Beyond 7-11: Hong Kong’s Top Spots for Craft Brew
Johannes Pong – Travel and food writer
Once upon a time, when you asked a Hongkonger what their favourite beer was, you’d probably hear names like, Heineken, Asahi or Carlsberg (seriously…Carlsberg!). But good luck finding that today. Hong Kong’s burgeoning craft beer scene is maturing fast! And residents are now becoming just as snobby (in a good way!) with their beer as they have with wine. It’s not for nothing the city’s craft beer scene has exploded. Instead of just asking for a lager, you now have the pleasure of asking for “An American IPA with an 8% ABV and a touch of Honey”. You know…without looking like a snob ;-)
Here are six awesome beer bars to check out.
14 diverse beers on tap, half seasonal local brews, half well curated imports. Their winter tap selection includes 1842 Island, an Imperial IPA with a complex hop flavour profile, and Hong Kong Black from Young Master Ales (an Ap Lei Chau microbrewery) hinting of chocolate and coffee. Snacks are inspired by Hong Kong, like a Siu Yuk (Cantonese roast pork) Cubano sandwich and a Lap Cheong (Chinese fermented sausage) Schmear.
The industrial chic bar boasts 15 taps, with a broad range of artisanal brews from Scotland, Belgian and Hong Kong’s own Young Master. Try the Cha Cha Soba (a buckwheat ale) or a fruitier Mountain Goat IPA with notes of grapefruit and lychee. Go for their grilled gourmet sausages, some made with rabbit, crocodile and cobra.
25 types of draught craft beer with authentic Texas barbecue. If the lengthy iPad menu seems too daunting, order their beer platter —six varieties served in small glasses, from light, fruitier ales to muscular, caramel stouts. Try their beef brisket, pulled pork, or tender US prime grade beef short rib, smoked for six hours.
Entering the bar instantly transports you to a convivial European beer hall. They boast Hong Kong’s largest selection of Belgian beer, draught or by the bottle, which pair perfectly with their signature steaming pots of mussels, sausages and schnitzels, served with French, or uh, Belgian fries.
The popular gastro-pub focuses on British and Belgian beers, with nine on tap. They do not stay long so there’s always something novel in their broad ale selections. Old favourites include Budvar, Leffe Blonde and Brune, and Typhoon 8, Hong Kong’s own ale produced in Mui Wo. Pub grub classics like Beer Battered Fish or a Chicken, Leek and Ale Pie.
This funky hangout in one of the most happening hoods of Hong Kong boasts a range of pale ales, ambers, browns and reds, imperial stouts, ciders and fruit beers, weekly and seasonal taps “Straight From The Udder.” The food offerings are equally eclectic — foie gras duck confit poutine and Rocky Mountain oysters. That’s bull testicles, darling.
Johannes is a jet-setting travel and food writer featured in numerous lifestyle publications. Not one to shy away from TV or radio, Johannes is also a regular guest commentator on RTHK, fed Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmer snake soup on an episode of Bizarre Foods. He also takes visiting guests around town on wontonathons via bespoke tour company http://www.littleadventuresinhongkong.com