Trends are constantly changing in Abu Dhabi and in the world of food and drink you have to navigate an ever-evolving landscape.
Where was quinoa five years ago? And did you ever think you’d be drinking charcoal water or turmeric lattes? We rest our case.
When it comes to going out, trends come and go too, and at the moment it’s all about craft hops. You don’t have to have a big beard, cardigan and dictionary-like knowledge of the processes to enjoy it, either.
Out of nowhere you’re now spoiled for choice with small cans of things with colourful labels and interesting names and bottles of stuff from places as exotic as Brooklyn, Portland and, erm, Aberdeen. It’s no different in Abu Dhabi, with a growing number of places offering interesting brews.
So here’s where to get your hands on some of the best bottles and draught options around the capital.
Belgian Café Abu Dhabi
When it comes to hops the Europeans will lay claim to having the best, and Belgium is up there at the top of the list. Head here for bottles that you can only get in branches of this popular brand. Happy hour starts at 4pm every day, when you’ll get 50 percent off one of the most famous Belgian draughts, plus the much more interesting one that comes in the massive glass.
Open Wed-Sat 4pm-2am; Sun-Tue 4pm-1am. InterContinental Abu Dhabi, King Abdullah bin Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud Street (02 666 6888).
Belgian Café Yas Island
Another chance to try great Belgian hops, including some specially crafted bottles from Europe that will have you ready to book flights to get your hands on more. Just don’t have too many of them in a night or you won’t feel like work the next morning.
Open Sat-Wed 4pm-2am; Thu-Fri 4pm-3am. Radisson Blu Abu Dhabi, Yas Island (02 666 6888).
If Belgium thinks it has the best hops, then Germany will surely be challenging it for the title. This pub is a little slice of Bavaria here in the capital and it has some of the very best German options anywhere in the UAE. While these are more traditional than the modern idea of crafy hops, we reckon what’s on offer here are the originals.
Daily noon-2am. Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi, Al Zahiyah (02 697 9011).
Cooper’s Bar and Restaurant
This popular place for a meetup has a few craft hops in bottles behind the bar. But you might not realise it, as most people go for the standard draught options on happy hour (there are some good choices in there too, to be honest), but believe us they are there.
Daily noon-2.30am. Park Rotana Abu Dhabi, Khalifa Park area (02 657 3333).
Dino’s Bistro Italiano
Another European heavyweight of all things culinary, Italy is no slouch when it comes to beverages either. Head to this chilled, family restaurant and you can try some pretty special bottles of Italian craft hops and see what sort of drinks they’re enjoying in the old country.
Daily noon-3.30pm, 6pm-11pm. Pearl Rotana Capital Centre, Khalieej Al Arabi Street (02 307 5551).
If you’re on Saadiyat Island then this chic, classy and effortlessly cool gastropub is well worth a visit. The food is top notch, but let’s talk about that another day because the dinks are excellent too. Settle in and enjoy some craft hops by the glass or bottle and chill out away from the bright lights of the city.
Sat-Thu 4pm-2am; Fri noon-2am. Saadiyat Rotana Resort and Villas, Saadiyat Island (02 697 0000).
You might come for the gorgeous guacamole and sizzling fajitas but you’ll definitely stay for the great drinks. Forget the Mexican stuff and instead get your hands on a few bottles of craft hops.
Open daily noon-1.30am. The Galleria, Al Maryah Island (02 582 3639).
Stars N’ Bars
If you’ve never been to this popular bar then where have you been hiding? As well as doing great deals and occupying a perfect spot in Yas Marina, the lively watering hole also serves up a craft hops from around the world.
O Daily 11.30am-3am. Yas Marina, Yas Island (02 565 0101).
Stock Burger Co.
This restaurant may be all about the burgers on the surface but it doesn’t hang about when it comes to hops either. In fact they have a whole drinks menu dedicated to craft hops that come from the US, UK and Australia, so you’ll definitely find something you’ll like as you decide which burger to order.
Thu-Sat noon-2am, Sun-Wed noon-midnight. Holiday Inn Abu Dhabi, Al Dhafeer Street (02 418 2453).
The Library Bar
Abu Dhabi EDITION stands out from the rest for a number of reasons and if you’re looking for craft hops you won’t be disappointed either. In fact, the hotel even serves a brew that’s been made just for the hotel chain.
Prices vary. Thu-Fri 6pm-2am, Sat-Wed 6pm-1am. The Abu Dhabi EDITION, Al Bateen (02 208 0000).
The Sportsman’s Arms
It may be slap bang in the middle of a sports complex but this welcoming gastropub means business. Forget the great grub for now because you can try a selection of bottled craft hops from around the world while you take in the views or a game on the screens.
Daily 8am-11pm. Zayed Sports City, Saif Ghubash Street (02 447 1066).