A Story about the Origin of Moutai Liquor

Over one thousand years ago, in the Moutai village by the Chishui River, there were only a dozen of villagers. On the highest place stood three big tile-roofed houses lived a rich family, and other poor villagers lived in the thatched houses on the riverside. People there had a custom of brewing liquor. However, their brewing technology of these villagers, rich or poor, was nothing special.  

Moutai village by the Chishui River
Moutai village by the Chishui River
Brewing liquor
Brewing liquor

In one December, the ever-mild Moutai village snowed heavily. It had snowed for several days and there was no sign of stopping. At that moment, there was a girl in tatters and with bare feet, a stick in hand, coming to the village from the hillside.


At the gate of the rich family, the girl saw several servants were busy brewing liquor and stopped, "brothers, I feel very cold, could you give me some liquor to warm myself and keep out the cold?"


Seeing the poor girl quivering from coldness like sieving chaff, the servants stopped to watch her sympathetically. One took a bowl and ladled out a bowl of liquor from the urn, saying "drink it quickly, the master is coming in a minute."


Unfortunately, the moment the girl carried the bowl the master came back. He snatched the bowl from the girl's hands and poured the liquor to the urn, shouting "Get out! Stop your bullshit."


The girl stared at the man disdainfully and left without a word.


Walking along the paved path leading to the riverside, she went to the direction of thatched houses. Arriving at one house, she saw a whitebeard was hooping a liquor utensil with bamboo strip and his wife was lighting fire. The girl came to the old man, "Grandpa, help me!"


Raising his head, the old man saw a poor girl in ragged clothes standing at the gate, said: "Come in quickly, how strong the wind and how heavy the snow outside!"


Led by the old man, the girl entered into the house and sat beside the stove. The old man asked his wife to add more wood to the stove. Then the old man went inside to take a bowl of liquor for the girl, saying: "Drink it, you will get warmer."


The girl accepted the bowl and drank off the liquor, praising "very good!"


After cleaning dishware, the granny prepared to cook fried rice for her. However, the girl stood up and stopped the granny. The old man hurriedly said: "the night falls, and it is very cold outside, where are you going to?"


The girl said: "I am homeless, and I don't know where to go."


Putting down the brush in her hand, the granny came to the girl: "We both are poor, take my home as your home. My daughter has gone to her uncle's, so you can sleep at her room. " The granny took the girl to her daughter's room.


A moment later, the granny fell asleep. The old man continued to hoop the liquor utensil. As the time went on, he gradually leaned on the liquor utensil and fell asleep. In his dream, he saw a fairy. The fairy wore a phoenix pearl crown, glistening butterfly flower wadded jacket, jade-adorned pleated skirt, golden necklace and two red ribbons. She stood in the colorful rays. In her hand, there was a luminous cup, and she poured the liquid to the Moutai village. Suddenly, a clean brook originating from the hillside flew to the Chishui River. In an instant, the luminous cup was changed into a stick. The fairy took the stick and stirred the brook between the three tile-roofed houses and the thatched houses. Then the fairy disappeared. Suddenly, the old man heard a familiar sound: "please use the water in this brook to brew liquor. Hurry up, the water is flowing to your house."


The old man was awakened, very much surprised. Opening his eyes, he found that it was early morning. He came to his daughter's room, but found nobody, nothing unusual. The gate was closed. At that moment, his wife got up and said: "My husband, I dreamed a fairy last night. How surprising it was!"


Without a word, the old man opened the door and saw the sun was rising in the eastern glowing sky. Besides, a brook flew through the village.


The old man excitedly carried a bucket and ladled out a bucket of water with a water ladle. He used the water to brew liquor. The liquor was extraordinarily sweet and fragrant. The old man invited his poor neighbors to taste the liquor and they all praised: "Very good, great!"

 

From then on, the villagers began to use the water in the brook to brew liquor. Surprisingly, the liquor made by the rich man became worse and worse, and even his jars were sour and smelly. Before long the rich man went bankrupt. While the liquor made by the poor became better and better: clean, fragrant and sweet. Gradually, the brewing industry gained momentum and numerous retailers came to this village to purchase liquor.

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