The Artist House (CLOSED)
Time Out says
Depending on your tastes, welcome to your new favourite beer bar or your worst nightmare
“You want a beer? Sure! But why not tailor your craft beer with something from our fragrance laboratory? Care to nibble on an edible flower? Or how about changing your suds’ flavour with an infusion from our micro-brewery? What about a VR brewery tour while munching on a pastry – a craft beer-infused pastry, naturally. How about creating a custom label for your bottle? What about a coffee for your friend? It’s a cold-press farm-to-cup brew…”
Welcome to hipster wet dream The Artist House – it’s not a bar or a coffee shop but a ‘lifestyle hub’, a ‘laboratory of innovation’ where the only thing missing is the tattooist or 50s-style barber.
The space is gorgeous. Unlike the many offered goods, it’s sleek and uncluttered – heavy on wood panelling and exposed brick, maintaining a nice balance of rustic, intimate and cool.
But what about the beer?
No, it’s not from a medieval brewery founded in 1343 like the bottles imply. The brewery where The Artist House makes its beers in Belgium traces its lineage back to that date, yes, but it was only a few years ago following a heavy renovation that The Artist started making brews there. They’re not hiding this information – it’s all on the establishment’s website – but we raise the point since some might consider it disingenuous.
There are four standard offerings when it comes to the beer: blonde, IPA, white and raspberry – a very reasonable $48 each for a 330ml bottle. For all the Artist’s frippery, they’re good. Very good. The blonde is appropriately golden in colour with a healthy head of foam that lasts. It’s light and refreshing with floral, hoppy notes and a pleasing tartness that gives way to a hint of bitterness at the end. As for the rest: the white is the perfect antidote to a humid summer’s day – fresh, clean and with a hint of lemon, as promised in the description; the raspberry: light and natural tasting which is more than can be said of many raspberry beers. As for the IPA, it’s a reasonable approximation of something that, to be honest, is done a lot better in places outside of Belgium like Britain and North America.
There are cocktails too – like the Ready or Malt ($90), an appealing mixture of malt-infused vermouth, grapefruit bitters, sherry and soda water – but the beers are definitely the main attraction here.
If we sounded disparaging at the start that’s simply because we felt a need to state the obvious: that The Artist House is hipster heaven. 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.
1/F, Fashion Walk
9 Kingston Street
|Opening hours:||Sun-Wed 10am-8pm; Thu-Sat 10am-12am|