OPEN BAR BREWDOG
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.