The best craft beer in Hong Kong

Just like any major world city these days, you can find some decent craft beer in Hong Kong. While the quality doesn’t rival that of Japan just yet, there are a handful of breweries making good beer, along with some nice beer bars to drink them in. Prices aren’t cheap, but Hong Kong can be expensive, and most craft beer fans realize they’ll be paying more for good beer no matter where they are. Most of these bars are located in the same area near the SoHo & Lan Kwai Fong neighborhoods of central Hong Kong, south of the subway line, roughly bounded by Sai Ying Pun, Sheung Wan, and Central stations, making them easily crawlable. Here is the best craft beer I encountered on my visit to Hong Kong.

Roundhouse

roundhouse-hong-kong

Roundhouse was one of my favorite beer bars in Hong Kong. With 27 taps, there is plenty to drink. They have a combination of local Hong Kong craft beers as well as a fantastic international selection from breweries such as Mikkeller, Brewdog, 8 Wired, Stillwater, and Evil Twin.

roundhouse-bar-hong-kong

It’s up a huge hill, so you can work up a thirst on your way to the bar, or you can be smarter and take the Mid-Levels Escalators up to the level you need to be at. The bar does tasters of all of the beers available, a paddle of 6 costs 190 HKD ($25). It’s not cheap, but they aren’t small pours, and it can include beers of any price.

roundhouse-beer-hong-kong

They’ve got great music on as well, plus a solid-looking food menu.  Roundhouse is a place for beer geeks, as they host tap takeovers and even brewing competitions.

The Globe

the-globe-hong-kong

The Globe was closed for a few days at the beginning of the New Year, but I was glad that I was able to make it in before the end of my visit to Hong Kong. The draft list featured 7 local taps, 4 guest taps (which happened to be from New Zealand at the time), plus 8 other taps of more mainstream beers and ales. The true gem here is their bottle list, which features hundreds of unique beers from around the world.

the-globe-beer-hong-kong

The staff members were very knowledgable. Toby Cooper, who is the Director of the bar, pointed me in the direction of some obscure local bottles I hadn’t seen anywhere else, such as Yardley Brothers. This is a place that is truly supporting a growing beer scene in Hong Kong. When one beer had a bit of a bottling issue, he gave it to me on the house. The bar has a strong British influence, with another real jukebox playing music from British & American rock bands. They know their stuff at The Globe, and it’s easy to see why it’s a popular bar.

Craft Brew & Co

Craft Brew & Co has a few locations in Hong Kong. When I was there, two were open, but a third was in the process of opening soon. I visited both that were open.

The first was on High Street, not far from my hotel near Sai Ying Pun. It had 4 taps of its own beer, plus 6 more guest taps. There was also a bottle selection of around 40-50 beers from all over the world. It was a rainy weeknight when I visited, so the place was quiet. I didn’t have any food, but the menu of burgers, sausages, and hot dogs looked like a good combo with the beer.

craft-brew-co-high-street-hong-kong

craft-brew-co-high-street

The larger location of Craft Brew & Co is a bit more centrally located on Old Bailey Street. Located on a corner, it has several large doors and windows, allowing for fresh air & sunlight to come in. There are also outlets at some of the seats, which is always a nice touch that more bars should have. The guy running the bar was friendly & knowledgeable, and since it was quiet when I first got there, we chatted for a while. It started to get more crowded around 5:30pm, as businesspeople began to end their days.

craft-brew-co-old-bailey-street

craft-brew-co-hong-kong

The bar has 5 taps of their own beer, plus 6 more guest taps. Given how nice the bar is, I wish they had even more taps, but it’s still a great spot. Happy Hour specials are just 48 HKD for a pint, making it one of the cheaper good beer options I encountered in Hong Kong. There’s also a real jukebox, which you don’t see many of these days, playing a great selection of mostly British music, including Oasis, Blur, and the Rolling Stones.

It’s also home to the narrowest restroom I’ve ever encountered, with both of my feet touching walls at the urinal. Space is at a premium in Hong Kong.

craft-brew-co-urinal

Little Beer Room & The Bottle Shop

little-beer-room-the-bottle-shop-hong-kong

Little Beer Room has 15 taps from all over the world, though only 1 tap was a local beer when I visited. It’s attached to a bottle shop with a nice selection called The Bottle Shop, which is nice, though the bar itself only had 4 bottles available to drink, which was a bit disappointing.

little-beer-room-bottle-shop

I’m not sure why that was the case, other than the fridge space requirement. It’s a small place, as you may have guessed by the name. There is also a larger outlet of The Bottle Shop far outside the main areas in Sai Kung.

Hong Kong Brew House

Hong Kong Brew House is located in a trendier bar area of the city, and it shows in both the clientele and the selection. The place was packed, though not with a general beer drinking crowd. It was more of a party spot than a place for a quiet beer with friends, albiet a party spot that smelled vaguely like a fishtank.

hong-kong-brew-house

There was a large bottle selection, though not many were local. Their house beer was the only local beer I spotted. The entertainment was a schizophrenic mix of music, featuring classic rock like Jimi Hendrix & Black Sabbath interspersed with awful songs from Rob Thomas & Nickelback. Props also to the woman who sat at the bar with her kid.

Tipping Point Brewing Company

While this list is supposed to cover the best craft beer in Hong Kong, there was one place that I visited that I include merely as a warning. At first glance, Tipping Point Brewing Company looked like a great spot. It has about 20 taps, 10 of their own and 10 guests, and it looked like a standard decent beer bar.

tipping-point-brewing-company

That was where the positives ended. I ordered a flight, since I wanted to try a few of their beers. However, unlike every other brewery I have ever been to, I was unable to select which of their house beers I wanted to try, instead getting stuck with whatever the bartender wanted to give me. This put me off before I’d even tried any of the beers. And once I did… wow, this brewery needs some work. A couple of the beers were undrinkable. Amazingly, the “best” beer of the lot was a lager, which is the last thing I would have selected for a flight in the first place.

tipping-point-brewing-company-hong-kong

Tipping Point feels like it’s trying too hard to be trendy, and while the food looked fine, and I would have liked to have kicked ass on their trivia night had I been there for it, this is what happens when people decide to open a beer bar without caring about what the beer tastes like. I ended up leaving half of the beer in my flight behind because it was undrinkable. Truly a shame.

There are a few more beer bars in Hong Kong that I wasn’t able to try, including The Ale Project, The Beer Bay, De Belgie, and Crafty Cow. I tried to visit Crafty Cow, since it looked like a nice place, but their actual hours didn’t match their published hours, and thus each time I went, they were closed.

Overall, Hong Kong has some solid choices for beer drinkers. While the local craft beer scene may be small, it’s growing, and given some more experience & the continued existence of supportive craft beer bars, there’s great potential for the future.

Read below for all of my posts about my trip around the Pacific Rim!

A trip around the Pacific Rim – Introduction
OneWorld Business Lounge Los Angeles LAX review
Cathay Pacific Business Class Boeing 777-300ER Los Angeles LAX to Hong Kong HKG review
Cathay Pacific Business Class Airbus A330 Hong Kong HKG to Kuala Lumpur KUL review
Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral review
A layover in Kuala Lumpur – Street markets & Petronas Towers
Cathay Pacific Lounge Kuala Lumpur KUL satellite review
Plaza Premium Lounge Kuala Lumpur KUL review
Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge Kuala Lumpur KUL satellite review
Malaysia Airlines Business Class Airbus A330-300 Kuala Lumpur KUL to Auckland AKL review
Air New Zealand Economy Class Airbus A320 Auckland AKL to Queenstown ZQN review
Queenstown Motel Apartments – Queenstown, New Zealand review
Queenstown, New Zealand – A Lord of the Rings tour
Day trip from Queenstown, New Zealand – Milford Sound
Queenstown, New Zealand – Skyline Queenstown
Craft beer in Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown to Franz Josef, New Zealand by bus
Hiking to Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand
Franz Josef to Nelson, New Zealand by bus
Fellworth House – Nelson, New Zealand review
A beer & wine tour through Nelson, New Zealand
The best craft beer in Nelson, New Zealand
Nelson to Wellington, New Zealand by bus and ferry via Picton
A nerdy day at Weta Workshop in Wellington, New Zealand
Exploring the museums & parks of Wellington, New Zealand
The best craft beer in Wellington, New Zealand
Wellington to Auckland, New Zealand by bus
New Year’s Eve in Auckland, New Zealand
A rainy New Year’s Day at the Auckland War Memorial Museum
A rainy day at the Auckland Art Gallery & New Zealand Maritime Museum
The best craft beer in Auckland, New Zealand
Emperor Lounge Auckland AKL review
Malaysia Airlines Business Class Airbus A330-300 Auckland AKL to Kuala Lumpur KUL review
Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur review
A layover in Kuala Lumpur – Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia & Jalan Alor
Malaysia Airlines Golden Regional Lounge Kuala Lumpur KUL review
Malaysia Airlines Business Class Boeing 737-800 Kuala Lumpur KUL to Hong Kong HKG review
A visit to Tim Ho Wan in Hong Kong for dim sum
A rainy day in Hong Kong – Science Museum & Kau Kee noodles
Hong Kong – Victoria Peak & more great food
More dim sum in Hong Kong – Din Tai Fung & Dim Sum Square
A day trip to Macau from Hong Kong
Grand City Hotel Hong Kong review
The best craft beer in Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific The Cabin Business Class Lounge Hong Kong review
Cathay Pacific The Bridge Business Class Lounge Hong Kong review
Cathay Pacific Business Class Airbus A330-300 Hong Kong HKG to Osaka KIX via Taipei review
A layover in Osaka – Ramen, sushi, & exploring the city
JAL Sakura Lounge Osaka KIX review
JAL Business Class Boeing 787 Osaka KIX to Los Angeles LAX review

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