Beer in Hong Kong – Part Seven – Carlsberg brewery, Tai Po – opened 1981

Martyn Cornell has kindly given permission for extracts from his article, A Short History of Beer in Hong Kong, to be posted on our website.

The article was published in the Journal of the Brewery History Society, Brewery History, Issue 156, 2012

Martyn has his own blog, Zythophile – Beer now and then, linked below.

Despite its title the article is quite lengthy and packed with information. This seventh extract begins in 1978….

By now the Sham Tseng brewery had a rival, for the first time in its existence. In March 1978 the Danish company United Breweries announced that it would be building a Carlsberg brewery in Hong Kong, which would be in operation in 1980.(97) The new brewery was on an industrial estate in Tai Po, on a bay in the east of the New Territories, 10 miles from Sham Tseng, and actually opened on 28 April 1981.

In 1993, by which time Carlsberg had increased its share of the Hong Kong beer market from 3% to between 17 and 19%, it opened a HK$65 million extension, with a feng shui ceremony featuring lucky money, joss sticks and four roast suckling pigs.98 The ceremony did not bring Carlsberg the wanted luck, however.

Carlsberg Brewery Image Tai Po 1999 Courtesy SCMP

Six years later, in March 1999, with Hong Kong in the middle of a recession, the Danes announced that they would be closing the Tai Po brewery the following month, laying off 73 workers, ‘in an effort to improve profitability’. Production would be moved to the Carlsberg brewery 50 miles to the north-east in Huizhou in Guangdong province on the Chinese mainland, the company said.99…

This article was first posted on 1st May 2017.


  1. Carlsberg – Hong Kong – company website

Related Indhhk articles:

  1. Beer in Hong Kong – Part One – the early days up to the planned opening of its first brewery
  2. Beer in Hong Kong – Part Two – The Imperial Brewing Company Ltd
  3. Beer in Hong Kong – Part Three – The Oriental Brewery 1908-1912
  4. Beer in Hong Kong – Part Four – The Hong Kong Brewers and Distillers Ltd 1930-1935
  5. Beer in Hong Kong – Part Five – the Hong Kong Brewery and Distillery Ltd 1936-1947
  6. Beer in Hong Kong – Part Six – the San Miguel Breweries at Sham Tseng and Yuen Long
  7. Oriental Brewery – “The beer that’s brewed to suit the climate”
  8. Hong Kong Brewers and Distillers -The Opening of the Sham Tseng Brewery
  9. Hong Kong Brewers and Distillers – The Sham Tseng Brewery 1930-1935
  10. Lady Southorn’s hop shovel – Hongkong Brewers & Distillers 1934
  11. The Imperial Brewing Company formed 1905, commenced operations 1907
  12. Wo Fat Hing Distillery, Lung Wo village

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