The Hong Kong Brewers and Distillers Ltd new plant, 1933

IDJ has sent the following newspaper article…

The article contains a couple of grammatical mistakes and slight oddness of word choice which I have included in the retyped version below.

HF: I have retyped the original newspaper article to improve clarity and to aid searches.

Thanks to SCT for proofreading the retyped article.

Colony's Brewery To Open On Aug.16 HK Sunday Herald 30th Jul7 1933 From IDJ

The drive to Castle Peak has always been a favourite with Hong Kong people and it is now more interesting on account of the new plant of the Hong Kong Brewers and Distillers Ltd.

The brewery situated at Shum Tseng, is a finely designed mass of buildings of ferro-concrete, and is not, as are so many factories a blot on the landscape. It will be more attractive, however, when the reclamation on which it is built is finally tidied up and planted with grass, flowers, and trees.

Jehangir Ruttonjee,1908 Ruttonjee was the founder of the Hong Kong Brewers and Distillers Company

Process of Brewing

The first process in the brewing of the beer takes place in the brew house. The malt, which has been ground in the top storey comes down a schute into the mash tun where it is mixed with tepid water. A third of the mash is drawn off and passed into the copper where it is steam heated to a temperature of 75 dgs. Cent. and then pumped back again to the mash tun. The process is called saccharification.

It is then filtered through the bottom of the tun and runs down in four pipes to a sort of wash basin served by taps. [HF: The next sentence doesn’t make sense, but is what was included in the original newspaper article] The brewer runs off a certain amount goes into the wort cooler. The liquid, beer in the raw so to speak, has been called “mash” so far, now that it has been strained free from grain and hop leaves it is called “wort.”

Fermented in Cellar

The addition of the yeast is the next step. The wort passes to the fermenting cellar on the ground floor where it is received into big vats and the yeast added. The fermenting wort stays here for 10 days before passing to the maturing room where it has to spend two months in a temperature of 1 dg. cent. After this, at last known to the brewer as “beer,” it is drawn off into beer receivers and is strained clear of the remaining yeast cells.

Modern Equipment

The Brewery is equipped with an absolutely modern brewing plant built and installed by Messrs. Skodaworks Ltd. and is under the charge of a highly qualified engineer and two master brewers who hold the highest diplomas, in the case of the chief brewmaster, from the Vienna Brewery Academy, and in that of the assistant brew master, the First Special Brewery and Maltery Academy of Prague. Both of them have had many years practical brewing experience.

The beer is untouched by hand during the whole process of brewery, while most of the Chinese work people live in quarters, built by the Company, just across the road from the Brewery under the supervision of a matron. A well equipped also a part of the Brewery buildings, serves both the employees of Company and the neighbouring villagers.

Suitable Water Found

It is not, perhaps, generally known that a most important consideration for any prospective Brewery is the quality of the water that they propose to use. When the question of forming the present Company was first discussed a sample of the water, from a spring in the hills above Sam Tseng, was sent to the Institute for brewing science at Pilsen, Prague. A most gratifying report, issued on the authority of the Ministry of Public Health was received, coupled with the opinion, that there was no reason why beer, fully equal to that brewed at Pilsen, should not be produced. The water comes to the Brewery in covered pipes from a filter bed in the hills just above.

The official opening of the Brewery, to which a large number of guests have been invited, takes place on August 16, when an opportunity will be given to all guests to sample H.B. Beer.

Source: The Hong Kong Sunday Herald 30th July 1933.

This article was first posted on 30th July 2022.

Related Indhhk articles:

  1. Homi Villa – built by Jehangir Hormusjee Ruttonjee during the construction of Hong Kong Brewers and Distillers Ltd Brewery
  2. Beer in Hong Kong – Part One – the early days up to the planned opening of its first brewery
  3. Beer in Hong Kong – Part Two – The Imperial Brewing Company Ltd
  4. Beer in Hong Kong – Part Three – The Oriental Brewery 1908-1912
  5. Beer in Hong Kong – Part Four – The Hong Kong Brewers and Distillers Ltd 1930-1935
  6. Beer in Hong Kong – Part Five – the Hong Kong Brewery and Distillery Ltd 1936-1947
  7. Beer in Hong Kong – Part Six – the San Miguel Breweries at Sham Tseng and Yuen Long
  8. Beer in Hong Kong – Part Seven – Carlsberg brewery, Tai Po – opened 1981
  9. Oriental Brewery – “The beer that’s brewed to suit the climate”

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