Beertopia; the name alone is enough to moisten the mouths of even the most inexperienced beer connoisseurs. And if the snowball success of the last two years is anything to go by, 2014's event promises to serve up barrels more enjoyment for all in attendance. We take a look at what to expect on the first in a long string of boozy March weekends, and talk to some craft beer experts about this swiftly growing scene.
Set against the stunning views of Hong Kong’s skyline, Beertopia
will return to West Kowloon Waterfront between March 13th and 15th 2014, extended for an extra day due to the sell-out nature of last year’s extravaganza. For anyone thinking of passing up the chance to sample more than 400 craft brews in exchange for another night of jelly shots on LKF, be assured that this event is about much more than just beer. As in previous years, there will be a vast array of yummy pub grub, live-bands and messy drinking games including giant beer-pong – just in case you’re not getting squiffy enough on your own!
Beertopia founder Jonathan So says he’s expecting to see attendance increase from 6,000 to 10,000 this year, highlighting “Hong Kong's increasing interest in craft beer”. Laurie Goldberg, founder of one of the participating vendors Americraft
, has also noticed huge changes in the local appetite for quality beer since setting up stall at the first Beertopia in 2012.
“Interest in craft beer is growing astronomically in Hong Kong every year. This year it will be bigger and better than ever, and I'm excited to see a lot of new businesses and local breweries, as when we first started out there were only a few of us,” Laurie told Localiiz. She advised true beer enthusiasts to swing by their stand for a taste of Anchors California Larger and the draft-only Watermelon Wheat, adding, “I think Beertopia is really important for bringing attention to the craft beer scene and also educating the public about how much variety is out there.”
Take a chance to taste the delicious imported brews you've missing out on, sold at these Hong Kong Craft Beer Stores
And Hong Kongers certainly do seem to be beginning to understand the importance of quality beer, a fact reflected by the drinks lists of many recently-opened high-end restaurants and bars. In the words of So himself, “These venues wouldn't buy their wine stock from 7/11, so why wouldn't they have a high end selection of beer to reflect the menu?”
With the increasing momentum of the annual Beertopia event, it is safe to say that a love of craft beer is well and truly brewing in Hong Kong. Make sure you're part of the movement!
What: Beertopia 2014
When: March 13th-15th 2014
Where: West Kowloon Waterfront
Price: VIP All Weekend Pass HK$942, single session tickets available
Tickets: Buy here or on the door, but the latter cannot be guaranteed!