Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Phnom Penh gets its first proper biergarten, with imported ‘Hops’



Phnom Penh gets its first proper biergarten, with imported ‘Hops’

The vast amount of space at Hops is designed to recall a Munich biergarten.
The vast amount of space at Hops is designed to recall a Munich biergarten. Athena Zelandonii

Phnom Penh gets its first proper biergarten, with imported ‘Hops’

Phnom Penh is dotted with Khmer-style beer gardens, but the city’s newest offering of the German variety – the aptly named Hops – is hard to miss. It’s large enough to hold a spacious, table-lined courtyard, two floors of indoor seating, a competition-level pool hall and an in-house brewery.

“We needed the size to make [the brewery] worthwhile,” says owner Tassilo Brinzer. “A German biergarten is usually quite big. In Munich, they have five hectares.”

Phnom Penh may never require that much space, but Brinzer’s setup on a side street just north of Independence Monument could certainly compete.

The lot was last occupied by villa-style Italian restaurant Le Duo, which was demolished so that Hops might be built from the ground up – a project that, along with the logistics of brewery design, took about two years. Part of the issue was adjusting the foundation to the weight of the beer.

“The brewery is quite heavy when it’s full,” Brinzer explains.

And it is the brewery that is Hops’ crowning achievement. Everything that goes into the water is imported directly from Germany: malt, yeast and, yes, hops. The brews are all made on site with a cold-production process. There are two brewmasters on staff to oversee it, one Cambodian and one a German beer sommelier.

Currywurst and wheat beer.
Currywurst and wheat beer. Athena Zelandonii

“How you ‘pair’ beer with food, I’m not sure – but he knows how to do it,” Brinzer says with a laugh.

For now, there are just four beers on the menu – a lager, a wheat beer (the most refreshing in the Phnom Penh heat), a red stout and an IPA – and all come in at $3 a glass or under. The first monthly special, a belated Oktoberfest brew, will debut at the grand opening next week, says general manager Pierre-Marin Perez.

Hops also offers plenty of food, from Cambodian classics to German specialties. The price point ($7 and up) seems steep, but the portions are equally hefty: an entrée could easily be split in two. Post Weekend recommends the classic currywurst ($7), in this case served with chips.

The brewery and beer garden is first and foremost targeting those in its immediate surrounds, though beer-lovers from around the city seem to have been the most loyal customers in the trial run.

“We tried to focus on a social garden atmosphere,” Brinzer says. “The idea was to create a nice space in the neighbourhood – like it is in Germany – with one outdoor space with benches and a garden setting.”

Location aside – and it is charming – some of the only craft brews in town are certain to draw a crowd. Hops has definitely got the room.

Hops Brewery and Craft Beer Garden is located at #17 Street 228, and is currently open from 4pm to 10pm daily. The grand opening is set for Friday, October 14.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Stop Russia sanctions

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said sanctions against Russia as a result of its military offensive in Ukraine should be stopped as they have produced no tangible results, and predicted that a global food crisis would ensue in 2023 as a consequence. Speaking to an audience at

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Siem Reap’s Angkor Botanical Garden opens

    The Angkor Botanical Garden was officially opened on May 19 with free entry for both local and international visitors for the first six weeks. The garden was established on a nearly 15ha plot of land in Siem Reap. “After the first six weeks, Angkor Botanical Garden

  • Pub Street on the cards for Battambang

    The Battambang Provincial Authority has announced that it is considering establishing a Pub Street in the area around the heritage buildings in Battambang town in a bid to attract more tourists. Battambang provincial governor Sok Lou told The Post that the establishment of a Pub

  • Hun Sen: Don’t react to hostility

    Prime Minister Hun Sen urged tolerance and thanked members of the Cambodian diaspora for not reacting to the hostility on display towards him by others while he was in the US to attend the May 12-13 ASEAN-US Special Summit in Washington, DC. In an audio