Chienkuo Beer Brewery (建國啤酒廠) was built in 1919 as the country’s first producer of the amber nectar and designated a city heritage landmark in 2000. Located at the junction of Bade Road (八德路) and Jianguo North Road (建國北路), the factory has now become a bustling historical site, visited by evening diners and drinkers who come for freshly brewed Taiwan beer and Taiwanese fare at its warehouse-turned-restaurant.
Beer cases stacked up on the roadside greet patrons as they walk in. Signs reading “346” point the way to the Taiwanese-style bistro at the end of the plant.
Outside, there are several seats. Inside, the interior’s spaciousness is accentuated by a high ceiling and sparse decoration, which lend the place an unpolished, casual charm. The neon-lit stage comes to life on weekends when live bands perform starting from 8pm.
On a recent Sunday night, the restaurant was relatively quiet, though a few tables of intoxicated diners defined the atmosphere with their echoing laughter and horseplay.
The menu offers a wide range of grilled, deep-fried and appetizing items commonly served at roadside seafood eateries. We ordered several of the bistro’s specialties that feature the country’s most celebrated brew: Taiwan beer shrimps (台啤醉仙蝦, NT$180); roast chicken with miso and red yeast rice (烤紅麴味噌雞腿肉, NT$250); and sausages with Taiwan beer and red yeast rice (台啤紅麴香腸, NT$150). All failed to live up to expectations. The chicken and sausages were passable, but the shrimp did not pair well with the beer’s bitter taste.
The only dish that won unanimous approval was the black-boned chicken and clam hot pot with beer (啤酒烏骨雞蛤蜊鍋, NT$850); its complement of fresh-tasting broth and abundant use of vegetables makes it a healthy choice.
However, the food was hardly the center of attention since, like others, we came for the freshly brewed Taiwan beer.
As the brewery resumed production in May after a year’s hiatus, bottles of beer that have been brewed on site are available the very same day they are made.
Bottles and half-liter glasses of beer cost between NT$70 and NT$90. For larger parties, the popular choice is to share a 3.8-liter barrel. The price is a friendly NT$600 each, but unlike the beer that comes in bottles and glasses, the barrels are not freshly brewed.
A couple of barrels into the evening, it was easy to forget about the mediocre food and join in the merriment of the surrounding tables.
Taiwan Beer 346 Warehouse Restaurant’s weekend band lineup can be found at www.nv.com.tw/346beer. For diners and drinkers who are keen to learn more about the brewery’s history, a guided tour can be arranged by calling (02) 2771-9131 X431.
Address: 85, Bade Rd Sec 2, Taipei City (台北市八德路二段85號)
Telephone: (02) 2509-8346
Open: Daily from 5:30pm to 12am
Average meal: NT$600, including drinks
Details: Chinese menu; credit cards accepted
On the Net: www.nv.com.tw/346beer
Chen Wang-shi (陳罔市) doesn’t know where to go if she is forced to move. The 78-year-old Chen is an active “sea woman” (海女) in Taiwan’s easternmost fishing village of Makang (馬崗) in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮). When the waves are calm, she ventures out to forage for algae, oysters and other edible marine morsels. She lives alone in the village, as her children have moved to the cities for work, returning for weekends and festivals. “I cannot get used to living in Taipei, and I feel very uncomfortable if I don’t go out to the ocean to forage. I
Aug. 10 to Aug. 16 They called him the “No Problem Doctor” (沒關係醫生) because that’s what he always told his patients when they couldn’t pay up. Operating the only clinic in Changhua County’s Pusin Township (埔心) during the 1950s, Hsu Tsai-chih (許再枝) knew that life was difficult in his remote hometown. “They barely had enough to survive, so it was pointless to chase after them for the money,” an 81-year-old Hsu told the United Daily News in 2002. “I just went with the flow, some offered to pay me back years later but I had already forgotten
A widely criticized peer-reviewed study that measured the attractiveness of women with endometriosis has been retracted from the medical journal Fertility and Sterility. The study, “Attractiveness of women with rectovaginal endometriosis: a case-control study,” was first published in 2013 and has been defended by the authors and the journal in the intervening years despite heavy criticism from doctors, other researchers and people with endometriosis for its ethical concerns and dubious justifications, with one advocate calling the study “heartbreaking” and “disgusting.” The study’s conclusion was: “Women with rectovaginal endometriosis were judged to be more attractive than those in the two control groups.
Your body is floating in a warm, blue bath, neither sinking nor rising. Sunlight shimmers on the white sand below as a sea turtle drifts by. You feel your heart beating slowly and a profound sense of calm floods your mind. The figures floating at the surface seem distant, as if from a different world. Down here, there is just you, your mind, your body, and the water. In this calm, timeless moment, you have glimpsed infinity... you are freediving. The next time you find yourself on Siaoliouciou (小琉球), or on Green Island (綠島), or at any number of popular snorkeling