Now that the LeaveHomeSafe and RAT test days are officially behind us, our quest for homegrown, fermented flavors is smooth sailing from here. And with the joyous occasions of New Year’s Eve and Chinese New Year just around the corner, what do you say to a roundup of some of Hong Kong’s best craft breweries? Stock up your freezer, and yum sing (Cantonese for cheers)!
Carbon Brews is young and electrifying. If you feel like beer might not be your toast of choice, this Fo Tan-based brewery makes sure to alleviate your doubt with innovative elixir in cans or glass bottles. Looking for pointers? This multi-awardee of Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition 2022 carries juicy options such as Baby Rich Lupulins, Crazy Rich Lupulins and Sour Punch all year long.
Editor’s pick: Gettin’ Jelly Wit It (HK$40), a pale gold with a mellow palate and comforting notes of peanut butter, vanilla, raspberry and caramel. Order it here.
Made by Hongkongers for Hongkongers. Established in 2014, Citibrew HK fledged from an independent “nano” brewery to one of the most prominent names on local bar counters. From the controversial debut of the Tough Lady brew to offering more than 40 selections of IPA, mead and beyond, Citibrew HK has more than left a mark on our palates and collective memories.
Editor’s pick: Rosé Hibiscus Sparkling Mead (HK$50), a romantic rose gold liquor brewed from honey, rose and organic dried hibiscus flowers. Order it here.
Deadman Brewery not only wins you over with superb beer but also with its radiant personality. Charming horror-inspired graphics grace the packaging of the Australia International Beer Award winning brews, capturing you before your first taste. When it comes to developing its rich roster of flavors, Deadman Brewery only has one rule: complement the natural palate of beer without taking away from it.
Editor’s pick: Duchess Night Out (HK$48), a sour red ale with the appetizing acidities of berries and cherries. Order it here.
Ever wondered what a Lovecraftian-beer crossover would look like? Enter H.K. Lovecraft, a hauntingly sophisticated gem that stays true to its macabre disposition through its lager specialty. Undergoing fermentation at a colder temperature, H.K. Lovecraft’s beers set themselves apart with a crisp, clean taste. But don’t judge a brewhouse by its noir aesthetic — it carries everything from light to dark and bitter to sweet.
Editor’s pick: Precioso (HK$120 / 4 pack), a soothingly light chocolate strawberry lager. Order it here.
Hong Kong Whistle
Hong Kong Whistle is like your favorite drinking buddy — a loud personality who’s always in the know with a bit of a potty mouth, but it’s all in good fun. Basing its brand identity on local collective memories and contemporary humor, this boutique craft brewery refreshes your bar top rotation with fascinating liquors bearing equally whimsical names.
Editor’s pick: Mango CoCo Milk West (HK$45), an IPA infused with the tropical flavors of mango and coconut. Perfect for hot nights and reminiscing about your childhood. Order it here.
No one does traditional-meets-modern quite like Moonzen Brewery. With Moonzen (door god) as its moniker, this local brewhouse draws inspiration from Chinese folklore and legends to create memorable staples such as the Jade Emperor IPA, Monkey King Oktolager and Thunder God Ale, which you may recognize from local taproom menus.
Editor’s pick: Jiangxi Salted Mandarin IPA (HK$240 / 6 pack), where the combination of tangerine, kumquat, and orange peel brings an unique bitterness to the old but gold IPA. Order it here.
Yardley Brothers Craft Brewery
Yardley Brothers Craft Brewery has been bagging awards and regional recognition left and right, and it’s all thanks to its many creative flavors and perfect recipes. Defined by its experimental spirit and willingness to push the boundaries of beer as we know it, it’s safe to say that Yardley Brothers Craft Brewery is not only renowned for its great sips but also the use of brain juices (figuratively).
Editor’s pick: Thai Chilli Getaway (HK$50), a chilli basil sour that’s refreshing like a Thai-style Mojito but with an extra spicy kick. Order it here.
Young Master Brewery
Founded in 2013, Young Master Brewery went on to become one of Hong Kong’s most representative names in the craft brewing scene. By venturing into bold flavors and investing in a local beer network (taprooms and private tours included), this homegrown business will continue to earn coveted spots on industry awards and local directories.
Editor’s pick: Tropic Like It’s Hot (limited release), a summer-ready IPA led with the tropical note of mango. Let’s pray that Young Master Brewery brings it back when the seasons change!
Featured image courtesy of H.K. Lovecraft.