In the past decade Hong Kong has discovered wine in a big way. Wine auctions, wine bars, the "Food and Wine Month", wine tours, tastings, classes, etc. etc. But good beer has been slow to catch on. There are the standards available at almost every bar - Blue Girl, Carlsberg, Tsing Tao, and Hoegaarden - but good craft beers and microbrews have been difficult to find. With a few exceptions (The Globe on Graham Street in Soho and last year's Beertopia festival) we've been starved for decent beer.
So you can imagine how I felt when I saw this post on the Beertopia facebook page -
An American beer festival? I'm in! I called a few friends and we agreed to meet up to wallow in American beeriness. Yessss!
It started at 3:00 and I was a bit concerned about getting in (Beertopia sold out quickly and it filled up the entire Western Market), but we couldn't get there until 5:00. But we got in. Oh, we got in. It was deserted. It was us, the employees and a tipsy beer distributor.
Okay, that's fine. There are still good beers and maybe other people are coming later.
As you can see from the flyer, it cost $150 to get in. Essentially, that $150 bought you three tickets, each of which was redeemable for a beer (that's pretty reasonable for HK) but it also bought you a ticket to win one of the raffle prizes.
Over the course of the evening each of the four of us bought two sets of tickets and nobody else came to the "festival". So with eight tickets between us we felt pretty assured of winning some prizes and decided to stay until 10pm for the raffle. Remember this for later.
While waiting we decided to order some food. It was so horribly prepared that I only recovered from my shock enough to take one photo. Behold the "nachos":
This consisted of about seventeen chips, only one of which had (about half a teaspoon of cold rubbery) cheese. The chips themselves were greasy and chewy. Chewy. Chewy chips. These "nachos" were accompanied by four small bowls, each containing appoximately 1.5 tablespoons of sour cream, chopped tomatoes, some watery "salsa", and something I can't remember because I was in a haze of disbelief.
Other dishes were the risotto balls (cold in the middle and relatively flavorless), and the "cheese fries" (decent fries that were covered in a watery orange sauce that resembled cheese the way that a stillborn kitten resembles a tiger).
Oh - and that raffle? 10:00 came and went so we wandered into the bar area to find the now incredibly drunk beer distributor and all of the employees had "won" the prizes.
They scrambled around and gave us a six-pack of beer to split between the four of us.
Overall grade: decent beer list, but go to The Globe instead. In her drunken blathering the beer distributor told me that they have most of the same beers, and the Globe has better (actually, excellent) food.
You have been warned.