As I talked about in my first post about the Hong Kong Craft Beer scene, I am always looking for the latest beer spot when I am there. This last trip I was able to make it to a new location in the city of Mong Kok, the gastropub TAP- The Ale Project. The location of this new spot is surprising as it is on the outskirts of the bustling Mong Kok and not exactly somewhere tourists and ex-pats would wander by. After talking to the staff, I learned the location was on purpose as a way to get the locals interested in craft beer. I can only assume that the owners figured those who really like their craft beer would seek them out while they educate the neighborhood. With a tap list of 18 craft beers from Hong Kong, Italy, New Zealand, the USA and more and a fun “pub” menu focusing on beer bread, this quickly became my new favorite Hong Kong craft beer spot.
I celebrated my birthday while in Hong Kong this last trip which meant I got to pick the location for dinner that night, of course I choose this place! We walked in to find a small but bustling spot with a few tables in the middle and bar stools along the walls. Figured it was a good sign that this place was packed. Because of the crowd, we weren’t able to sit down right away but the great staff was eager to make sure we had a beer while we waited. They were somewhat knowledgeable about the beer menu and were able to make good suggestions to a few of my coworkers.
My favorite craft beer to seek out while in Hong Kong is the local brewery Young Master Ales. TAP always has 4-5 of Young Master’s excellent beers on tap and I was able to try some of their regulars plus the seasonal Mo’Mo’ Wit and the special edition, Cha Chan Teng Gose, which was an excellent representation of the growing more popular Gose beer style. I was also thrilled to see Italian brewery, Birra del Borgo, on the draft menu. An eexcellent Italian craft brewery that I have been lucky enough to enjoy. And then, of course, it’s always fun to see Grand Rapids’ own Founders Brewery on tap in Hong Kong. The first visit they had Breakfast Stout on tap. Upon the second visit a week later, they had just received a keg of the summer favorite Rubaeus. I enjoyed educating the staff with some trivia about this beer and making the suggestion of having customers mix with a porter or stout for some chocolate raspberry deliciousness. Mind. Blown.
And then there was the food. Small but intriguing menu consisting of appetizers, sandwiches and their “signature” beer bread and spreads. We had a little bit of everything. The beer bread was excellent. I choose the kaya, lemon garlic and pesto spreads for our group to share. The fat french fries were some of the best I have had in HK and my friend thought the special that night, deep fried bacon, was one of the best food concepts he had ever heard of. (I love bacon but this seemed a little over board to me!) My favorite item however was the Triple Happiness Grilled Cheese on sour dough. Ooey, gooey goodness with lots of cheese, tomatoes and caramelized onions. Drool!
I can’t say enough good things about this craft beer bar. We had a great time trying different beers, chomping on delicious and unique snacks and chatting with the staff. I can’t wait to get back there on my next trip and see what they have on TAP!