HK Craft Brew News: April/May 2021

HK Craft Brew News: April/May 2021

Tap takeovers, collabs, launches and events. There’s a lot going on, all the time. Here’s some of it

Brew 852  Brew 852  on 28 Apr '21

Compiled proudly by Brew News and Brew 852

Send us your hot tips!

There are new Hong Kong beers coming out every week, and it’s impossible to keep up (we do try). Brew News and Brew 852 are doing our best to keep on top of it all, but please do send us deets of what we have missed and we’ll update.

Tap takeovers

Recently, HK Craft Beer Co. brought eight kegs of fresh Equilibrium beer over from New York and immediately cracked them open at Second Draft for a tap takeover. We drooled over all the pictures as we couldn’t be there. The kegs were gone in a couple of hours, but you can still get cans of Equilibrium around town.

HK Craft Beer Co. has a similar takeover planned for late June/early July, with an exciting wild and sour beer brand from Italy called Ca’ del Brado. This event will be held at a brand-new venue on Hollywood Road, Artisan Brewer, and we will update you as soon as we know the date.

Yardley Brothers at Taps & Bites, 29 April

Yardley Brothers brought us exactly 42 new beers in 2020 – more than three a month – so it’s always worth booking in a visit to their place in Kwai Chung on the last Friday of the month for a tour (reservation only) or to The Beer Shack on Lamma for a pour. Their newest beer, Hornindal Hazy Farmhouse Pale Ale, will be on tap at this takeover at Taps & Bites, as well as our favourites, Lo/Hi Mango Cheesecake CBD Sour and The Kveik and the Dead.

7 Tai Wong Street East, Wanchai, 2714 2677

Monsters & Robots at Nacasa, soon

A tap takeover dedicated to CBD and CBG beers? Whaaaaa? Yes, things move fast in this town. Café by day, bar by night, Nacasa in Sheung Wan is getting brand-new taps put in next week, and then they are immediately being taken over by Monsters & Robots, the sister company to Deadman Brewery. More details coming soon.

5 Wa Lane, Sheung Wan, 6287 8880

New taprooms, bottle shops & beer things


First up, Grain is neither a taproom nor a bottle shop – it’s unique in Hong Kong as the only place beer is brewed and then sold to customers alongside food on-site. Yes, we’re talking about Gweilo, Woolly Pig and the space in K-Town formerly occupied for four years by Little Creatures.

This type of brewpub set-up is everywhere in Australia and the States, so it’s both exciting to have it here in Hong Kong and, at the same time, desperately sad that the licencing restrictions are so tough here that there’s only one. Grain is open NOW, and we will bring you the word on what’s on offer very soon!

5A New Praya, Kennedy Town

Ho Lan Jeng

We wrote a whole article about Ho Lan Jeng (aka 65 Peel) because we were so excited about their reopening. They are still waiting for their liquor licence, but it’s really any day now... We will update you with their tap selection once we get the good news, but in the meantime, their coffee and barista are spot on.

2/F, LKF 29, 29 Wyndham Street, LKF, Central, 2342 2224

Artisan Brewer

Soft-opening on 3 May, this prime spot in SoHo will be a bar and restaurant called Artisan Brewer, brought to us by Artisan Butcher in Sai Ying Pun. If the butcher’s beer selection is anything to go by, we think the Hollywood Road location will have some really interesting beers such as St Bernardus Tokyo and some from the Brussels Beer Project, as well as local gems from Heroes Beer Co, Carbon Brews and HK Craft Beer Co.

We have already heard they will be hosting a tap takeover in late June with HK Craft Beer Co., who are bringing in sour and wild beer from Italian brand Ca’ del Brado. Exciting stuff!

28 Hollywood Road, Central

Mostly Water

What do they sell? Mostly water. In cans and bottles with alcohol. They have a tremendous selection of local and fresh beers (including the elusive Doomsday CBG beer from Deadman). Keep an eye on their Facebook and Instagram pages, which are regularly updated.

122D Nga Tsin Wai Road, Kowloon City, 9092 4329

The Fancy Bottle Shop & Studio

The Fancy Bottle shop & Studio

Drop into the Fancy shop in Sai Ying Pun to see what’s fresh and also to chat to the Fancy crew about their upcoming home-brew workshops. They have two options: a pale ale workshop and a brewmaster class. They will be partnering with brewmasters from local breweries (of which there are many!) to teach. More than just a workshop, these will be a sneak peak into brew life and a great chance to network and meet like-minded beer buddies. You’ll soon be able to get home-brew supplies from Fancy too.

36 Eastern Street, Sai Ying Pun

Mak’s Brewery home-brew workshop

It has come to our attention that you can get busy at Mak’s Brewery and make your own home brew! Get a few friends together and schedule three hours or so to hang out in Tsuen Wan. All ingredients and equipment are prepared for you, and your beer will be delivered to you after fermentation, about a month after the class. The cost is $1,150 per station, with 2–4 people per station allowed. Depending on what’s happening at the brewery, you might also get a tour and tasting of their current brews. Whilst the class is usually conducted in Cantonese, the brewers are more than happy to try their best in English too. We all speak the language of beer!

12/F, Jing Ho Industrial Building, 78–84 Wang Lung Street, Tsuen Wan, 6174 7740

Drunk No More store

With loads of local and imported craft beer, Drunk No More thinks life is too short to drink bad beer, and we concur. They have a good range of Monsters & Robots, Lion Rock, Calma and Tai Wai, as well as some imported beers you don’t often see anywhere else.

Alvy’s & Friends (5 May)

K-Town pizzeria Alvy’s will be welcoming 11 Westside for a Cinco de Mayo fiesta on 5 May. Chef Samin Dewan will be serving up various Mexican specialities and a piquant michelada – a drink made with beer, lime, spices, tomato juice and chilli peppers, served in a chilled, salt-rimmed glass – along with Young Master’s lager Al Pastor.

8 Holland Street, Kennedy Town, 2312 2996, book online

New collabs

The current collaborations are inspiring – we love seeing our favourite brands join forces!

99 Bottles x Double Haven

Launched last week was new Dragon Water flavour, Pineapple Passionfruit Lime, made in collaboration with 99 Bottles on Peel Street. These busy bees have also started a mixed case/beer-subscription service via Klook for another way to explore different breweries and easily support local craft beers from home. Dragon Water/Double Haven joined the 1% for the Planet programme last week too, in case you need an environmental reason to support them.

Watch out this summer for Dragon Water to launch their CBD! They are keeping the flavour and label under tight wraps, however, they’ve admitted they plan on a very chill but zesty addition to your summer drinking plans.

Deadman x Double Haven

We’re VERY excited about this one! We adore Double Haven’s bitter West Coast IPA, Adventurer IPA, and most of Deadman’s exciting range (Seven Seas Sour, anyone?), so this has piqued our interest big time. We have been reliably told this will be a super-fresh and crisp beer, ready for the Hong Kong summer – a hopped-up Pilsner, perhaps?

Scott from Double Haven says, “We want to combine the outdoor vibe of Double Haven with the edgy style of Deadman. Buckle up, folks, it should be a tasty ride.” We’re already thirsty. Details will be updated here as soon we get them.

Young Master x Jack ‘n Jill

Young Master Brewery has partnered with potato chips brand Jack ‘n Jill to launch a chips and beer pairing. Playfully dubbed Ma Ma Dei, the beer is a refreshing, unfiltered lager infused with freshly ground green peppercorns. As both beer and Sichuan peppercorn fans, we can confirm the combination is dangerously addictive and perfect together. Find them at Circle K stores around Hong Kong for $25.90 for the combo.

Neonotic! x Heroes (launch on 29 April)

Local brewery Heroes and cidery Neonotic! bring to us Hong Kong’s first local grafs, Stupid Flanders. The two versions – Stupid Bretty Flanders and Stupid Hoppy Flanders – are both crafted by blending apple cider with saison and then fermenting them with Brettanomyces in French oak barrels for six months.

Join the launch at Blue Supreme on 29 April at 5pm to hear head brewers Tom Turner and Chris Wong speak about this project. Draught will be served and bottles will be available for takeaway purchase.

Heroes is also planning some upcoming new variations on their classic Si L Dan IPA, in competition with HK Brewcraft and fans to choose the best version – winner takes the recipe. We volunteer!

H.K. Lovecraft x N.I.P Distilling

H.K. Lovecraft X N.I.P Distillery

N.I.P Distilling and H.K. Lovecraft are lamenting the loss of “human warmth” in this split world, and it has moved them to celebrate three special places unique to Hong Kong where we can come together. These three special collaboration beers dubbed Project McGin will combine Lovecraft’s lager with the Hong Kong spirit (quite literally) in the form of smoky and rich Siu Mei Shop, Cha Chaan Teng (with the familiar aroma of coffee) and Lam Tsuen Wishing Tree, which we’re told will be suitably refreshing and uplifting.

HABA x Carbon Brews Haba x Carbon Brews Roggennbier

This Rogg n Waddle Roggenbier (rye beer) from Carbon Brews is described as coppery brown with a little haze, featuring strong rye and phenolic spices and a hint of banana esters. Toasted beech wood emphasises the spiciness, and low bitterness and medium carbonation help to accentuate the caramel, biscuit and subtle spice characteristics.

The HABA branding seemed a bit odd to us at first, but we know (now) that HABA is made from beech wood, so we’re assuming it plays a big part in this beer.

New beers

This section is never going to be up to date, but as we come across interesting new releases, we will add them here.

New CBD beers & drinks

Flora, Calma, PlantB, Doomsday and Hempover have been added to the CBD beers article. Special mention must be made of these augmented reality (AR) labels done for Oh CBD Beer by @howandhowhk, seen here on their new beer combining the arts of beer and sake: Sake Imperial Brut Lager.

Yardley Brothers BUGS! series

Limited editions! The first beer in the Yardley Brothers’ BUGS! series is a modern twist on the classic whisky sour cocktail. Bourbon Marmalade Wheat Sour has been aged in a Jim Beam bourbon barrel with citrus peel for eight months. Anytime you see one of these bugs on a bottle, you will have found yourself a Yardley Brothers barrel-aged beer and you should celebrate by consuming it. With over 65 barrels at the brewery, there is more BUGS! beer ageing right now for future release.

Black Kite Brewery Taxi Driver IPA

Using experimental hop HBC 630 for the first time in Hong Kong, Black Kite Brewery has partnered with Yamika Chief Hops to present Taxi Driver Red IPA. This hop offers “cherry and raspberry, with candy-like aromatics creating creamy notes of peach and vanilla”, which doesn't sound terrible, and it’s paired with a red ale base that is usually a little more malt forward at Black Kite. Available at Craftissimo.

Hong Kong Beer Co Crush

Hong Kong’s oldest craft brewery is currently undergoing some major renovations, but Hong Kong Beer Co is still coming up with new beers, with a new DDH hazy American wheat ale on their web store. Crush is a refreshingly juicy and smooth American wheat ale with big citrus flavours and little discernible bitterness.

Once the upgrades are finished, the iconic brand will have a canning line and some state-of-the-art equipment, and they are planning a couple of special beers to celebrate their 26th birthday this year – including a Brett beer. We can’t wait!

Young Master Days of Being Wild series Peacock’s Dance

The newest release in the Days of Being Wild series is a celebration of the ebullient, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed peacock. Featuring a fresh batch of foeder-aged sour ale co-fermented with fresh guava and passion fruit, this beer is “bright, tropical, zesty and as bubbly as our muse from the wild”. With multifaceted acidity, Young Master tells us that Peacock’s Dance comes with an elegant background of subtle primeval funk.

Neonotic! Ma Lak Lo Sichuan Vanilla Cider

Neonotic! has just announced its third core cider – Ma Lak Lo Sichuan Vanilla Cider – launched at 六両三, the first-in-HK, draught-cider-serving Taiwanese restaurant. As big Sichuan fans, we can’t wait to try this one. They describe it as having “mysterious shape-shifting flavours of sugar, spice and everything nice, culminating in a different sensation in every sip”.

Citibrew x N.I.P Distilling

Honey Moon Hopped Longan Honey Mead from Citibrew is a sparkling mead (honey wine) made with longan honey from a Hong Kong honey farm. This modern session mead is dry-hopped with Loral hops. These noble hops provide subtle citrus notes of lime and a floral aroma and work to balance the sweetness.

Recommended to have with Honey Moon is Hong Kong's own N.I.P Rare Dry Gin (just named the Best Hong Kong Contemporary Gin at the World Gin Awards 2021). This 100% local cocktail – gin & mead – can easily be made at home, topped with soda as desired. Nic from N.I.P Distilling demonstrates here.

Carbon Brews Funky Rich Lupulins v3.0 (launch on 29 April)

The third version of Funky Rich Lupulins by Carbon Brews is launching at TAP (The Ale Project) in Mongkok at lunchtime on 29 April. Funky Rich is a Brett IPA – we expect a funky barnyard sourness with a strong citrusy, hoppy aroma, a juicy mouthfeel and low bitterness. Off to find out...

Related: All HK Craft Breweries

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Brew 852

Brew 852

Mick and Dale are drinking beer, brewing beer and reviewing beer all over Hong Kong. It's a tough gig.