Co-founder and editor-in-chief, Coaster Magazine
Hongkonger Sandra Kwong fell in love with beer while living in Germany — a passion that she put to full use as the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Coaster Magazine, a bilingual publication devoted to all things hoppy.
Initially returning to the city with hopes of pursuing a writing career, Kwong completed a stint at Time Out Hong Kong two years ago. She was approached by Shaheen Budhrani (featured in our 30 Under 30 2015) to join his craft beer and cider distribution company, BestBev.
“After learning more about the inner workings of the beer industry and meeting some fascinating individuals, I was made aware of a gaping knowledge gap within the general public and industry professionals regarding beer,” Kwong explains.
“The steady rise in interest towards beer is no secret. However, for the bulk of the market in Hong Kong to really understand and learn about the rich history, cultural significance and joy of brews, we had to start by educating the local population.”
Coaster was launched in 2016 by Kwong and business development directors Budhrani and Jon Braun, along with creative director Ryan Chan. The only publication of its kind in Hong Kong and Macau, it features English and Chinese content — something that Kwong says she took an “uncompromising” stance on. “The big dream was that this knowledge would be readily available to anyone, local or visitor, who walks into a bar, restaurant or hotel to pick up a copy.”
While Kwong continues “preaching the gospel of good beer” to the masses, she plans to complete her Certified Cicerone qualification and Beer Judge Certification Program in 2017.
Her very first job? Tutoring English in a language learning center.