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Beer, bratwurst and beyond!

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The beer garden comprises of a terrace overlooking the huge garden seating. Supplied

Let us be honest, nothing can quite compare to the feeling of sipping on cold beer at the end of a long day and HOPS Brewery & Craft Beer Garden understands this the most. In fact, it was the very essence of the business, which led it to grow into the household name it is today.

Situated along Samdech Mongkol Iem St. (228), HOPS is everything you picture a beer garden to be…except more. Despite boasting a spacious outdoor garden seating, the venue still managed to create an intimate setting with its fairy lights on the trees and wooden benches sitting not too far from one another.

It is safe to say that HOPS had succeeded in recreating the concept of a traditional German beer garden right in the middle of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Or as the Germans call it, Gemütlichkeit – which means the state or feeling of warmth, friendliness and cordial.

Fresh beer for all at HOPS Craft Beer Garden. GT2/Chor Sokunthea

What’s more unique about HOPS is that it is arguably the first beer garden to have opened in the Kingdom, back when craft beer is still foreign here. Over the course of three years since inception, the establishment had single-handedly ‘converted’ more local beer drinkers into dabbling with craft beer.

However, HOPS is not just a place for alcoholic drinks, general manager Ms. Maria Garcia stressed. Behind the glass doors is the indoor entertainment area consisting of a sports bar with high-end billiard tables and electronic darts.

She said it is more like a ‘recreational hub’ suited for all kinds of people who are into all kinds of fun.

“Everything you need is here. If you want to drink good beer, here is the place. If you feel like playing darts after that, for instance, there is no need to go elsewhere. We have our own entertainment area.

General manager Maria Garcia says HOPS is a place for everybody. GT2/Chor Sokunthea

“If you are hungry, our kitchen staff is ready to serve you with the best German-fusion food. When you get a little bit tipsy and you just want to chill, you can head on over to our lounge area. We have everything under one roof,” she told Good Times2 in a recent interview.

According to Ms. Garcia, HOPS was designed to fit approximately 500 customers in one seating – perfectly equipped with an art lounge, private meeting, seminar areas and terraces. It is also attached to a restaurant that is famous for its German-inspired cuisine such as pork knuckle, Vienna schnitzel, jägerschnitzel, currywurst, Tomahawk steak and oyster platter.

Head Chef Rainer Koenig, 36, said that fresh craft beer makes for a good pairing with their house dishes due to the intricacies of its taste. He said he is also constantly ‘experimenting’ by incorporating HOPS’ own beer as a cooking ingredient. If you are intrigued, the Chef himself recommends HOPS tom yum made with lager, fish and chips in wheat beer batter or their pork knuckle with stout beer gravy.

Head Chef Rainer Koenig (left) is keen on incorporating Brewmaster Florian Schmitt’s fresh beer into the food menu. GT2/Chor Sokunthea

Regardless, HOPS is first and foremost proud to brew its own beer, following the more than 500-year-old German purity law and brewing tradition by only using hops, water, malt, wheat and yeast. Customers are spoilt for choices here when it comes to fresh beer.

The establishment is known for its premium lager (Gold Angel), the refreshing wheat beer (Amber Witch), full-bodied Indian Pale Ale (HOPS’ IPA) or our potent red stout (Red Fury). The best part is the team at HOPS is constantly looking for new ways to up their game to please the local beer connoisseurs.

Just recently, HOPS had decided to open a new in-house brewery featuring a new brewmaster from German, Mr. Florian Schmitt. The official launch of HOPS Brewery 2.0 will coincide with the Oktoberfest celebration on Nov 21 at the same venue.

As the sole license holder for Oktoberfest in Cambodia, HOPS said the celebration this year was slightly delayed to ensure the freshly-brewed beer by Mr. Schmitt will be ready to be sampled. Despite the low number of ingredients used to make the beer, the whole process including brewing and fermentation takes weeks – depending on the type of beer.

The globally-celebrated festival will take place from Nov 21 to Nov 28 at HOPS and will feature live performances and other interesting activities, tailored specifically for beer aficionados. HOPS will also be serving its craft beers, except the lager, in a special one-litre glass during the event.

It is open daily from 11am to 1am, including on public holidays. For more enquiry or to make reservation, please contact 023 217 039 or drop an e-mail at [email protected]

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