Que Vinh Dang, the founder of Hong Kong’s first brew pub, Tipping Point, has said he wants to use the venue to help promote the city’s growing craft beer industry and craft beer culture.
A classically trained chef, raised in New York, who moved to Hong Kong 10 years ago and set up his own restaurant, TBLS on Hollywood Road, he said he had always wanted to see a brew pub in the city.
Speaking to the drinks business, Dang said it was, “interesting and sad, disappointing in a way that it’s taken so long to set anything like this up.
“It’s quite shocking. New York has a bunch, Singapore and Beijing have them and it’s strange that Hong Kong, which is proud of being a modern, forward city, didn’t have this two years ago.”
Having done a little home brewing, Dang explained that when he saw an, “opportunity to pursue this (Tipping Point) and an opportunity to learn a new craft,” he grabbed it, his ethos being that by working from the “bottom up” it builds a, “bigger and better appreciation for what you do.”
Tipping Point opened five months ago, not long after micro-brewery Young Master, and Hong Kong can now boast a brew pub, a smattering of microbreweries and several popular craft beer pubs and Dang is confident that what he has produced is not only unique but “good for the market”.
He explains that, “the beer palate in Hong Kong is a bit behind other places. What’s been on offer for many years are all the commercial pilsners and, above that if you wanted something more special, all the Belgian beers.”
He’s aware that he and his head brewer still have to perfect their offering, “we’re rookies” he admits but adds that he, Young Master and the Hong Kong Brewing Co are in it for “the love of it” and even if he considers Tipping Point slightly behind the other two in terms of experience at the moment, “with our drive and passion it’s only a matter of time before we improve”.
Although the craft beer trend in Hong Kong is still largely driven by expats, Dang does hint that sees a growing interest in it among Hong Kongers and it pleases him to see locals come in to look at the tanks next to the bar and ask about the brewing process.
“I’m always for people who are into learning,” he adds, “I want to support people who want to make things because I think it builds appreciation.
“Anything that promotes the craft I’m a huge fan of.”