Craft beers produced by tradition-minded microbreweries have long been popular in Europe and North America. In most Macau bars, however, beer choices are limited to mass-produced excuses that perhaps shouldn’t be called beer at all. Thankfully, that’s changing, and though the city is still to get its own brewpub, Macau now enjoys a burgeoning craft beer scene.
The Black Sheep
Restaurant and bar The Black Sheep, located in Areia Preta, boasts one of the most comprehensive beer lists in Macau, with more than 100 varieties. Among them are quirky beverages that sound more like bottled desserts, including Sticky Toffee Pudding Ale and Banana Bread Beer from the Charles Wells Brewery Company, and Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, all from England. Other options include fruit-flavoured beers, as well as a plethora of lagers and wheat beers. The distinctively bittersweet Black Sheep Ale, from the Black Sheep Brewery in Yorkshire, northern England, is a customer favourite.
The Black Sheep, Rua da Pérola Oriental, Villa de Mer (Block V),
R/C Loja AE, AF, +853 2876 3663, facebook.com/theblacksheepmacau
The Blissful Carrot
The Blissful Carrot, a quaint vegetarian cafe in Old Taipa Village that was opened by three expats in 2014, stocks close to two-dozen beers from across the planet. Thirst-quenchers from Rogue Ales brewery of Oregon in the US and rewarding organic beers from Black Isle Brewing Company in Scotland are popular choices.
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“We basically always try to carry a full range of different beers, from blondes all the way to stouts,” says co-owner Marisa Edgelow Randles, adding that she and her partners visit Beertopia, Hong Kong’s annual craft beer festival, to sample what’s new and tasty on the scene. Additions are made to the blissful carrot’s drinks list every month or so, ensuring customers can sample new beers regularly.
The Blissful Carrot, Rua Direita Carlos Eugénio, No 79a, Goio Fai Kok, R/C, Taipa
+853 6298 8433, facebook.com/blissfulcarrot
McSorley’s Ale House
Beer lovers will love McSorley’s Ale House, modelled after McSorley's Old Ale House, opened in Manhatten, New York City in the 1860s, where literary figures like Hunter S Thompson, Brendan Behan and E E Cummings enjoyed a pint. The Macau pub, with mahogany bars, brass fittings, wrought iron railings and comfortable leather sofas, offers its own imported McSorely’s ale.
And like any self-respecting Irish pub, it serves Guinness and craic on tap. They have an extensive range of bottled beers for those looking for something a little different. Pub grub includes the signature Baby Back Ribs & Chips, McSorley’s Fish n’ Chips, Guinness Sausage & Mash and, presumably since it's located next to the casino, the Baccarat Burger.
McSorley's Ale House, Shop 1038, Grand Canal Shoppes, Venetian Hotel, Estrada da Baia de N. Senhora da Esperance, Cotai, +853 2882 8198, venetianmacao.com
Premium Belgian beers reign supreme at cosy, laid-back Mugs bar next to Nam Van Lake, with quality expressions from venerable Bosteels, Lindemans and Chimay breweries, among others, packing out the cooler. Previously called Mugs Talk, the bar was reimagined in 2013 by a group of young, open-minded locals determined to give Macau more liquid refreshment options. Mugs’ extensive drinks list includes a wide selection of imported beers, and the management is open to adding new brews to meet demand.
See also: 5 Best Bars And Clubs In Macau
Those fond of a sweeter and milder brew might opt for peach-flavoured Pecheresse, a lambic beer brewed in the Pajottenland region of Belgium by Lindemans. Customers looking for more of a kick will enjoy Bostseels’ Kwak, an amber ale with 8.4 per cent alcohol. Kwak is served in an unusual round-bottomed glass held upright on its own wooden stand.
Mugs, 12a Praça De Lobo De Avila
+853 6350 4858, facebook.com/mugstalk