Monday, June 15, 2009

Some tourist pictures of Aberdeen (Hong Kong)

A couple of touristy photos I took. No beer involved. In fact the only beer that day was a couple bottles of Tsingtao with dinner.

The Jumbo Floating Restaurant

Aberdeen Harbor -- old and new

Saturday, June 6, 2009

East End Brewery, Quarry Bay (Updated)

Entrance to the East End Brewery, Quarry Bay

This pub (it's not really a brewery) has pretty much the same beers as the Hong Kong Brewhouse, only it's air conditioned -- an important thing when the heat index is over 120!

The beer list

Unlike most of the places I've been so far in HK, westerners are in the majority. My contact here in HK said it is pretty much an ex-pat hangout.

The first beer was a Hong Kong Beer because I needed something cold and refreshing. Quickly that was followed by an Aldrich Bay Pale Ale.

Aldrich Bay Pale Ale

It is a nice British style pale ale, with a nice "cracker" taste and lighter on the hops than the American version.

I started talking with Alistair from Melbourne (Australia, not Florida) who is a fellow beer geek in town on business. It turns out he is headed to Bamberg (as well as Düsseldorf, Cologne and Berlin) this summer so I gave him some not to miss places. He told me the Melbourne craft brew scene was fairly active with a lot of good new breweries, but he is particular impressed with the craft beers of New Zealand -- I sense maybe a future beer trip!

Earlier I did stop by their other locations in the Causeway Bay district. They weren't yet open but it seemed to be pretty much of clone of the Quarry Bay operation.

East End Brewery, Causeway Bay

I'll leave you with some more tourist photos. I made the obligatory trip via the Peak Tramway to the the top of Victoria Peak. Great views, but a real tourist trap -- the highest restaurant in the "Tower" on top was the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company -- real authentic Hong Kong cuisine there. It was a very hazy day -- on a clear dear it would be awesome.

View from the Peak

They also have these funny looking double decker streetcars. They are so narrow and high it looks like a strong wind would blow them over...

By the way, that high rise in the backround is undergoing some renovation, hence the green covering. The scaffolding is made of bamboo -- up over 20 stories! I'd read about that but it is impressive to see.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Hong Kong Brew House (Updated)

The entrance

I got waylaid on my way here so I'm about 3 hours late. The address is that of a high rise building, but the pub is around back on basically an alley and a good view of a street called Lan Kwai Fong which is full of pubs and nightclubs. It could be a great place to people watch.

The Bar

This is not an actaul brewery but more of a tap room for the Hong Kong Brewing Company.
In addition to three beers from HKBC the have Stella, Leffe Blond and Hoegaaeden on draft. The bottle is decent , with lots of Belgians -- a 750ml Chimay Blue for US$12 and a magnum for about $30. Magnums of Duvel for the same.

But it is about 90 degrees and 90% humidity and no air con so I went with a glass of Hong Kong Beer -- a nice pale lager that is just a few IBU's short of Pilsener but very refreshing.

Hong Kong Beer

Other house beers are Too Soo Brew and Aldrich Bay Pale Ale. The menu lists a seasonal but none was available today.

More later, my beer is getting warm!

Update: I was in need of food, so I took a look at the menu and its one that could be found at any pub in US: Burgers, pizza, some pasta and BBQ (ribs and chicken). Not what I came to Hong Kong to eat, so I had a bowl of soup (New England Clam Chowder) and some calamari. Both where very good and a bit spicy - which is different for the soup but it worked. Of course I had to have another beer, so I had a Too Soo Brew. It is a tad darker and maltier than the Hong Kong Beer and less bitter but a bit of hop flavor in the finish. A very nice beer.

Too Soo Brew

I probably should have had a full glass of the Aldrich Bay Pale Ale but when they gave me a sample it was a bit warmer -- not bad because it is an ale and should be served warmer -- but with the heat and humidity I wanted something cold.

I'll leave you with some photos I took on the way over. I am staying in Kowloon but the Brewhouse is on Hong Kong Island, so I took the Star Ferry over. Talk about a time warp -- it looks as if it is unchanged for the past 100 years. And the fare at HK$1.80 (about a quarter US) is also a blast from the past...

Star Ferry with Hong Island in the background

I've been involved with sign ordinances in a couple of cities in the LA basin. It's clear they don't have issues here as business seem to just extend their signs as far as they like -- even completely across the street.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Arrived in Hong Kong

It was an exhausting trip and a really short connection in Tokyo because our flight was late, but everything went smoothly in Hong Kong and I am calling it a night here.

Tomorrow: Hopefully the Hong Kong Brewhouse.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

On my way...

... but the first flight is running over an hour late so it'll be a tight connection on Tokyo.

-- Post From My iPhone

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Travel, but not much beer.

Some of you may be familiar with the concept of a "Mileage Run" but for those of you who aren't here is more information that you probably want to know...

There are crazy people out there (yours truly included) who sometimes get on a plane just to earn frequent flyer miles. Sometimes it is to earn "redeemable miles" -- those you can later turn in for a free ticket, but more often it is for "status miles" -- also called BIS Miles ("Butt in Seat") -- of which the more you earn in a year, the higher your ranking in the frequently flyer program.

Now with a "true" mileage run you never leave the airport -- you arrive at your destination and kill some time until the return flight leaves on you hop aboard. I tried that once and it wasn't all that fun for me. Plus it raises some embarrassing questions when the flight attendant recognizes you and says "weren't you just on this flight" and you have to explain that you are one of those crazy people who ride airplanes for fun.

So I an not a purist and try and spend a day or two or three somewhere interesting when doing a mileage. A couple of times there have been quick trips to Düsseldorf for Sticke beer at Uerige and once it was to go to an Old Ale Festival at the White Horse Pub in Parsons Green, London.

Anyway, this weekend I am going to Hong Kong -- not particularly well known for beer, but its a place I've always wanted to visit so when the opportunity came for a mileage run, I jumped on it. There are a couple of pubs with names like "Hong Kong Brewhouse" and "East End Brewery" so I'll visit those and check them out (and report back). Must mostly I'll be a tourist wandering around the city and eating very well.

So watch this space...