23 October 2016
What's your poison? A bartender arranges glasses of craft beer. Photo: Bloomberg
What's your poison? A bartender arranges glasses of craft beer. Photo: Bloomberg

Craft beer is the new fashion

Who doesn’t love to have a pint of beer at the bar?

A foamy gulp of draught beer can immediately wash away all the pressure at work or add zest to an already exciting football match.

But as sales of big beer brands decline in major markets worldwide, craft beer, a kind of specialty beer produced by small-scale, boutique breweries, is gaining popularity among lovers of the beverage.

The number and sales of craft beer are growing strong, and deals involving the takeover of small-scale craft breweries by traditional beer giants are on the rise.

For instance, the number of breweries in the United Kingdom has reached 1,420, and of the new ones, around 200 belong to the craft beer category.

According to the Good Beer Guide 2016 of consumer group CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale), there are more than 11,000 choices of beer in the UK, ranging from India Pale Ales and brown ales to old ales and even strong scotch ales.

Back home, local representatives include Hong Kong Beer and Moonzen Brewery, whose products are making their presence felt in a growing number of restaurants.

Beer lovers must not miss Beertopia 2015 — Hong Kong’s largest craft beer festival in its fourth round at the Central Harbourfront on Oct. 9 and 10.

Local goodies together with over 500 different beers from around the world are guaranteed to give attendees a heady experience.

Reasons for falling in love with craft beer are many, including the fact that it is less commercial and its tastes are more exceptional.

Brewers often add local seasonal fruit and herbs to give a unique character and style to the home brew. Craft beer is often considered as the equivalent of cult wine or garage wine in the red wine world.

Popular brews come with 6.5 percent alcohol content on average, which is slightly higher than that of the general ones (3 to 5 percent).

Some US brewers feature craft beer with alcohol content of as high as 10 percent.

Craft beer goes so well with a wide range of food and cuisines. Malty ones are the best to go with sweet and strong-flavored cuisines, while Indian Pale Ales are great with fried seafood and hot pot.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Sept. 24.

Translation by Darlie Yiu

[Chinese version中文版]

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