Wine & Dine 2016 – A Few Things to Enjoy

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It’s Wine & Dine! After a walk around under the blazing sun here’s a few things to enjoy. We can’t say it’s a ‘best of’, there’s over 400 booths to explore taste and savour. Have fun finding your own favourites.

It’s not cheap! While many outlets are offering discounts on their regular shop prices for buying bottles (with many happy to home deliver after the festival). Food is pricey, most places are averaging $50-75 per portion.

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In an attempt no doubt to break up the massive crowds this year’s Wine & Dine Festival is laid out in short blocks set at sharp angles. It’s not instinctively easy to find your way back to an outlet/booth so eat /drink what you want when you see/find it. This layout also makes it hard to direct friends to a spot they’d enjoy – take a photo of the booth number.

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Wine Whiskey and Beer

There are more wine companies and stands than you can possibly sample… decisions, decisions. Your wine tokens get a tasting portion – not a full glass. Ensure they rinse your glass first! Check out the Riedel tent, the glass manufacturer has an ongoing selection of talks and tastings.

There’s a large, essentially craft, beer area – towards the Admiralty end, far side from the harbour – with a wide range of local and international beers to sample. Several stands have special beers only available at Wine & Dine. Want a bite with your beer? Next to the beer stands at booth E814 you can find a mixed sausage platter of black cuttlefish and traditional German cheese sausages covered in melted cheese for $40.

If you like whiskey there are single brand whiskey stands, most are grouped in the middle of the festival. Except for the Jack Daniels booth which is in the American area. Celebrating it’s 150 anniversary, you’ll be able to taste a wide selection of Jack Daniels.

Food

It won’t mean much to many but one of the booths in the American street is offering a free drink to those who kiss Hillary and or punch Donald 🙂 For for a simple snack try Millennium Seafoods lobster soup.

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Enjoy a big tasty sausage? Opposite the stage the 30cm Mega Jumbo Wurst ($75) offers a nice meaty custom made German sausage. Cooked over a massive circular BBQ, the team is organised and ready for the rush, their target to serve you in 60 seconds. There’s also a 15cm version ($65) which is the same type of sausage but sold more like a hotdog in a bigger bun. Wash is down with some Fruh Radler (lemon beer).

Flavabomb (E506) has a lovely light refreshing Gelato di Moscato – a choice gelato ice-cream, topped up with moscato and we added in a few dried strawberry flakes (top photo). A light refreshing option perfect in the summer sun or after dark. They also have a range of bakery products including croissants and pain au chocolat and some tasty beef balls with truffle.

Seafood: Abalone more abalone plus a bit of shellfish. There several booths offering abalone from a variety of different locations, in different sizes and farmed or wild. On the harbourfront edge of festival The Gold Coast Hotel has a bowl of their signature tasty Sri-Lankan crab for $98 and a hearty German sausage with sauerkraut for $60. Both portions sized to be almost a complete meal in themselves. Next door the Panda Hotel has a lobster bun ($40) and salmon, crab, cheese tarts ($40).

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If want a change from seafood, U Banquet is offering Grilled Assorted Balls for $20 a portion

While you’re picking up your free cookies from Lucullus check out some of their other offerings the predominantly Kowloon side chain has a range of tasty bakery and desserts on offer including cheese tarts (original, durian or green tea, $30 for 2) and stuffed baked parmesan cheese rolls (chicken, Thai green curry, sichuan spicy pork $35 for 2) and some cute looking chilled offerings.

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There are lots of desserts on offer, one of bc’s favourites from last year returns at booth E507. A rich silky smooth egg custard served in a real egg shell. $40 for  box of 4, it’s seriously delicious.

Other food booths to check out –pork knuckle specialists Golden Pig, K-Town, Butcher and Baker who are offering hotdogs ($40) and baked chocolate fondants topped with ice-cream $30. And for something a little different, next to the Admiralty entrance, Kwun Tong private kitchen Wines Buddy and Dining at Home.

Basic things: A reminder there is little shade! Sun cream and a hat or expect to boil during the day. Bring water, there’s lots and lots and lots of wine, beer, whiskey – but little water to keep hydrated. There are very few seats.

NO refunds on coupons! In fact, unless you want to sample wine, there’s very little point in waiting in the long lines to buy coupons at a rough estimate over 80% of booths accept cash.

It’s outside, there’s food, wine, beer, whiskey, live music… what’s not to like, have fun!

Wine & Dine Festival 2016
Date: 27-30 October, 2016
Venue: Central Harbourfront
Tickets: $30

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Megabites: Oktoberfest

Schnurrbart pork knuckle 2016

Oktoberfest is an important part of Bavarian culture, having been held since 1810, and while the original and world’s biggest Volkfest is still held in Munich other cities across the world have joined in the celebrations. So if you didn’t make it to Oktoberfest in Germany this year, you can get your fill of German food, drink and fun right here in Hong Kong. bc takes a look at three quite different options.

Schnurrbart

Augustiner Bräu, is one of the most popular beers available exclusively at Munich’s Oktoberfest. Served in 0.5ltr mugs ($99) it’s now available only during October at Schnurrbart in Lan Kwai Fong. A special Oktoberfest menu which includes Munich style boiled white sausage with pretzel ($90); Braised pork in beer sauce with bread dumpling and cabbage salad ($168); Nuremberg fried sausages, sauerkraut and mashed potatoes ($138) and the Schnurrbart special pork knuckle with braised red cabbage and mashed potatoes ($228).

Schnurrbart: 29 D’Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong

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Marco Polo

The 25th Anniversary Marco Polo German Bierfest runs from the 21 October to 12 November, 2016. The outdoor festival again features the Notenhobler band in their Oberkrainer outfits singing traditional tunes and hearty folk music. Beers available this year include Fischer’s stiftungsbräu helles lager ($90) and Erdinger Oktoberfest ($90), On the menu will be roast pork knuckle served with braised red cabbage and gratinated potato (HK$185); Pan-fried sausages “Nürnberger” style with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes (HK$150); Roast herb-marinated half chicken with carrot and potato salad (HK$160) and for dessert Apple strudel with vanilla sauce ($85) and Black forest cake ($85).

25th Anniversary Marco Polo German Bierfest
Date: 6-11pm, 21 October – 12 November 2016
Venue: Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel, TST
Tickets: $280, $160 from HKTicketing
More info: www.gbfhk.com

beerliner-milkshake

Beerliner

With 5 locations – actually bc thinks there are 6 outlets, but only 5 are listed on the website. Maybe the Wanchai restaurant is only for those in the know? – Beerliner is the largest chain of German themed bars in the Hong Kong. Offering a range of German beers and dishes including roasted pork knuckle, sausage platters and Flammkuchen (German style pizzas). For Oktoberfest, running until the 31 October, Beerliner has added a range of special dishes and beers, perhaps the most uniquely Hong Kong Oktoberfest special is the Monster Shake.

For Beerliner outlet locations see here.

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Shake ’em Buns 10th Anniversary Block Party – 15 June, 2016

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It was smiling faces and juicy burgers all around as Shake ’em Buns celebrated it’s 10th Anniversary with a block party on the 15 June that saw hundreds of people enjoying $20 burgers, free fried chicken and craft beer. A big hand to the Shake ’em Buns staff for making so many burgers in such a short time!
Click on any photo to see the full gallery

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BrewDog Equity Punks Night – 3 February 2016

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BrewDog invited its Equity Punks to a first night tasting of fine craft beers brewed in Aberdeen, Scotland. There are 14 craft beers on tap ranging from the globally popular Punk IPA (5.4%) to the sublime experimental AB:19 (13.1%).
Click on any image for the full gallery.
Brewdog: 19 Hollywood Road, Central.

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Brewdog beer board – served in proper English pint, 2/3 pint, half pint and 1/3 pint measures.

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Red Bulls**t

Old Ox

Would you confuse beer and an energy drink? Red Bull seems to think it’s customers are that stupid or maybe they’ll be confused that Red Bull has entered the beer market, if they came in contact with Virginia’s Old Ox Brewery?

Attorneys for the extreme drink certainly think so, and have filed a complaint in the United States Patent and Trademark Office. In it, attorneys – always looking to increase their billable hours – for the energy drink assert some consumers might confuse the brands because “An ‘ox’ and a ‘bull’ both fall within the same class of ‘bovine’ animals and are virtually indistinguishable to most consumers. In addition, an ox is a castrated bull.”

In reply the Old Ox Brewery released a public letter asking the company that makes Red Bull energy drinks to drop its complaint.

Hey Red Bull –

You seem pretty cool. You sponsor snowboarders, adventure racers, rock climbers and motocross bikers. You launch people into space so that they can skydive back down to earth. That’s all really darn cool. For all I know, you’re reading this while strapping yourself into a Formula One racecar that is about to be lit on fire and jumped over a large chasm of some sort. How cool would that be? Feel free to give it a try.

Here’s the thing, though. You are being extremely uncool to us at Old Ox Brewery. We are a small startup brewery in Ashburn, Virginia. We’re family-run, we love beer, and we love our community. For reasons that we cannot understand, you have attempted to strong arm us into changing our identity for the last 10 months because you believe folks might mistake Old Ox beer for Red Bull energy drinks. We respectfully disagree. The only similarity between our two products is that they are both liquids. You make non-alcoholic (but very extreme) energy drinks. We make delicious (but laid-back) beer. Our consumers are looking for two distinctly different experiences from our respective products.

Basically you are holding us hostage with a list of demands that, if agreed to, would severely limit our ability to use our brand. Demands like, never use the colour red, silver or blue; never use red with any bovine term or image; and never produce soft drinks. Do you own the colour red? What about fuchsia, scarlet, crimson, or mauve? Are you planting your flag in the colour wheel and claiming those shades for Red Bull? Do you claim exclusive rights to all things bovine? Do you plan to herd all heifers, cows, yaks, buffalo, bison, and steer into your intellectual property corral, too?

When we refused to succumb to your demands, you responded by filing a formal opposition to not just our trademark but to the very name Old Ox Brewery. Way to step on our American dream. You say you are protecting your intellectual property rights, but your claim, in our opinion, is Red Bulls**t.

We can only interpret your actions as one thing—bullying. You are a big Red Bully. Just like that mean kid from grade school pushing everyone down on the playground and giving us post-gym class wedgies. You are giving us one hell of a corporate wedgie. We don’t appreciate it and we sure as hell don’t deserve it.

Is this really what you’re about? Are you a bully? Your extensive marketing campaigns (your glitzy advertising, your sponsored sports events, your death defying stunt shows, etc.) certainly don’t project that image. Take a hard look at your “case.” Can you honestly look at our brand and say, “this is a threat to my image?” We don’t think you can. Given that, we repeat our offer: We agree NEVER to produce energy drinks. In exchange, we are asking for one simple thing: Leave us alone. Drop this trademark dispute. The only people benefiting are the lawyers.

Sincerely and Uninfringingly Yours,

Chris Burns
President – Old Ox Brewery

As Shelly commented it’s easy to get confused
“I’m just a silly girl. Sometimes I really need an energy drink and I get confused why I’m in a brewery. Wait, why are they carding me for an energy drink? This is weird. Oh wait…. I’m getting drunk from this energy drink from my tulip glass.
And sometimes I’m in 7-11 thinking I can get a great craft beer, but this can is only making me hyper…
Why is life so hard?
I need a beer.”

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