Bar review: Drunkerland in Tin Hau – for the serious beer lover
This compact, no-frills neighbourhood bar has friendly, knowledgeable staff and focuses on one thing and one thing only: great beer
The vibe: the name tells you much of what you need to know. A no-frills neighbourhood beer bar open to the street, it’s not obligatory to get plastered, but it’s the sort of place that would be most understanding if you did. Drunkerland occupies a compact shop space, accommodating only a small number of tables, but equipped with a capacious chiller cabinet housing a long list of brews. The clientele seems to be a mix of locals and tourists staying in the nearby budget hotels. Staff are friendly and knowledgeable. Peanuts arrive automatically when you order drinks; it is probably fine to throw the shells on to the floor.
The drinks: the spirits selection is limited to house brands, supplemented by a small selection of single malt whiskies, although cocktails are available. Beer is the point. Not everything on the list is actually in stock, but any beer geek who walks to the back of the room and has a look at the bottles in the chiller is more or less certain to find something of interest from the UK, the USA, Japan, or further afield.
There are also half a dozen beers available on draught, including local Lion Rock Pale Ale, and Samuel Adams Rebel IPA (HK$80, or HK$60 during happy hour). Belgian Estaminet (HK$70/HK$50) was fruity, yeasty and correctly chilled.
Lion Rock Grandmaestro IPA (HK$70/HK$55) is an attractively hoppy, bitter IPA, and Timothy Taylor Landlord from Yorkshire (HK$80/HK$60) is a pale ale generally best tasted from a handpump somewhere close to the brewery, but not at all bad from the bottle here.
There are more than 50 Belgian beers to choose from, and you’ll find all the names you would expect – Hoegaarden. Leffe et al – plus some with which only connoisseurs are likely to be familiar. Prices range from HK$60 to HK$180, and the Belgian bottled selections are not discounted during Happy Hour. The cider list, curiously, is all Swedish.
The verdict: a serviceable watering hole in the Tin Hau area for the serious beer lover, albeit fairly highly priced for the spartan surroundings.
Drunkerland, 27 Ngan Mok St, Tin Hau, tel: 3702 1841.
Happy hour: 3pm-8pm
While you’re in the area: