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Top 10 Hong Kong craft beers

In the run up to Hong Kong’s largest beer festival, Beertopia, we bring you 10 rising stars of the Hong Kong craft beer world.

Young MasterAs discussed in previous HK db round-ups, Hong Kong has diversified its drinking habits in recent years and as well as reaching for a lavish rooftop cocktail, gin concoction, or fine wine by the glass, the city’s young (and old) drinkers are also knocking back craft beer by the gallon.

In response, there’s been an upsurge in the number of quality HK-brewed outfits taking their inspiration from the landscape and Hong Kong’s melting pot of cultures.

In the build up to Hong Kong’s Beertopia, we present 10 of the city’s finest craft beer start-ups to rival anything from London’s East End to America’s Portland. 

Black Kite Brewery

Black kite 2Named after Hong Kong’s infamous bird of prey which is commonly seen soaring over the mountains, the Black Kite Brewery is a family company run by Hong Kong brothers David and Daniel Gallie since April this year.

Based in Wong Chuk Hang, Black Kite Brewery offers six beers: a Pale Ale, Wheat (Hefeweizen), IPA, Brown Ale, Porter and a Golden Ale that is brewed especially for Hullett House.

Find them in: The Globe, Hullett House, Mrs. Pound, Beer & Fish, Casa in Kennedy Town and Sai Kung), and The Ale Project.

While not organising large-scale tasting sessions just yet, Black Kite welcomes emails concerning individual trips around the brewery.

Black Kite Brewery, 11B Derrick Industrial Building, 49 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang

Fat Rooster 

Fat Rooster 2“Born and brewed in the 852,” Fat Rooster takes its name from one of the Chinese zodiac signs and calls itself a “strong, courageous trailblazer in the local craft beer scene.”

Launched in June this year, Fat Rooster has two “headliners”, its IPA and Red Ale as well as Amber Ale and Brown Ale on limited release. Fat Rooster also hopes to launch a Belgian Ale soon.

Find them in: The Langham Place Hotel, Rockabilly, Smokey Joes, Grand Central, The Jockey, The Saint and McSorley’s Ale House.

Fat Rooster, Wai Lam House, 12 Lan Kwai Fong, Central 

Gweilo Beer

enjoying-a-gweilo-beer-on-the-mid-levels-escalator-hong-kongA playful swipe at Hong Kong’s large and mostly inebriated expatriate population, Gweilo beer aims to “redefine” Hong Kong craft beer scene and creates colourful marketing campaigns aimed at the “white devils” who stagger in and out of Hong Kong’s bars, drinking Gweilo Beer.

Find Gweilo’s Pale Ale and IPA at The Beach House and Cafe Isara on Lantau, Shoreditch, Casa Tapakaya, Kinsale, Soiree, Hooked, The Globe, Beer & Fish, Boomshack, Beef & Liberty and Ham & Sherry.

Gweilo Beerinfo@gweilobeer.com

 

HK Beer Co

hk-beer-coHK Beer CoHK Beer Co is an old hand at the craft beer scene having been established in 1995 but gaining a new lease of life in 2013 under head brewer, Simon Pesch and director, Devin Otto Kimble.

Beers have tongue-in-cheek names and reference Hong Kong’s icons, whether it’s Gambler’s Gold Golden Ale, White Pearl River White Ale, Hong Kong Beer Amble Ale, Dragons Back Pale Ale or Big Wave Bay IPA as well as seasonal favourites, New Territories Series and Crooked Island Series.

Distributed additionally in Singapore and Shenzhen, Hong Kong Beer Co’s beers are found all over Hong Kong with a handy map on its website.

HK Beer Co Ltd, Unit 5A, Ground Floor, Wah Shing Centre, 5 Fung Yip Street, Chai Wan; 2580 2360

HK Brewcraft

HK Brewcraft 2Channel your inner Lamma Island hippy and make your own, with HK’s very own home-brewing store.

Offering workshops and beer appreciation classes, HK Brewcraft seeks to transform HK’s “stale” craft beer market and offers everything from the homebrew kits to its own curated list of craft beers (brewed outside of Hong Kong).

HK Brewcraft, 4/F, Kwok Lun Commercial House, 15 Cochrane Street, Central; 5925 2739

Kowloon Bay Brewery

Kowloon BayThe story behind Kowloon Bay Brewery came about one balmy Christmas in Melbourne and the idea was devised between Mike Bardill and Ging Van after visiting one too many beer festivals in Asia.

With core brews of Pale Ale, Weizen, Copper Ale, American Amber Ale, American IPA, Nut Brown Ale and Imperial Stout and seasonal brews of Bohemian Pilsner, Steam Beer, English IPA, English ESB, Saison Strong Red, Belgian Ale and Pumpkin Ale, Kowloon Bay Brewery is still a newcomer to the scene and has yet to launch in Hong Kong’s fine beer outlets.

Kowloon Bay Brewery’s Facebook page declares that the launch will be imminent, however.

Kowloon Bay Brewery, Tsuen Wan; 2559 8218

Mak’s Beer

Mak's beerMak’s Beer was started by cousins Po Mak and Ho Lun Mak and their friend Tak Chi Lo – all beer-loving Hong Kong locals who have been in the brewing game since April of this year.

Mak in Chinese means wheat, the first beer style produced by the company. Based in Tsuen Wan, the brewery has a capacity of 2000L per month.

Mak’s Brewery currently has four beers: Wheat Ale, Longan Pale Ale (made with dried longans), Sugarcane Stout (made with black sugar cane sugar), and Salt Farm Pilsner.

Find them at Itchi, Ruggers and Chao 2 by Chaophraya with more locations on Mak’s Facebook page.

Mak’s Beer, 1603, Block 2, Tak Fung Industrial Centre, 168 Texaco Road, Tsuen Wan

Moonzen Brewery

MoonzenMoonzen stands for “door gods” in Chinese which bring good luck. Moonzen Brewery was established in December 2013 in Kwun Tong by husband and wife team, Laszlo and Michele Raphael.

Beers include Thundergod Ale, Monkey King Amber Ale, Jade Emperor IPA, Kitchen God Honey Porter and Moon Goddess Chocolate Stout​ which are found in Hong Kong’s chic drinkeries of The Pawn, Mandarin Oriental and The Globe.

While they don’t offer official tours at the moment, those interested in visiting their facility in Kwun Tong can make an appointment via email.

Moonzen Brewery, Kwun Tong

Tipping Point Brewery Co

Tipping Point 2Combining a micro-brewery, restaurant and bar all in one, Tipping Point Brewery offers two of its own on tap, The Tipping Hazel Nut Brown Ale and the Tipping Point Pale Ale as well as hundreds of others from around the world.

Nestled among Wyndham Street’s boozy bars and open since 2014, the Tipping Point also hosts extremely popular parties where guests can pour the beer themselves in free-flowing abandon.

Tipping Point Brewing Co, 79 Wyndham Street, Central; 2868 2892

Young Master Ales

Young MasterInspired by a Hong Kong classic film, 工廠少爺, (roughly translated as “Young Boss of the Factory) Young Master Ales is one of the favourites on the Hong Kong beer circuit.

Founded by ex-banker and proud homebrewer Rohit Dugar in Ap Lei Chau, Young Master includes all-year-rounds, seasonals and one-off special edition releases with five to seven styles typically on offer.

Highlights are Captain’s Bar Beer in collaboration with the Captain’s Bar at the Mandarin Oriental, The Young Master Classic, the interestingly-named Fussy Peachkin Man (in homage to a dear friend) and Buddha’s Bold Gesture.

Young Master is found all over town. Visit its Facebook page and website for full range of beers and locations.

Young Master Ales, Ap Lei Chau

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