Beertopia: Exploring Asia’s thriving craft brewery scene

(CNN)Think of Beertopia as Asia’s younger, smaller-scale answer to the Great American Beer Festival.

In November more than 14,000 people attended Hong Kong’s fifth-annual Beertopia, a record turnout.
    This two-day festival has become Asia’s biggest craft beer event, drawing nearly 125 breweries from around the world in 2016, almost half of which are based in Asia-Pacific.
    Head sufficiently cleared after a long night of, ahem, research, we’re here to dish on 10 beers poured at Beertopia that are worth hunting down in Asia.
    Bear in mind there are dozens of other great brews that didn’t appear at the event, but this list is a great place to kick off your immersion into Asia’s growing craft beer scene.

    Hong Kong Bastard Imperial IPA (Hong Kong)


    Keep your eye on the Philippines, which in a few years just may become Asia’s next big craft beer destination.
    Pedro Brewcrafters is one of the upstart breweries leading the charge, this year becoming the first Filipino craft brewery to make an appearance at Beertopia. The Procrastination Pale Ale is one of the brewery’s three signature beers.
    “We wanted to brew a beer with crisp, balanced bitterness that goes down really well on a hot and humid day,” says Jaime Fanlo, head brewer and director of operations.
    “We hop the beer generously with American hops like Citra and Centennial to give it a distinct aroma, keeping the malt bill simple to let the hop characteristics shine through.”
    Readily available in beer bars and craft-friendly restaurants and supermarkets across metropolitan Manila, Pedro Brewcrafters aims to introduce at least two more year-round brews and a seasonal in 2017.


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