Belgian Beer In Hong Kong; De Belgie

Our travel itinerary often feels incomplete without a special line item for Craft Beer, but Hong Kong was not a place we ever expected to find it.  Jim had to work at his firm’s Hong Kong office for 18 days, while I was using the opportunity to explore the city and concentrate on my travel writing.

Hong Kong skyline

One night as we strolled through Soho in the central neighborhood searching for some dinner and drinks, we spotted a corner bar illuminated with the words “de België” and an alluring red brick exterior that reminded me of something I’d see in a narrow alleyway in old town Europe.

De Belgie sign

A sign that read “unlimited free frites” sealed the deal and we grabbed a seat at the table outside.

Unlimited free frites

An Incredible Selection of Beer

Welcoming staff showed us a large laminated beer menu with a visual display of the beer bottles available.

Beer Menu

De Belgie Beer Menu

The beers were served along with their proper signature glasses and our first order of free frites (out of five or more that we’d have over the course of the night). We were happy!

Jim with a beer - De Belgie_new

I was astonished at the overall selection of Belgian beers on offer. I haven’t seen that many Belgian beers all in one place together since we visited the Netherlands last February, a country much nearer in geography to the actual country of Belgium…

Shipping Beer Across A Distance of 8,000 Miles –

As Jim and I contemplated the possible transportation complexities for a specialty bar like this, we began asking one of the employees more questions, who turned out to be the owner, Marcus Tsui. Earlier in the week, we had scoped out one other Belgian beer bar in Hong Kong (Frites), and though we enjoyed it and liked the interior look of the place, they were out of what seemed to be at least 50% of their beer selection. Their shipments didn’t come often enough and when they ran out of supply, they were out for a period of months at a time until their next shipment came by boat.

Marcus has a separate warehouse in Kowloon, across the harbor from Hong Kong island, that is stocked with more than enough supplies where he can easily transfer beer from if he runs out before the next shipment comes. From speaking to him firsthand, it seems he’s prepared to invest upfront to make sure the stock is on hand – an approach that is sure to keep his loyal customers satisfied!

Little Details Make All The Difference…

At the entrance there is an almost exact replication of the Mannekin-Pis, the famous peeing boy statue in Belgium.

Peeing Boy statue at De Belgie

As you sit at the bar, you can admire all the unique Belgian beer glasses hanging above the bar.

Marcus & I

Me with the owner of de Belgie (Marcus) and an awesome La Chouffe statue

For a more intimate, cosy experience there’s additionally a small room in the back of the bar with soft elegant lighting, red and white tablecloths, brick walls, and a built-in shelf lined with a great display of Belgian beers!

Interior back room De Belgie_new

Beer selection_new

How do you distinguish the stand-out from the mediocre places? Easy – look around and observe all the little touches that add to the whole experience! Marcus obviously thought about all these minor details that make the world of difference in a successful bar operation and ten minutes after I arrived, I knew it was in the stand-out category.

How did I not know about this place?

This bar is brand new – it only opened six weeks before our visit! If you’re a Hong Kong resident, what are you waiting for?

This bar is a place where you can settle in for a wonderful evening out with surroundings that make you feel like you’re back in Europe.

Exterior De Belgie_new

 

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About Tanya

I’m a freelance travel and beer writer and a passionate and energetic 30 something - determined to enjoy life and see as much as possible along the way. Recently I lived abroad in London and traveled to 20+ countries within two years! As of January 2014, I'm back in the USA, and currently living in Charlotte, NC. But before all of that, my roots were set in small town America, where I spent the first 23 years of my life living, going to school, and working in the state of Pennsylvania.

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