Over the past few years, Hong Kong’s thirst for craft beer has come to a boil. Here’s how you can properly tap into locally made brews and top-notch imports.
We can’t mention craft beer in Hong Kong without first introducing The Globe. Tucked away in a SoHo hillside alley, this iconic bar is the heart and soul of the city’s craft beer scene, having imported labels from around the world before Hong Kong had its own boutique breweries.
On weekends, the place is inundated with tipplers, so go early if you want any hope of snagging a decent spot.
There’s a reason the after-work crowd flocks to Captain’s Bar at the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong week after week. More than 50 years old, this stalwart watering hole is cozy and traditional, with spacious leather booths, brass fixtures and warm red accents.
But more importantly, the food and drinks are excellent. Chicken tikka is paired with beer served in silver tankards. The tavern even has its own brew, the eponymous Captain’s Bar Beer, a crisp and refreshing classic lager that was designed for the hotel by Young Master Ales.
Elsewhere in the Mandarin Oriental, you can taste-test bottles from Seven Brews and Moon Dog at M Bar, and Hong Kong Beer Co. at The Chinnery.
TAP – The Ale Project
Co-founded by a handful of beer geeks, TAP – The Ale Project is a hidden gem in Mong Kok. The buttonhole bar is worth the short trek — it takes about 25 minutes to get there on the MTR from Central.
Once inside, you’ll feel right at home at the communal high-top, where you’ll have a bird’s-eye view of the taps toward the back of the bar.
If you’re interested in a behind-the-scenes experience, check out the new Young Master Ales brewery in Wong Chuk Hang, which organizes tours on Saturday afternoons, complete with complimentary tastings.
Recently opened Second Draft is a fresh new addition to the ever-evolving Tai Hang neighborhood. From the folks behind TAP, this spacious address offers more than 20 options on tap — including award-winning Classic Ale from Young Master Ales — and a handful of revolving varieties covering everything from salty sours to java stouts.
Second Draft provides a laid-back atmosphere with floor-to-ceiling windows, wooden furniture and an oval-shaped bar, perfect for facilitating plenty of geeky beer chat.
From decorated chef May Chow, the diverse menu stands on its own. Look for a massive Shanghai dip ciabatta sandwich, a spicy mapo burrata — a play on a traditional Sichuan dish — and edamame guacamole.
Perhaps the coolest addition to the SoHo dining scene this year, 65 Peel serves up an interesting mix of seafood and local craft beer. The industrial-chic space is gritty and low key, with pops of neon and plenty of space to stretch out.
The beer list covers most of Hong Kong’s best breweries — including Moonzen, Lion Rock and Mak’s Beer — with 12 options on tap at any given time.
While seafood may not be the first thing that jumps to mind when thinking about bar food, 65 Peel pulls it off with aplomb. Dine on Iberico prawn wontons and seared scallops while watching the weekend action on buzzing Peel Street.
An import from Fremantle, Australia, Little Creatures touched down in Kennedy Town on the western side of Hong Kong Island in early 2016. The Aussie bar-brewery hybrid is spacious and inviting, with incredible high ceilings, retro furniture and massive steel beer tanks behind the bar.
Go for a signature pale ale or try the Bright Ale, which was brewed in the city’s honor. It’s an excellent excuse to explore Kennedy Town, an area that is brimming with new restaurants, cool coffee shops and tucked-away bars.