WESTERN MARKET, SHEUNG WAN, Hong Kong, SAR, China – For people living in Hong Kong, one of the first things that is noticeable is the lack in the variety of beer. Everywhere you go in Hong Kong, no matter what bar or club, most places serve the same standard fare of beers. These range from Carlsberg to Heineken and also include San Miguel and Stella Artois. There are many others and occasionally you find a rare gem, but it is hard to find truly unique and well crafted beers.
This year for the first time, someone sought to change this. Their idea was Beertopia. Self described as Hong Kong’s first true beer festival, Beertopia brought together craft beer brewers and distributers from around the world. There goal was simple: introduce Hong Kong to craft beers and start a chain of events to change the face of the current beer scene in Hong Kong. Tickets came in two forms, either a regular ticket or a premium ticket. The regular ticket cost $250 HKD (approximately $31.25 USD) and you received five tasting tokens, a tasting glass, and one lucky draw raffle ticket. The premium ticket cost $300 HKD (approximately $37.5 USD) and you received the same things above, the only difference is that you got ten tasting tokens instead of five. The tokens could be used to buy drinks, gear from the various brewers and distributors or to buy food.
Over all I would say that the festival was a success and I had a great time. They had a plethora of beers, as well as, amazing food, great local bands, and beer pong. The festivities also included raffles and trivia questions. The winners of the trivia were awarded more drinking tokens or six packs of beer (I was one of them). The raffles included some great prizes such as gift certificates to some of Hong Kong’s nicest dining venues.
My personal favorites were any of the beers provided by Monteith’s Brewery, especially their Original Lager. I also enjoyed Tui beer from New Zealand and Viru beer from Estonia. The festival also had a great turn out for only being in its first year…I’m pretty sure they sold out. I only wish I was going to be here next year to see what this festival grows into. Hopefully we will start to see some excellent craft beers in the future in Hong Kong.
Here is my list of beers that I enjoyed in no particular order:
Original Ale – Monteith’s New Zealand
Tui – New Zealand
Vale Ale – Australia
Great White – Lost Coast USA
Dead Guy Ale – Rogue Oregon, USA
Viru – Estonia
Cobra – India
Typhoon Eastern Lightning – Typhoon Brewery’s – Hong Kong
The website for Beertopia! is as follows: