Hong Kong’s best beer bars
If you don’t like eating flowers with your pint, this might not be the place for you. On the other hand, if you want to be witness to a passion project that’s clearly been created with a lot of love and nous, then The Artist House might just be the pinnacle of Hong Kong’s craft beer achievements so far.
A relatively new kid on the block that feels a lot like a Peel Street incarnation of The Beer Bay (even though the two have nothing to do with each other). The bar itself exists just for the exchange of money and beverage, with drinking outside and mingling on the streets like a maverick being the name of the game. The beer selection is robust and eminently affordable. A solid addition to the scene.
Number of beers: 27: Six (tap), 21 (bottle)
Most expensive beer: $45 (various)
Cheapest beer: $28 (various)
Occupying a fairly unassuming spot near the top of Old Bailey Street, every façade is a sliding door-cum-window, setting Craft Brew up as a premier sun soaking spot. The beers on tap are ever-changing, properly curated and wonderfully varied, even if the gaudy T-shirts on the walls they’re trying to flog bear slogans that carry a distinct whiff of craft beer drinker elitism that’s eye-rollingly puerile.
Number of beers: 45: 15 (tap), 30 (bottle)
Most expensive beer: $80 (various)
Cheapest beer: $70 (various)
An absolute mainstay. This borderline shack nestled between piers three and four at Central Harbourfront may not look like much (don’t expect seating, everyone drinks and mingles on the pier and it’s glorious) but it’s been a persistent lifeline for commuters and beer enthusiasts for years now. Cheap, unfussy and boasting a larger selection than they have any right to considering the size of the place.
Number of beers: 62: seven (tap), 55 (bottled)
Most expensive beer: Generation Ale Shepard Neame (bottle: $350)
Cheapest beer: Bachata Thomas Hardy ($35)
This homey Central gastropub has become the centre of the city’s beer community, partly through their renowned sud selection (it’s the biggest in town). Beers from anywhere and everywhere are available here, with an increasing selection of global microbrews and guest tap-takeovers recently adding to their traditionally strong line-up of Brit ales. Also, they do damn good pies.
Number of beers: 150+: 13 (tap), 140+ (bottle)
Most expensive beer: San Michele Carmen ($320, 750ml)
Cheapest beer: Premium Lager ($52)
Okay, really this is more of a bottle shop. But they get the green light for this list because you can go in, have a chat and a beer no problem (and they do events/tastings on site). Also, this is ground zero for homebrewing in Hong Kong. If you’re keen to start making your own, these friendly staff here will help get your creations off the ground. Alternatively, if you just want a bevvy, they have an eye-watering selection.
Number of beers: 300+
Most expensive beer: $780 (Superstition Peanut Butter Jelly Crime)
Cheapest beer: $18 (Monteith’s Radler)
Across its two locations The Roundhouse serves up down-home Texan comfort fare (fried chicken at the Wan Chai spot and BBQ in Central) but it’s the beer that serves as the common denominator between the two. Everything’s kept decidedly unpretentious and it feels like a natural, unfussy upgrade from your average sports bar, replete with all the usual trappings plus an actual decent selection of beer and quality food.
Number of beers: 44: 27 (tap), 17 (bottle)
Most expensive beer: Brewmeister Armageddon ($999)
Cheapest beer: Yona Yona Ale ($52)
Hong Kong’s best beer bars
This neat little TST spot has been flying the flag for Hong Kong’s own craft beer since opening in 2015. The owners don’t seem too interested in packing out their bar – the choice of a fairly unassuming spot seems to be by design – but the relaxed atmosphere enables the knowledgeable staff to freely converse about anything beer related. Super unpretentious and a great starting point anyone wanting to get started with Hong Kong’s growing selection of craft beer.
Number of beers: 29: 11 (tap), 18 (bottle)
Most expensive beer: $82 (CityBrew)
Cheapest beer: $60 (various)
Offering up that warm, comforting ambience that you would usually associate with a drinking hole you’ve been frequenting for years, TAP is a wonderful addition to Kowloon’s increasingly exciting craft beer scene. Expect to see a wide variety of customers – ale enthusiasts (both local and foreign), students, collars of both the blue and white variety, and everyone in-between. That’s what makes this place great – not just the excellent selection of beers, but the melting pot of people enjoying them.
Number of beers: 35: 17 (tap), 18 (bottle)
Most expensive beer: $260 (Various)
Cheapest beer: $40 (Young Master Pale Ale 0.2L)
A taproom that knows exactly what it is – a no-frills bar only interested in one thing: good beer. Don’t expect a wine or spirits list – here, suds are king. This is the first outpost of Taiwan-based brewers Zhang Men outside of their native country and it’s a great place to start if you’re all about beer and not bothered about overly fussy surrounds.
Number of beers: 24 (tap)
Most expensive beer: $333 (various)
Cheapest beer: $49 (various)
Continuing craft beer's steady takeover of Kowloon comes this recent addition. The Oak Crafted specialises in craft beers and top whisky's, set among a relaxed, convivial environment. Well worth a look if you ever find yourself thirsty in Prince Edward.
Number of beers: 32+: six (tap), 26+ (bottle)
Most expensive beer: $348 (various)
Cheapest beer: $44 (Honey Amber Ale)
Hong Kong’s best beer bars
Serving only Belgian beer (by no means a bad thing), this attractive little minx of a bar, with its exposed brick facade, draws in local crowds with a taste for Europe – they also serve some nice eats in sets built to go with a variety of pale and dark ales, not to mention a healthy dose of cheesy Euro beats.
Number of beers: 81: one (tap), 80 (bottle)
Most expensive beer: Bush Prestige de Nuits ($780)
Cheapest beer: Leffe draft ($58)
Another bottle shop but, much like HK Brewcraft, this isn’t the booze aisle of your local Wellcome. Here, events and tastings abound and stopping by for a browse, a chat and a tipple is fair game. Bottom line is, if you’re mental for craft beer and want to hang out with like-minded souls, you can do no better.
Number of beers: 280+
Most expensive beer: $255 (Deschutes Black Butte XXVIII)
Cheapest beer: $25 (Bob Ketter Reporter)
The best thing to come out of Australia since Crocodile Dundee. Little Creatures recently celebrated a year in Hong Kong and here’s hoping it’s the first of many happy birthdays for this beautiful, 6,000sq ft drinking/dining space. Their tap offerings are all brewed on the premises. Fresh, multi-dimensional and refreshing – these plaudits that can be applied to any of Littles Creatures’ beers.
Number of beers: 11: nine (tap), 11 (bottle)
Most expensive beer: $280 (various)
Cheapest beer: $45 (various)
Hong Kong’s best beer bars
This is Hong Kong’s only dedicated Scottish bar, tucked away underground giving it a cosy, warm ambience with all kinds of tartan and Scottish paraphernalia adorning the walls. Surprisingly, it’s not all about whisky – be sure to check out the guest ale they have on tap and try the haggis balls, now.
Number of beers: 51: five (tap), 46 (bottle)
Most expensive beer: Guinness ($77)
Cheapest beer: Several bottles including Carlsberg and Asahi ($58)
It’s Oktoberfest all year-round at this dining hall where long tables and huge frosty glasses of German beer make a merry marriage. Families and parties alike gather here regularly to chow down on authentic Bavarian delicacies and sample some German suds.
Number of beers: 20: six (tap), 14 (bottle)
Most expensive beer: Hoegaarden ($88)
Cheapest beer: Arcobrau ($64)
Don’t be fooled by the sporty moniker, Ruggers is all about the beer nowadays. The place maintains a buzzing atmosphere most nights, partly due to its enclosed outdoor smoking terrace. Enjoy selecting from the copious range of great Belgian bottled beers, 10 or so top English ales, or just indulge in the bargainous happy hour lagers.
Number of beers: 77+: six (tap), 71 (bottle)
Most expensive beer: Several Magnum bottles inc Abbaye Des Rocs ($700)
Cheapest beer: Asahi and Corona bottle ($50)
A pub is where people go to seek out the familiar, grab some comfort food and have some jollies with their pals. Thanks to the local ales and HK dishes, Second Draft does precisely that. Since this gastropub is an endeavour undertaken by May Chow and Young Master Ales (one of the best breweries in Hong Kong), you’d expect an exceptional beer selection. And, you know what, that’s exactly what they’ve got.
Number of beers: 38: 26 (draft), 12 (bottle)
Most expensive beer: $88
Cheapest beer: $82