December means another trip to Hong Kong for business but of course I found time to have some fun too. The craft beer scene in Hong Kong is exploding! There were so many new places to try on this trip, I could have used more than a few extra days to try them all. Here’s a quick look at the spots I visited thi time, including some old favorites.
On a rainy Saturday afternoon, I went for a ride on the MTR and ended up in Causeway Bay. After visiting some shops and dodging raindrops, I realized I was in “Times Square” and not far from the COEDO taproom. Located in a newish shopping and dining area called Fashion Walk the “taproom” is a small Japanese inspired pub with, of course, beers and some light snacks and shareable plates. The tap list was mostly COEDO beers but I was also surprised to see some other selections from local breweries and more.
I had never had a COEDO beer before so I elected to get their flight of 5 of their mainstay beers. I enjoyed each but was really impressed with the Shiaka, a dark lager. I also had a snack of beer cheese and crackers which was a hard cheese brined in COEDO beer and saltines. It was ok but I was wishing I just went with a fried soft shell crab instead. Overall, this was a nice spot to stop while walking around and I’d be interested in going back to try some more food if I was in the neighborhood.
The Roundhouse really deserves its own blog entry and it’s coming but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention it here. A craft beer lovers dream, located in the bustling, ex-pat filled, Central district. 25 taps of any style of beer you could want from Hong Kong to the US and everywhere in between. And then you make it better by adding a kitchen that specializes in BBQ! Led by a chef from Austin, TX, USA, it’s the perfect place to get a little bite of home if you just can’t handle anymore dim sum. And while you are there, make sure to look for a The Thirsty Giraffe sticker!
One of the newer spots over in Central, Little Beer Room is exactly as it sounds. A small pub with 4 or 5 tables, a full bar with 20 craft beer taps, wine and liquor and a small food menu of creative gastro fare. The tap list consisted of many HK brews as well as some Belgian, New Zealand and US. My travel companions and I each had a beer and shared the veggies fries, a mix of deep-fried eggplant and yams, and the drunken pork, a bbq pork belly dish served with red quinoa and rice, yum! And if you don’t get enough beer on tap, walk around the corner and check out the offerings at “The Bottle Shop” to grab a bottle of craft beer to take home with you.
Just up the road from Little Beer Room is this cute little spot serving up fresh craft beers and a menu specializing in beer battered fish and chips among other goodies. We didn’t actually stop here as the kitchen was closed when we stopped by but I am looking forward to checking it out the next time I am in Hong Kong.
An interesting spot located at the end of Bailey St, if you didn’t know what you were looking for, you might pass right by this craft beer watering hole. Thankfully I had seen photos and recognized the logo on the menus when we were walking by. Craft Beer & Co offers local brews as well as imports along with a menu of “hand crafted” sausages and fries. (No, there is never a lack of fried potatoes in Hong Kong.) My traveling companions and I spent quite a bit of time chatting up the new manager, Allen, and enjoyed hearing about how he was trying to spiff up the beer menu even more than before. While this spot has been open for a while now, the lack of patrons at 10 PM was a bit concerning. I do think they are on to something and I wish them luck in the future. (A sign directing people to who they are might be a good start!)
One of Hong Kong’s first beer bars, The Globe is self-described as a British Gastro Pub also located in Hong Kong’s bustling Central neighborhood and features a list of 80-100 craft beer bottles from around the world as well as 10+ rotating taps. Read more about a tap takeover I attend on my last trip here!
Moving back to the Hong Kong mainland side, just a few blocks from Mong Kok’s famous Ladies Market is my favorite spot in the city, TAP – The Ale Project. I was thrilled to see the same friendly faces I met on my last visit and enjoy the best grilled cheese sandwich in the city. You can read about how awesome this place is in this post. I was excited to hear that my suggestion from the Summer of mixing Founders Rubaeus Raspberry Ale with a stout or porter was well received and even ended up on the secret beer cocktail menu!
I believe this is THE newest craft beer spot in Hong Kong. Located in Kowloon, duh, this small taproom consists of 8 taps pouring only local beers as well as an extensive bottle list of locals and imports. While I try to only drink what I can’t get back home when I travel, I was impressed by the selection of Lagunitas, Dogfish Head and Ballast Point offerings here. There is also a small menu of bar snacks to keep you satiated while you enjoy your beer. The night we were in we were able to chat with Terrence, the founder of Hong Kong’s newest brewery, Lion Rock, while tasting his new Grandmaestro IPA. This is a great little spot within walking distance from the bustling Tsim Sha Tsui area and many popular hotels.
And there you have it, The Thirsty Giraffe’s highlights but there are still so many more craft beer places to try! Have you been to Hong Kong? Do you have a favorite craft beer spot that we haven’t mentioned? Tell us about it in the comments!