Just in case you’ve been living under a rock for the last year or two, Hong Kong’s craft beer scene is a thing now. Yeah, quite a big thing.
In fact, you could say that HK has developed an unquenchable thirst for everything craft beer-y, with local brews as far as the eye can see, everywhere from historic quality ale champion The Globe to the new Fo Tan outpost of Hitachino Nest Brewery. Suddenly, everyone is a beer expert and you can’t throw a bottle of Moonzen at the Tipping Point without hitting a stout Gweilo chatting to a Hong Kong Bastard about the Double Hoppiness of his Dragon’s Back IPA.
So, if you’re also a fellow passenger onboard the local brew train (choo choo) and mourning the recent end of Beertopia (wah), never fear! To get you through the cold(ish) winter months, we’ve compiled a list of Hong Kong’s best brewery tours to satisfy your craft beer addiction and tide you over until next year’s big brewfest:
Moonzen are as well-known for the beautifully designed label art on their bottles as they are for the award-winning taste of their craft brews. Their authentic beers celebrate Chinese culture, craftsmanship and community. A visit to the Moonzen Brewery includes introductions to Moonzen and craft beer in general; a tour of the brewing, fermentation, packaging processes; and tastings of the different beers on offer on draught. For all you polyglots out there, the tours are astonishingly available in English, Cantonese, French, Spanish or (basic) Mandarin.
Yardley Brothers Brewery
Welcome to the newest brewery in town! In case you miss their official launch tomorrow (Dec. 10), these Lamma-based brothers have just opened their own brand-spanking-new brewery, right after scooping two awards (Best IPA and Best In Show) at this year’s Beertopia. The Yardley Brothers are now making “non o’ that watery shite” in Kwai Hing and will be taking brewery visits and private tours on Saturday afternoons as of January 2017. The tour entails meeting the head brewer with a welcome beer in hand, an introduction to the ingredients used, a talk about the production process, as well as a guided tasting to finish.
Black Kite Brewery
Two more brothers that have made a huge impact on HK’s craft beer scene are David and Daniel Gallie, who named their brewery after the familiar bird often seen soaring between Hong Kong’s skyscrapers. Using the freshest ingredients sourced from around the world, Black Kite brews a core range of classic styles, as well as periodic specials. Private tours can be booked in advance. They are one and a half to two hours long, include a brief tour of the brewery with an introduction to the brewing process, and a Q&A session while you taste the beers straight from the tank (you are free to pour your pints yourself). They also give out branded glasses that you can take home!
Kowloon Bay Brewery
When Kowloon Bay Brewery co-founders Mike and Ging first started visiting craft beer festivals around Asia, they couldn’t help but notice the lack of good craft beers in the Asia-Pacific area. So the journey to fresh, great tasting craft beer began with their American IPA, Amber Ale, Pale Ale, Nut Brown Ale, Weizen, and Asia’s first Gluten Free IPA. They offer hour-long private tours where the brewmaster describes the process of brewing, tasting and the difference between the styles of beer they produce. Though, as Ging puts it: “I have to admit… most of the time is spent drinking!”
Hong Kong Beer Co Brewery
You probably recognise a few of the names of Hong Kong Beer Co’s bottled beers from bars around town, including the Dragon’s Back, Big Wave Bay and Gambler’s Gold. HKBC also brew for beloved craft beer brand Gweilo at their Chai Wan location. Their free tours include a walk around the brewery, an explanation of the brewing process and the history of the brewery. It concludes with some tastings of their bottled beers.
Young Master Ales Brewery
Innovative craft beer trailblazers and established brewers Young Master Ales produce natural brewed beer in the heart of the Southern District, proudly stating on their website, “Our beer will be the freshest you can find in Hong Kong with the shortest distance traveled from grain to your glass.” A tour of their Wong Chuk Hang brewery includes tastings of six 150ml samplings of Young Master’s best brews.
Little Creatures Brewing Hong Kong
Oozing hipster coolness is Kennedy Town’s brewpub and restaurant (brewpubstaurant?) Little Creatures. Their brewery tours include an insider’s look into their brewing process and beer tasting with the staff. However, if that’s not enough for you craft beer connoisseurs, then you can take it up a notch with Beer School: chat about beer, how it’s made, explore LC’s awesome flavours, clink glasses with the chief HopHead, and to top it all off enjoy a scrumptious selection of Creatures food! Learn more about Little Creatures in our interview with Tom Champion, LC’s resident head brewer.
Where: G/F, 5A New Praya, Kennedy Town (Google Maps)
Price: HKD200 to HKD500 per person
Bookings: Call 2833 5611 or drop in and speak to staff.
Disclaimer: Little Creatures and Coconuts Hong Kong have collaborated on sponsored content in the past, but this article is in no way sponsored by Little Creatures, or any of the other breweries mentioned.
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