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Written by Daniel Otero

With Wan Chai’s overwhelming commercialisation, pubs don’t hold to the true essence of a public house or what it stands for; and it’s only to sell cheap brews.  The drinks are basically watered down pints of Guinness without soul.

Then in my discovery and travels through Hong Kong, I did find something magical.  This speakeasy is a place which offers home brews and others with international flavours/elements.

I entered this almost hidden establishment around the neighbourhood of Tin Hau and felt transported when I tasted my first beer.

It was from the tap and called, “Stanley”.  I could feel the cool elements of the beer.  It’s tangy taste.  The bitter aftertaste of the ales of old from Germany; it was fruity to the senses and enjoyable.  As I sat easily tasting it on this summer night; yes, the beer had that bitter aftertaste.  But it wasn’t one to overwhelm the senses.  It didn’t feel like I tasted the bottom of the barrel.

And yes, it’s a bit pricier than those commercialised beers sold throughout the bars in Wan Chai.  However, custom beer will always cost a bit more.  The average cost over those ‘other’ beers is $10 to $15 HKD and it is fine.  To taste the goodness of something it always cost a little extra.  It’s quality after all!

Possibly, “Drunkerland” can hold an effect on those visiting or locals, to come here and drink and avoid the typical traps—those waterholes with low quality beer.

When tasting a beer, a person should have something bold, with strength in their mouth. The taste in this locale comes from the tap, as well as, the draft.  With a wonderful variety of Belgian, international and experimental brews in taste.  This pub has the potential to hold its own if they don’t sacrifice quality for over-commercialisation.

“Stanley” was the one I stuck with on my second round.  And it suddenly became even sweeter.

I focused on the oriental charm, as I had jolly-good fun on the European tastes at the establishment.  It’s worth about Hong Kong and living on this side of the world.

Now, would I repeat the experience?  Of course, it’s H.K. and I’m always open to a new adventure in the culinary arts and great drinks.

The experience was sexy and it left me wanting more.  To taste one the greatest treats in civilization [thanks to the Egyptians], a good beer!

About the author

Daniel Otero

A New Yorker who has been living in China for the past 10 years. He's a freelance writer/journalist and ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher.

A former member of the military with extensive travel to 50 countries and has lived in six.

Lover of life, good food, travel, writing and dealing with social issues.