Fine Beer, Locally Made

October 31, 2012

Last Friday I was lucky enough to be invited to a beer tasting, with the first large batch from some local brewers. I’m normally all about cocktails and spirits, but this was too good a chance to pass up, so I’m branching out a little this week.

Jason and Rob brew beer right here in Xindian, the very district of Xinbei (aka New Taipei City) in which I live. They’re also regulars at my local, the Green Hornet, and that was where they hauled a few kegs of their new product – an as yet unnamed American Pale Ale.

It’s good beer. Not the hoppy taste explosion of an IPA (American Pale Ale is milder, I learnt)  but something a bit easier to drink. There’s a little bitterness, some hoppy fruitiness and little caramel taste in there. I liked it a lot, and I’m not usually a big beer drinker. Jason and Rob have some stronger stuff they’ve brewed for themselves and plans for expansion.

They hope to have their beer being sold in bars by early next year, so look out for it. (Admittedly, this would be a little easier if it had a name already. It’ll probably be something that reflects its New Taipei/Xinbei origin). The plan is for a small range, probably beginning with the American Pale Ale, a hoppier IPA and a chocolatey stout that they’ve been working on.

Their ale is made with Belgian malted barley, Californian yeasts and some American hops. And their most important ingredient “a lot of love”. From their description of the amount of work that goes into the brewing, especially keeping it in the right conditions during Taiwan’s hot and humid summer, I can certainly believe that.

They are not starting from scratch, though, Jason is drawing on twelve years of experience brewing in America, most recently with Hog town Brewers, a Florida co-op which has since spawned a few successful breweries in that state, including Swamphead Brewery in Gainesville. Let’s hope that Jason and Rob’s venture is the next success story.

It might not be the spirits that I yearn for, but I think it’s great that some local booze is starting to be developed. Until recently the Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Monopoly had, well, a monopoly, on the alcohol market in Taiwan, but now there a few (a very small few) microbreweries around, and I wish Jason and Rob the best of luck.

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3 Responses to “Fine Beer, Locally Made”

  1. Seamus Says:

    Any Taiwan-based brewers wanting to relocate to China?

  2. Seamus Says:

    There is a shortage of alternatives. We need more microbreweries over here.


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