A couple of years ago, we would have said the craft beer scene in Hong Kong is starting to explode. Well, we can now safely say it has exploded and is here to stay. There’s even a Craft Beer Association of Hong Kong. It’s not just bars serving craft beer, there are breweries popping up all over the city, from Kwai Chung to Kennedy Town. Many do brewery tours where you can sample a bit of everything that they brew, so make it your mission to check them out over several weekends…or perhaps do a crazy pub crawl and hit a bunch up in one night. Read on for the ultimate guide to craft beer in Hong Kong.
On the ground floor of the cool hotel and neighbourhood hangout Little Tai Hang you’ll find Second Draft. The much buzzed about gastropub pours beers from celebrated local brewers Young Master and Carbon Brews, which you can sip alongside award-winning chef May Chow’s Hong Kong-inspired menu. Keep an eye out for their rotating guest tap brews, featuring some of the best international craft beer from New Zealand, Denmark and more.
Where: G/F, Little Tai Hang, 98 Tung Lo Wan Road, Tai Hang
Contact: 2656 0232
Little Creatures brews craft beer daily in an impressive venue — when you walk in you can’t miss the 5 hectolitre brewery producing various beers served up in front at the bar, or in the large dining area. Their beer, like the signature Pale Ale, have unique key flavours such as citrus, nectarine and burnt toffee. Grab a bottle, along with a Bright Ale, Original Pilsner, IPA or Rogers Beer, as they´re sold to take home too.
Where: Shop 1, G/F New Fortune House, 5A New Praya, Kennedy Town
Contact: 2833 5611 or email@example.com
When the motto is “No Carlsberg. No Stella. No San Miguel.” then you know the bar is serious about craft beer. Craft Brew & Co., with three locations in Hong Kong, know their stuff and pour superb craft beer. If that weren’t enough, they also grill some damn fine gourmet sausages that are lean and made with all-natural casings. It’s the perfect accompaniment to their light and golden Summer Ale, or go for a Bohemian Pale Ale, Liberty IPA or Kung Fu Lager. Don’t know where to start? Book a tasting session (minimum 6 people) and learn the style, flavour and aroma of each beer.
Where: G/F, 17 Old Bailey Street, Central; 36 High Street, Sai Ying Pun; G/F, 27-31 Catchick Street, Kennedy Town
Contact: 2885 0821 (Central); 2559 0498 (Sai Ying Pun); 2246 8782 (Kennedy Town) or firstname.lastname@example.org
COEDO, an award-winning brewery from Saitama, Japan, serves craft beer at their Causeway Bay Taproom, the brewery’s first overseas venue. Featuring 12 taps, including all of their year-round beers, plus seasonal, limited and exclusive ones, you’ll happily spend a night here sampling the suds and nibbling on authentic Saitama-style yakitori and other savoury snacks.
Where: Shop C, G/F, 50-56 Paterson Street, Causeway Bay
Contact: 2619 9011 or email@example.com
Who knew a place in Mong Kok would be a prime spot for sampling craft beer, Italian-style? Pazzeria Italian Brewery has authentic Italian craft beers, bottled and on tap — 16 taps in fact. There’s also a Central location, and both spots pour mainly Italian craft beers, but there’s other European beers to try, and some mean Italian food too. Suggestion, if we may? Keep the focus on the beer and tuck into a cheese board with a variety of cold cuts and cheese, paired with a Birrificio Gaia IPA or a robust Tre Fontane Tripel.
Where: G/F 19 Hak Po Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon; 5 Elgin Street, Central
Contact: 2506 0016 (Mong Kok); 2540 7988 (Central)
Here’s a nice little bar only a hop and a skip away from Kennedy Town MTR station. Great for a chill night catching up with a mate…and getting acquainted with the more than 30 types of craft beer from around the world K Pub pours daily. Decent pizza and burger specials too mean this may become a weekly outing.
Where: Shop 15, G/F, Sincere Western House, 69 Cadogan Street, Kennedy Town
Contact: 9683 2015 or firstname.lastname@example.org
When a day of haggling at Ladies Market has finally done your head in, seek some respite at nearby TAP – The Ale Project to cool off. Billed as a gastropub, and known for having one of the biggest selections of Hong Kong craft beer on tap, they pair carefully curated beers with a food menu featuring artisanal bread as the centerpiece.
Where: 15 Hak Po Street, Mong Kok
Contact: 2468 2010 or email@example.com
An old favourite with British expats in Hong Kong, everyone should get to know The Globe, not just for some of the best fish and chips this side of England, but an excellent beer selection. They feature rotating guest taps, a great excuse to come often to taste the changing brews, as is the generous happy hour, running from 9.00am to 8.00pm. Those wanting to know their malts from their ambers can sign up for a tutored beer tasting, tailored for a couple of friends or a large group.
Where: Garely Building, 45-53 Graham Street, Central
Contact: 2543 1941 or firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the trendier ones on the list, with a loyal Instagram following and hip Hong Kongers filling the joint inside and spilling out onto the street, the two-year-old 65Peel serves some of the best local beer from breweries like Young Master Ales to Nine Dragons. When your fingers are free from posting pics and sipping pints, dabble in some of the Asian-inspired cuisine on hand as well.
Where: G/F, 65 Peel Street, Central
Contact: 2342 2224 or email@example.com
An unassuming wee spot in Mong Kok with local and international craft beers on tap, where the staff is just as friendly as the clientele. And as it’s mainly a young crowd, there’s a good chance no one will be yelling out “Norm!” when you walk in (older readers will understand). Good for a beer flight to try a bit of everything, and a “craft pizza” to soak it all up.
Where: G/F, 13 Hak Po Street, Mong Kok
Contact: 2341 5999
You probably won’t head here for a night out, as it’s pretty much a small kiosk in the middle of Central piers 3 and 4, but you’ll be thankful for it when you’re waiting to board the ferry on a hot summer day. Despite its size, it has an impressive range of British and American craft beers, and lots of UK crisps to curb those salty cravings that often come with beer drinking.
Where: Pier 3 and Pier 4, Central Ferry Pier
Contact: 3481 7290
While not set up for dining and drinking, this multi award-winning brewery does allow for sampling their craft beers on Saturday tours, and it’s definitely worth booking as these guys are known for starting the craft brewing movement in Hong Kong. Their Hong Kong-inspired beer is unique and enticing, like the Cha Chaan Teng Gose made with local salted lime.
Where: G/F, Sungib Industrial Centre, 53 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang
Contact: 2783 8907 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Black Kite Brewery calls Wong Chuk Hang home and lets you taste their product via monthly scheduled tours. Founders Dan and Dave Gallie use fresh ingredients from around the globe to make their beer in a range of signature styles, such as the Southside Ale, a fragrant light ale brewed with jasmine tea. For more daring palates, there’s the Oh, Bacon! Rauchbier smoked ale.
Where: 11B Derrick Industrial Building, 49 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang
One of the originals, Lion Rock Brewery’s craft beer is made without artificial flavours, colourings or preservatives, brewed with the four premium ingredients all top brewers swear by — water, malts, hops and yeast. The flagship Lion Rock Signature Pale Ale is a lovely introduction, with a silky foam and fruity notes of peach and gooseberries. Grab a glass at The Globe, 65 Peel and many other bars across the city.
Where: Unit 2, 14/F, Man Shing Industrial Building, 307-311 Castle Peak Road, Kwai Chung, New Territories
Contact: 6308 0105 or email@example.com
New on the scene, Carbon Brews’ product can be downed at venues like Second Draft, K Pub and Craftissimo, where you’ll find their debut craft beer, 366BU, a double dry hopped pale ale with fruity aromas of melon, papaya, orange, lime and lemon. Also on tap is the Strawberry 100g/l, a refreshing dry-hopped American pale ale infused with, yup, 100g/L of strawberries.
Where: Unit A1, G/F, Union Industrial Center, 27-31 Au Pui Wan Street, Fo Tan
Contact: 2620 0095
Hong Kong Beer Co. was launched in 1995 as Asia’s first craft brewery to sell beer exclusively in bottles and kegs. Fast forward a couple of decades, and their attractively-designed bottles can be found in major supermarkets and specialty booze shops across the city, and ready to pour on tap in hotel bars and pubs. With varieties like Dragon’s Back pale ale and Big Wave Bay IPA, you can’t get more Hong Kong than this beer.
Where: Unit 5A, Ground Floor, Wah Shing Centre, 5 Fung Yip Street, Chai Wan
Contact: 2580 2360 or firstname.lastname@example.org
HK expats have certainly heard the term “Gweilo” by now, but here it’s presented in a fun, fresh way — through refreshing beer. Known as “foreign devil”, the term has evolved to gentler definitions over time (plain old “foreigner”), and each bottle of Gweilo beer will too evolve, with the phrase on the label changing meaning over time. The Fo Tan-based brewery makes session-style ales ranging between 4% and 6%, like their IPA, brewed with European malt and a secret blend of South Pacific and American hops. Buy it and others online or in stores across the city.
Where: Fo Tan
This is beer made for locals by locals — three guys named Ball, Mark and Ken to be exact. They had a dream to bring Hong Kong Cantonese beer to the world, and they’re doing it, brewing exclusive craft beer using ingredients like dried longan and goji berries (Longan Pale Ale) and dried mint leaves and honey (Mint Beer). Sample some at pop-ups and markets in town, or at venues like HK Island Taphouse and Yum Cha.
Where: 12C, Jing Ho Industrial Building, 78-84 Wang Lung Street, Tsuen Wan
Contact: 6174 7740 or email@example.com
When picking up booze along with your groceries at city’super, you’ll no doubt spot the multi-coloured cans with vibrant illustrations containing Heroes Beer, with eye-catching names like Hangry Donut, an American wheat beer, or Munchy and Poshy fruit beer. Take home some of their other cool cans from speciality beer shops in town, or throw back a glass at The Globe, The Roundhouse, Shake Shack and other locales.
Where: Room 1411, Remex Centre, 42 Wong Chuk Hang Road
Contact: 3996 9740 or firstname.lastname@example.org
You’ll soon recognise the Yardley Brothers label if you’re a bit of a barfly, as it’s poured throughout Hong Kong. The brewery in Kwai Hing where they make their staple brews (like Hong Kong Bastard Imperial IPA or Quit Your Job!, and other amusing names) has a production capacity of more than 5,000 liters, allowing the award-winning brewers to tackle numerous experimental single batch brews. Have a taste Friday evenings on a brewery tour from 5.30pm to 7.30 pm (no booking needed).
Where: Unit 10, 5th floor, Block A, Wah Tat Industrial Centre, 8 Wah Sing Street, Kwai Hing
Contact: 9543 4963 or email@example.com
Moonzen, “door gods” in Chinese, celebrates Chinese folklore and Hong Kong culture in their craft beer, drawing inspiration from Chinese mythology and using distinct flavours. Their hand-crafted beers can be found in stores and places like Strokes or Cheers The Tap Room, served in beautifully-illustrated bottles or signature golden gourd glasses. Better yet, head to their brewery to see how it’s all done, then hang out in the spacious tap room for a glass of their flagship Thunder God ale or a rich Moon Goddess chocolate stout.
Where: 2A New East Sun Building, 18 Shing Yip Street, Kwun Tong
Contact: 3709 2829 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Beer lovers, a visit to North Point is in order to check out the largest number of taps (40!) in Hong Kong at HK Island Taphouse, where they dole out craft beer favourites from Gweilo, Lucky Dawgs and Heroes Beer, among many others. It’s also where you can try nitro beer, made by adding nitrogen, giving way to much smaller bubbles to create a smoother, creamier beer-drinking experience.
Where: 1A-1B Tsing Fung Street, North Poin
Contact: 3705 9901 or email@example.com
This small craft beer bar and shop in Soho is good for popping in for a quick pint and some bottles to take home, or when en route to other drinking spots in the area. There’s a great selection of craft beer from local breweries like Yardley Brothers, along with international brands. It’s often standing-room only, or you can park your butt on the pavement outside, as it’s all very relaxed around there.
Where: 59A Peel Street, Central
Contact: 9772 3053 or 9772 3053
Locals who like to make their own beer as much as they like drinking it should get acquainted with HK Brewcraft. The homebrew store and bottle shop has all the homebrewing ingredients and equipment you need, and they also offer homebrewing workshops for novice brewers. Or let others do all the work and just stick with drinking by hitting up one of their monthly tasting workshops. Bring home the ones that struck your fancy, with 350+ craft beers to discover online and in-store.
Where: 4/F, 15 Cochrane Street, Central
Contact: 5925 2739 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Bottle Shop in Sai Kung specialises in international boutique beers, with claims to being the first retail store in Hong Kong with the largest variety of craft beers. You’ll take pleasure just strolling around the shop taking in all the foreign and local brands of craft beer, plus select spirits and wines. No worries if you’re not in Sai Kung, as they deliver to Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and New Territories.
Where: G/F, 114 Man Nin Street, Sai Kung
Contact: 2791 1600 or email@example.com
The highly-rated beer shop known for its excellent selection of local and international craft beer sells more than 280 kinds of beer from the best breweries in the world. Knowledgeable staff help guide you through the constantly changing selection, which often includes obscure and limited edition options from the world of craft beer. Join their beer club and they’ll send 12 bottles a month, for 3 months, from a curated selection right to your home.
Where: Shop D, G/F, 22-24 Tai Ping Shan Street, Sheung Wan
Contact: 6274 3130 or firstname.lastname@example.org
This article was written by Nancy Matos, The HK HUB.
Nancy writes for The HK HUB, the first place you go to find out what’s happening in Hong Kong.
*Feature image by Little Creatures