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Take a beer tour around Japan and you’ll probably stumble upon COEDO Brewery, one of the oldest and biggest names in the Japanese craft-beer scene. Founded in the 1970s as an agricultural company with a focus on vegetable distribution, COEDO’s beers take on a unique quality thanks to a special local ingredient, Kintoki sweet potatoes from Kawagoe. Taking note of its passionate following in Hong Kong, the brewery opened COEDO Taproom in 2015 to showcase its award-winning beers.

Clean and minimalist, with stool seating and an open kitchen, COEDO Taproom sits nicely amongst the slew of Western-style restaurants and bars on Causeway Bay’s Fashion Walk, a lively pedestrian dining street. In the thick of summer, the Japanese brewery provides a welcome respite from the heat, with the promise of fresh, cold beer and a delicious range of Japanese skewers and snacks.

COEDO’s main offering consists of its five core beers, ranging from the golden brown-hued Kyara – carrying aromatic notes of white grapes and spicy citrus, to the Beniaka – a smooth-bodied imperial amber with the aroma of caramel from the roasted Kintoki sweet potatoes.

Beers are available in four different sizes however, if you’re thirsty, go straight for the beer paddle, which lets you sample a selection of the greatest hits. There’s an extended range of beers on tap, including a few cult favourites from near and far, such as Brewdog, Ballast Point, and Hong Kong’s own Young Master Ales.

No visit to COEDO Taproom is complete without sampling at least one of the exclusive beers on offer. The 3D Grape Ale is an innovative fruit beer that combines malts and hops with concord grapes from. Another exclusive offering is the FPA COEDO. This brew combines four varieties of hops with Belgian yeast for a fruity, drinkable beer.

While the focus here is definitely on beer, COEDO Taproom is no one trick pony. Continuing along the theme of bubbles you’ll find French Champagne and Italian prosecco. The wine list continues along a similar international theme with Australian, Italian and French drops on offer. There’s also a selection of Japanese sake, plum wines and, of course, Japanese whisky including 20-year-old Nikka Yoichi.

As for the food, Kawagoe-style dishes from Head Chef, Nobuaki Maruyama, are designed to mimic the flavours in COEDO’s brews. Kushiyaki (Japanese skewers) are the main event: from juicy chicken and leek skewers amped up with yuzu, to the grilled ox tongue drizzled in chimichurri, and the pork short-rib skewers served with a spicy mayo.

For more filling options, dig into the generously portioned donburi bowls, including grilled beef tongue, and yakitori and egg, or the spicy chicken ramen with springy al dente strands and tender chicken thigh sitting in a lip-smacking broth. The latter pairs well with the light-bodied Ruri, its crisp, refreshing notes providing a cleansing sip between slurps of the unctuous broth.

Local ingredients such as satsuma chicken and Aomori pork help connect the dots back to the brewery’s origins and transporting guests straight to the small town of Kawagoe.

While COEDO is inarguably a by-product of its locale, it’s been aggressively expanding to new markets and collaborating with other craft beer brands to offer new blends, from New Zealand to San Francisco’s Ballast Point Brewing. With a taproom in Hong Kong and the city experiencing its own mini craft-beer revolution, a local collaboration might be written in the stars, spurred along by the demands and evolving tastes of a maturing local market.

Locate COEDO Taproom

Shop C, G/F, 50-56 Paterson Street, Fashion Walk, Causeway Bay HK


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