OPEN BAR BREW­DOG

HK Magazine - - NIGHTLIFE - Eve­lyn Lok

The buzz: The mis­chievous Scots craft brew­ery Brew­dog is slowly tak­ing over the world, hav­ing just opened its 45th world­wide branch here in Hong Kong, bring­ing its own im­ported brews on tap as well as guest drafts fea­tur­ing lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional fa­vorites.

The dé­cor: Brew­dog has opened up in the for­mer Tapeo space and con­verted it into two storys, with a medium-sized bar and street-fac­ing seats down­stairs. A large mural of a very dog­like Chi­nese dragon by grafitti artist Craig Fisher leads you up­stairs, where you’ll find leather ban­quettes for larger groups. In­cor­po­rat­ing the brew­ery’s own badass style and giv­ing a nod to the Cen­tral Po­lice Sta­tion just across the road, there are plenty of pri­son-style touches from the hard con­crete, mesh fence and metal pipes ev­ery­where, down to the cold hard metal toi­let seats in the re­strooms. A pri­vate room up­stairs seats around 10-12.

The drinks: While of­fer­ing 14 beers on tap at any given time, Brew­dog’s own se­lec­tion is de­cid­edly pop­u­lar (plus they only make each beer in batches of 5,000 bot­tles max), and they’d al­most run out of stock when we paid a visit. The sig­na­tures in­clude the award-win­ning Punk IPA ($60), which was shock­ingly light and ses­sion­able for an IPA, with a flo­ral, pas­sion­fruit af­ter­taste. The 5am Saint ($60) is ap­par­ently more pop­u­lar with the ladies: a sweeter, fruity red ale that’s ap­par­ently made with three types of hops but isn‘t over­whelm­ingly hoppy. The Ger­man-style Candy Kaiser ($68) is a steely red ale with plenty of caramel fla­vor, but sub­tle with the al­co­hol. In fact, most of Brew­dog’s beers feel quite light, even the Lib­er­tine Black Ale ($72), which wasn’t as bit­ter as your ev­ery­day dark beer: It was sur­pris­ingly bright and hoppy in­stead.

Why you’ll be back: The tat­ted-up servers may look aloof but they know their beers, so don’t hes­i­tate to ask for rec­om­men­da­tions. You’ll want to wash your booze down with some of the fan­tas­tic, mostly beer-in­flu­enced bar snacks, from thick-cut caramelized Cana­dian ba­con ($108), which is cured in porter for 10 days, to a glo­ri­ously soft roast beef French dip sand­wich, spilling with melted pro­volone ($108). On week­ends, Brew­dog hosts lessons in craft beer ap­pre­ci­a­tion— it’s just $330 to learn and drink five dif­fer­ent types of brews. For up­dates on what’s cur­rently on tap, be sure to check the web­site be­fore your visit.

15-19 Hol­ly­wood Rd., Cen­tral, 2219-9905, brew­dog.com.

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