Last night I went to the German Bierfest in Hong Kong, hosted by the Marco Polo Hotel. With an awesome view of Kowloon and Hong Kong harbour, the festival was a light throwback to my student days of partying. But with a few differences of course. One being we’re in Asia.
Overlit skyscrapers gaped down on this little Pavilion on a pier, out the back of the Marco Polo Hotel. Hong Kong often mixes glamorous with unfashionable, without a clear distinction as to what is what. This was a chance for busy office workers of the Kong to unwind, enjoy the view and sample some German culture. Or at least the nearest they will get to German culture without stepping off a train in Hannover. Having left Hannover in 2007, I haven’t been back to Germany since.
We booked our tickets online and early to be sure of attending. I had learnt from previous Hong Kong events that some things here sell out fast (The HK Rugby Sevens, Hong Kong v.Taiwan in football and Beertopia). An entrance ticket was 220 Hong Kong Dollars, that included a beer mug/tankard to keep and one beer. Hardly the cheapest night out, but sometimes in life you need to pay a bit more for something special. As a beer festival veteran, even I was surprised.
To get there go to the Marco Polo Hotel in Kowloon and get the lift to the 6th floor. Follow the signs out the back to what is like a jetty stretching out to the harbour. Two options – pre booked tickets or pay on the night.
We had our tickets already bought online a few weeks ago. At the entrance they retain your ticket. There goes my copy for the scrapbook.
- Inside the tent at the Marco Polo German Bierfest
Once inside a carnival atmosphere is in progress, housed in large tents, with long narrow tables decorated in blue and white colours (presumably Lowenbrau played a part in that). Main sponsors seem to be Lowenbrau, Beck’s and Lufthansa, though Jagermeister also features.
Culture hungry locals, pork knuckles, ice cold beer all readily available without hassle – no queues. Friendly, pretty local girls dressed the same hand over the beers. Top chefs serve up the food.
Get there on happy hour – 6pm – 7pm. The beer is buy one get one free during that time – so two pints for 80 Hong Kong Dollars.
The rest of the night the German Beers are 80 Hong Kong Dollars each – there are only three types available: Beck’s, Lowenbrau and Lowenbrau Oktoberfest Special.
We shared the pork knuckle meal, which came with gravy, mustard, potato and purple cabbage. Well cooked and lots of tasty meat, similar to what you might get in Germany. You can also buy sausages and a range of typically German foods. Pricewise it doesn’t come cheap. The pork knuckle was 170 HKD.
For dessert there are a few options including Black Forest Gateau. We went for Cheesecake which came with a sweet sauce made up of cherries, raspberries and strawberries from what I could tell. Tasty. This was 70 HKD.
During the night I tried all three of the available beers. The best of which was the Lowenbrau Oktoberfest Special. You get to keep your tankard so I didn’t use it for the last drink as I didn’t want to drop it or lose it – so put it in my bag.
Panny and I enjoyed the views of the harbour. I doubt many other German Beer Festivals the world over have a better view than this. Hong Kong does well on views. Having lived in Sydney and London, I do tend to appreciate nice views in life, especially those we take for granted.
And the band was playing a mix of German, English, Spanish and even Chinese songs. The highlights of the set for me were actually DJ Otzi’s “Hey Baby” which warped me back to the party island of Majorca in Spain in 2001, and “Sweet Caroline” (Sweet Northern Ireland) a song which reminded me of watching Northern Ireland play all over Europe.
Locals and foreigners alike all mix together here and enjoy the fun. Indeed that stereotypical “sitting on the MTR/underground texting and typing on modern phones” attitude seems to disappear when you get in here. People are here for the atmosphere and the culture of it all. The beer festival runs from 19th October to the 10th November 2012. Well worth popping down to!!
What – Marco Polo German Bierfest
Where – 6th Floor (then out the balcony), Marco Polo Hotel, Kowloon, HONG KONG
Nationalities Met – Hong Kongese
Beers Tried – Lowenbrau Original, Lowenbrau Oktoberfest Special, Becks
Food Tried – Pork knuckle, cheesecake
Price of a Beer – 80 HKD (buy one get one free 6pm – 7pm)
A FEW VIDEOS:
(I took 10 videos – all available to view on my You Tube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/jonnyscottblair?feature=mhee )