Chang (sometimes spelled chhaang) is a Tibetan beer made from fermented rice and is rumored to be a favorite of the Yeti (abominable snowman) who ransacked remote mountain villages in search of the quaff. And it tastes much better than it sounds.
Actually brewed from a combination of barley, millet and/or rice – whatever is in season and available with the addition of a yeast cake, Chang is enjoyed by young and old alike and is especially popular during the celebration of Losar, the Tibetan New Year.
My companion ordered Chang to accompany a traditional Tibetan meal in the city of Pohkara. It was frosty cold and milky white, almost opalescent and lightly carbonated. It tasted more like a sake than a beer, but it was totally light and refreshing – just the thing to offset the panoply of chilies and spices that were to follow.
Chang is reportedly easy to make at home, but I haven’t tried it— yet.