[pukka_dropcap style=”” txt_color=”White” bg_color=”Black” size=””]I[/pukka_dropcap]t’s actually harder than you think to find a place to enjoy music and chat in the vibrant and busy city of Hong Kong. If the bars in Lan Kwai Fong seem too lively and crowded, and the high-end clubhouses in Central too reserved, then Hillywood on the quiet Hillwood Road would be a rather good alternative.
The design of the shop gives off a trendy, relaxing European vibe. The owner loves fresh and alternative music, and had intended for the shop to be a getaway for gatherings. He never had a business plan. Coincidentally, striving for originality in music creation is much like the recent trend of home-brewed beer. The basic philosophies of home-brewed beer and alternative music are actually quite the same.
Indie music does not only have different sub-genres, like Indie Pop and Indie Rock, but there are also different styles from different bands. Some of them have a light and soothing tempo, while some are more heavy and hardcore, just like the vast selections of home-brewed beer. Indie to hand craft beer, alternative to handmade; both worlds are in parallel.
Home-brewed beer is Ale, beer with low production capacity and brewed with the traditional methods. All beer were brewed with the traditional methods before the 1900s, which were then replaced by the products of the larger beer manufacturers like Lager.
The major element in determining the taste and quality of the beer lies heavily within the brewer’s creativity and skill. Normally, only natural spices will be added, with no artificial chemicals or preservatives.
The first one that you can’t miss is Pale Ale, a 2014-launched, cross-over beer product by North Taiwan Brewing and notable Taiwan heavy metal band ChthoniC. The liquid goes down your throat fresh and smooth, with flavourful hints of red dates and cloves and an aftertaste of burnt malt.
With the Hong Kong-produced malt carrying a local spirit, all cultivated beer are well-balanced and have their own strengths, despite there being only a handful of choices. The mint flavour is very ‘Hong Kong’, as hints of the familiar White Flower oil oozes out. If you are looking for more of a local style, XeRReX is your best bet. It emits the fragrance of rich ink and herbs, taking us back to when we used to practice writing with a Chinese calligraphy brush and cooked Chinese medicine.
For the demanding home beer brewers, IPA would be the standard when rating a beer manufacturer. There are four main elements in brewing beer – the malt, water, hops and yeast.
IPA originated from the time when the British moved into Colonial India. The demand for beer skyrocketed, and due to the distance, extra hops were needed to increase the alcohol content for an extended storage life. Since then, the heavily flavoured and bitter Indian Pale