Every year I head to Taiwan, partly for business, partly to explore just a bit more. One of my annual stops each year is midway south on Taiwan’s high-speed train line in the secondary city of Taichung. Over the last couple of years I’ve been stopping in at a Taichung brewpub, a German themed place, and it was enough to satisfy a craft beer craving. However, this year I found my new best friend in Taichung, a fantastic (primarily) Belgian beer bar. And there are TWO of them.
I got the tip from the staff at my hotel Splendor Hotel (breakie included) a nice option if you book it on special at Agoda.com, though otherwise I usually stay right next door at Park Lane Inn – Splendor Inn which used to be Splendor Inn (confusing) and is often a great value at about 30-35% less. The staff had to Google it, actually, but had the advantage of being able to read the Mandarin results. Bravo Beer, they told me. She wrote down the address in Mandarin and I hopped in a taxi for a ten-minute ride. This is what I found:
About 180 different bottle beers, mostly Belgian.
The atmosphere is OK but the music was a blend between sappy ballads in English and unexpected songs you never ever wanted to hear again. The beer helps relieve the pain. There is patio seating outside along the street, but depending on heat, mosquitoes, or traffic, you might not be interested.
The staff were quite friendly, spoke a sufficient smattering of English, and were apparently trained a bit at least. They seemed to know the differences among beers on hand at least, and perhaps had more to say in their native tongue. Definitely not slacker staff.
The glassware says 1996, and if that’s true, then this place has been hiding on Google for me behind the language barrier. (It may also mean this company has been importing Belgian beer since then. A similar wine company in Taipei seemed to be doing the same before opening a place to actually sit and drink them.)
It was happy hour and after two purchases one gets a free appetizer (seems to me my purchasing started BEFORE happy hour yet they still wanted to give me the appetizer for still being in my chair after the starting gun). And they have nachos! … um… No. That’d be Doritos with Cheez Whiz (nice cross-hatching!) and a valiant attempt at pico de gallo considering how far we were from Mexico. I think they had fries.
After a lengthy time at the cooler with my face pressed against the glass, I settled on Liefmans Goudenband and Cantillon Gueuze 100% Lambic. Each was under $10 USD which is not something you’d find in Thailand or say, Tokyo. A very satisfying surprise this year and I will undoubtedly head back here again next time. They have a second location as well.
Go To the Beer:
See their other location (slightly more beers but in a mall):
布娜飛比利時啤酒餐廳 Bravo Beer (台中新時代店) 10樓
No. 186, Section 4, Fuxing Road, East District
Taichung City, Taiwan 401
+886 4 2220 1368
11:00 am – 10:00 pm
Look at their website for four other locations in Taiwan!