Thursday, February 27, 2014

Hong Kong Gets Crafty

After reaching the bottom of Hong Kong's convenient Central–Mid-Levels escalator and walkway system one day, I saw a man holding a sign.

man wearing HK Brewcraft shirt holding sign reading "Home Brew Supplies"

I froze. Although Shanghai and Beijing have seen their craft beer scenes notably improve in recent years with places such as the Boxing Cat Brewery, Hong Kong had seemingly been left behind. This man gave me hope things had changed.

The man confirmed that HK Brewcraft sold craft beer in additional to brewing supplies and said the store was nearby. Having walked around the area on a number of occasions, I was surprised I could have missed it before. It turns out it is not so easy to notice--one of the reasons he was standing there with a sign. So he kindly escorted me to the street underneath the lowest level of the escalators.

lowest level of the Central--Mid-Levels escalators

And we entered a building.

entrance to the building housing HK Brewcraft

After walking up one floor of stairs to an elevator (the elevator does not reach the ground floor) and taking it to the fourth floor, I met his son and store founder Christopher Wong.

owner of HK Brewcraft

His Washington Huskies shirt gave me hope our tastes would share some common ground. I took a look at their area for classes.

class area at HK Brewcraft

I also perused their selection of craft beers from around the world.

beers for sale at HK Brewcraft

After enjoying a couple of tasty, hoppy beers I had never tried before, they recommended I visit a not-so-far-away bar to try a locally brewed beer. So I headed back up the escalators and found The Roundhouse - Taproom. Once there, I basked in the sight of their 25 craft beers on tap.

taps at The Roundhouse - Taproom

But I had come there for something specific, a beer from a new brewer in Hong Kong--Young Master Ales.

taps for Young Master beer at The Roundhouse -Taproom

I chose their Island 1842 Imperial IPA and was not disappointed. Good hoppy stuff.

HK Brewcraft, The Roundhouse - Taproom, and Young Master Ales are all relatively new to the Hong Kong scene, and together with some others they mark a significant change that will make my stays in Hong Kong all the more pleasurable. I could opine further, but for more see a recent article on Time Out Hong Kong about "The Rise of Hong Kong's Brewing Scene". Apparently I'm not the only one enjoying the change.

I'm glad I saw Mr. Wong holding that sign.

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