Take the edge off at Hong Kong's first craft beer festival, 'Beertopia!'

Take the edge off at Hong Kong's first craft beer festival, 'Beertopia!'

At this gourmet beer tasting party, getting drunk is a convenient side effect of nerdiness
beertopia hong kong
Another excuse: drinking beer is a toast to history. It's believed to be the world's oldest fermented beverage, after all.

The first Hong Kong craft beer festival, Beertopia!, will bring together 90 remarkable brews from around the world to be tasted within century-old Western Market in Sheung Wan. 

The emphasis at Beertopia! is on artisanal quality and diversity, so we can finally discern our Doppelbock from our Lambic.  

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“It’s about more than getting huge mugs of beer to get drunk,” says organizer Jonathan So. “There are so many different types of beer, so many flavors, and this is a way to try a bunch of them.”

Like many Hong Kong beer nerds, So got his first taste of quality brews abroad, when he was living in New York.

When he moved to Hong Kong three years ago, So found a growing amount of interest in craft beer, but few opportunities for enthusiasts, importers and brewers to get together.

Beertopia! is So's excuse to raise one with all fellow craft beer lovers in Hong Kong.

5 highlights of Beertopia!

1. Rogue Double Chocolate Stout, on tap at the Hop Leaf booth. This beer is heavy, rich and decadent, like a chocolate milkshake. That might sound like an unlikely flavor profile for a beer, but it works and it is amazingly quaffable.

2. Can you really brew your own beer in a tiny Hong Kong apartment? Yes, you can. Learn how at the festival’s afternoon lectures, which will also cover beer tasting and pairing beer with food.

3. Typhoon Brewery. This is Hong Kong’s own craft brewery, run by pilot Pierre Cadoret. T8 English Bitter and Eastern Lightning Ale will be hand-pumped from a cask at Beertopia! This is also a rare opportunity to have a one-on-one chat with the guy who makes beer out of a small room in Mui Wo on Lantau Island.

4. Nothing goes better with beer than a live band. Four local outfits -- Absolute Crap, Mr. Happy, Jimmy2Times and Levelling Out -- will play from 7 p.m. onwards.

5. Beer pong at Western Market. Need we say more? 

Getting there: Beertopia! runs from noon to 11 p.m. on April 28, 2012 at Western Market in Sheung Wan. Tickets cost HK$250 for five tasting tokens or $300 for 10. Tickets are available online at the website below, or at The Globe (45 Graham St., Central), the Beer Bay (Central Ferry Pier 3) and at the Liquid Assets wine shop (Basement, Jardine House, Connaught Road Central). www.beertopiahk.com

Christopher DeWolf is a writer, photographer and self-styled flâneur.
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