Drinking cold beers on a construction site, giving Google Translate a good workout, and flamed duck noodles for dinner.

Day 230: Puli, Taiwan. Our morning started with another hearty breakfast at the hotel, comprising more plates of weird stuff for Jim.

Late morning we headed out to visit Pro Brewing, a craft brewery about 3km south from our hotel. Their Facebook page indicates they’re open Monday to Friday from 10am to 6pm, however we turned up to find ourselves staring at what appeared to be a construction site.

We decided to take a wander around the back of the building, and it’s a really good thing we did. One of the staff spotted us, explained the bar and visitor centre is still being built, then asked if we’d like to taste their beers (a resounding yes from both of us).

We sat at one of the wooden tables, and played with the gorgeous brewery dog called Pulo (presumably some sort of play on the town name, but who knows). Apparently he had some sort of ‘event with traffic’ and as a result limps badly. Part of his ear is also missing.

Two bottles of beer arrived on our table with glasses – a tea beer, and a lager style beer. Closely followed by a passion fruit beer, then two more bottles of the lager beer (because we mentioned it was our favourite).

Everyone who works at the brewery came out to chat to us (Google Translate got a solid workout), and they even phoned the ‘boss’s son’ Neil, who drove over specially to meet us. He speaks very good English and was interested to find out more about our lives and our travels in Taiwan. His dad was a business man in China and after retiring returned back to Taiwan to set up the brewery in Puli, however he spends most of him time in Taipei, so sadly we didn’t get to meet him.

Neil gave us a quick tour of the brewery room. They can manage a 1000 litres or so, and have a mini bottling line, where they package their 8 different beers.

They’re also building a small hotel in the brewery complex, and Neil took us into the site to show us some of the rooms-in-progress, and up to the roof terrace where they are stunning views across the town and mountains.

Their head brewer wasn’t working today, but will be at the brewery tomorrow, so Neil invited us to return then to meet him and learn more about the brewing process. The brewer (whose name we didn’t catch) has spent time in Australia, so it will be interesting to chat to him.

We said our goodbyes and thanks (and no thanks to the offer of more beers) and walked back to town. Another glorious late winter afternoon, with the sun starting to set across the hills and rice fields.

We had a quick coffee on the way home, admiring a large black labrador and a small cute brown dachshund who came into the cafe with their owner. After a while the owner and labrador left, but the sliding glass doors closed before the dachshund could go through, and he wasn’t big enough to operate the doors on his own. So Lil had to go to its rescue, and we watched laughing as his little legs went at cartoon speed up the road after the rest of his family.

This evening we wandered over to one of the local night markets, and found a stall selling duck dishes. We ordered two bowls of duck noodles and they were sensational, though the flames that were erupting when they were being cooked were mildly alarming.

Tomorrow we’ll go for a long walk, and pop by the brewery again to have a chat with the brewer. And doubtless Google Translate will get another good workout too.

More then.