The success of this year's Beertopia (which took place over the past weekend) is a true testament to the rising demand of thoughtfully produced, high-quality beer in our previously beer indifferent city. In addition to live music, a shisha garden and variety of entertainment (including giant beer pong) along Central Harbourfront, the fifth instalment of Hong Kong's largest craft beer festival boasted 119 different breweries from around the globe, including more than 100 India pale ales, 50 porters and stouts and over 65 locally brewed beers.
In stark contrast to mass-produced corporate beers like Budweiser and Carlsberg, craft beers are produced on a much smaller scale. All ingredients (malt, hops and yeast) are carefully sourced, resulting in beers of the highest quality when artfully combined in a traditional brewing process. With great emphasis placed on creativity and experimentation, one will quickly discover that no two brands of craft beer taste, smell or look the same. Each beer owns a unique spot in a spectrum of flavours (bready, sour, fruity, nutty, roasted), aromas (floral, pine, citrus) and appearance (black, copper, pale gold).
Photo credit: Concrete Playground
Quick to mirror the global spike in craft beer interest, Hong Kong's own craft beer scene has risen to prominence over the past few years. Local breweries who have made a name for themselves include Gweilo, Young Master Ales, Black Kite Brewery and Moonzen Brewery, amongst many others. The use of local ingredients creates a unique taste that is distinct to Hong Kong. Logan and goji berries can be found in Mak's Brewery Company's Longan Pale Ale and jasmine, chrysanthemum and osmanthus in Young Master's In the Mood for Spring. Beers at the Hong Kong Beer Co. include Dragon's Back, Gambler's Gold, White Pearl and Sevens, all paying homage to our city's unique culture.
Photo credit: Mad Buzz HK
For a few great craft brew locations in Causeway Bay's Food Street, check out the Arcobrau beer at King Ludwig Beerhall. Arcobrau beer has the unique and subtle flavours of a fine cellar. It's fruity, sparkling, aromatic and mild. Arcobrau Weissbier is made with the finest wheat malt and yeast, with a batch propagated especially for every brew and used only once. It stands out among Weissbiers. Arcobrau Dunkel is the archetypal Bavarian beer as it was brewed in the good old days. It tastes of roasted malt, with its dark, velvety sweetness undercut with the bitterness of hops. The foam is caramel coloured and is reason enough to walk your feet over to Fashion Walk.
King Ludwig Beerhall, Shop A and C, G/F, 8 Kingston Street, Fashion Walk, Causeway Bay (Food Street), 2556 7033
Another great option on Food Street is Coedo Taproom, a Japanese brew pub mixed with a yakitori eatery for some great munching while indulging in their portfolio of brews like Shikkoku, Ruri, Kyara and Beniaka.
Coedo Taproom, Shop C, G/F, 50–56 Paterson Street, Fashion Walk, Causeway Bay (Food Street), 2619 9011