They’ve been doing it since the first crusades in the 12th century, initially as a fund raising project for local abbeys and then as a pseudo-religion in itself. Remember this was a time when it was safer to drink beer than water (and what a time it was!). Today Trappist monasteries still make some of Belgium’s best brews; no small feat in a pint-sized country that’s home to staggering 180 breweries.
You won’t have to travel to Europe to sample some of that rich heritage thanks to the opening of Frites Causeway Bay, the group’s fourth Belgian beer bar. Themed after the beer halls popular in the 1920s, Frites combines Belgium’s stellar brews with authentic Flemish cuisine that’s perfect for lining the stomach and soothing the soul. There are over 80 beers from a raft of different artesian varieties on offer, from the St Sebastiann Dark and Abbye des Rocs Grand to the Kasteel Rouge Quadrupel and the pricy HK$1,200 Bush de Preistge (Sealdis Prestige), although the sample paddles are a great way to ease your palate into play. All these lovely drops go perfectly with the mussels, flown in from Holland and served in six ways; silky steak tartare; the half-meter long Good Wife (happy wife more like) sausage; and hearty Flemish short rib stew, just the ticket to keep Hong Kong’s short-lived winter at bay.
"Beer drinking doesn't do half the harm as love-making" -- Anonymous
Frites Causeway Bay
Shop 1, G/F Park Haven, 38 Haven Street, Causeway Bay;