In a city more accustomed to wine (importing it is duty-free) and baiju (a potent Chinese liquor often drunk on special occasions), a small group of craft beer devotees is spreading the word that not all brews are created equal.
One of their first
moves is a festival called Beertopia, taking place on 28 April in Hong Kong's Sheung Wan
Along with the chance
to sample more than 90 beers from microbreweries as far afield as New Zealand and
Estonia, the festival offers lectures on home brewing and pairing beer with
food. Live music, food and raffles are on offer, as well as the opportunity to
play seminal college drinking games like beer pong and flip cup.
starts with education. For the craft beer scene to grow in Hong Kong, people
need to get away from the idea that all beers are the same," said Jonathan
So, Beertopia's founder. "Hopefully the beer festival can pique people’s
interest (and taste buds) and curiosity will do the rest next time they
find themselves at a bar or restaurant with craft beer on the menu."
So promises that
Beertopia attendees will be spoiled for choice, with everything from fruity,
light Belgian brews to a rich mocha porter and a chocolate stout on offer -- and
there are even ciders for those that aren't wild about ale. Despite the fact that Hong Kong trails well behind
other major cities in its number of microbreweries (it has two, a paltry sum
compared with Japan's 200 and even Singapore's nine), So says that some local
bars are starting to diversify their beer menus, including The Globe, Hong Kong Brew
House and The Beer Bay in Central, Inn Side Out and Ruggers in Causeway
Bay and Trafalgar in Wan
Beertopia runs from
noon to 11 pm and will be held on the second floor of Western Market, a
colonial building that dates back to the 19th Century. Tickets are available
either online or at several local bars, and come in two varieties: $250 Hong Kong dollars for
five tasting tokens, a glass and a raffle ticket or $300 Hong Kong dollars for 10
tasting tokens, a glass and a raffle ticket. Additional tokens can be purchased
during the event.
R Alberts is the Hong Kong Localite for BBC Travel