From molecular mixology to sommelier-selected wines, Hong Kong has never lacked variety when it comes to nightlife. And now, heralded by the annual Beertopia festival that took place mid-April, craft beer is gaining force in the city.
The beer festival was so successful in its first run that it migrated to the spacious West Kowloon Promenade for its second year. The weekend saw beer lectures from experts from across the globe, live music performed by local bands and, of course, plenty of beers. The craft brews on offer were sourced from places as far-flung as Cambodia, Chile and Norway, and there was even a Homebrew Corner where attendees could learn about making their own brews.
Also contributing to the HK beer scene in the last year are retailers such as The Bottle Shop, Hop Leaf and Americraft Imports, which source specialty craft brews from Japan, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. Mostly founded by small groups of individuals who are passionate about beer — and about spreading their love for beer throughout the city — these shops provide more options for the discerning drinker than your typical, unexciting mass-market stores. Some notable beers at Americraft Inports include Anchor Porter and Downtown Brown (unsurprisingly from the U.S.), while you can pick up Japan’s Baird Brewing Company beers and Tuatara at Hop Leaf. Or swing by the Bottle Shop for BrewDog from the United Kingdom and Australia’s Mountain Goat beer.
While not nearly as well-established in the beer realm as some other cities, Hong Kong is home to a few local craft brews of its own: The Hong Kong Beer Company has been producing bottles including Dragon Pearl, Hong Kong Longer and Hong Kong Ale since 2003 in Aberdeen, while Typhoon Brewery opened in Mui Wo in 2010 and makes its signature T8 beer, named after typhoon signal 8, one of the highest warning signals in Hong Kong.
So, when you’re about to head out for a night on the town in Hong Kong, skip the cocktail lounges for once and sip down a cold one. Beer pub The Globe easily has the most varied beer list in town with a menu of lighter, hoppy, dark and darker bottles from around the world, while Hong Kong Brewhouse, Hop House and East End Brewery offer up the aforementioned local brews. Gan bei!
Photos Courtesy of Beertopia, The Hop House and Hong Kong Brew House