A German Globe-Trotter is Creating Some of The World’s Best Beer in Taiwan
BOG — An original article by Taipei Trends about Roland Bloch, a Bavarian who after travelling all over the world mastering his beer brewing craftsmanship, landed in Taiwan by chance and started Bloch Brewing. So far he’s already managed to see 3 of his beers receive the Best Beers in the World and Asia at the World Beer Awards.
What does it take to be a brew master? Well, if you were a German brewer, maybe you would start with an old-school apprenticeship in the heart of Bavarian beer brewing country, learning the 1000 year old trade of bocks, lagers, and dark beers, and slowly working your way up the ranks. But that wouldn’t be enough for Brew Master (official title) Roland Bloch.
Roland Bloch loves beer. It wasn’t always that way. He once dreamed of becoming an underwater welder, very much opposed to beer his family introduced to him at the dinner table. But as many dreams come and go, Bloch was able to find his passion for brewing beer after seeing a hiring-poster of brewers wearing suits and drinking beer and thinking “Yeah, I want to do that.”
Slowly becoming a master of his craft, Bloch learned first on traditional machines, moving up to the latest technology, and committing to memory the ins and outs of German brewing methods.
This is where most brewers stop though, becoming a professional in a certain region’s beer, maybe trying to tweak it here and there, or inventing something new in the hope of finding the next big thing; not Roland Bloch though.
Picking up and moving to Dublin, Ireland with less than a basic English skill set, Bloch found a job at a Sushi restaurant, serving up raw fish and honing his English. Soon after, he was able to land a job at an Irish brewpub as a bartender, mastering the tastes and technique of Irish Stout. Within two years he was the manager.
From there, he moved all around the globe, working in breweries and picking up on an assortment of truly authentic brewing know-how in each place he lived. Ales in Belgium, Bitters in London, Craft Beer in Australia, and afterwards on to Japan. He eventually even went to work in a whiskey distillery in Scotland. Needless to say, Bloch has moved beyond mastering one range of beer, or falling into the trap of creating trendy brews. Instead, he bases his techniques on authentic traditions of the best beers around the globe. But as it happens in every passionate person’s life, there comes a time to move on to bigger and better and personal projects.
- From Globe-Trotting to Globe-Winning
While in Japan, Bloch set out to start his own beer. He was very close too, until the Fukushima earthquake devastated the country. Thinking it wise to steer clear of possibly radioactive ingredients, Bloch put his plans on hold. Thank Goodness.
A few years after, Bloch was on his way to a business meeting in Thailand when it was canceled the night before his flight. But instead of cancelling his trip, he changed his plans and headed to an island he had never considered before in search of the perfect brewing spot. That island, of course, was Taiwan.
Now two years on, Bloch Brewing has won Taiwan the honor of not 1, but 3 of the best beers in the World and Asia at the World Beer Awards in the Strong Bitter Beer, Light Bitter Beer and Fruit Beer categories:
His secret is not only in the techniques he picked up on his way, but also in the care and patience he has for brewing.
You see, most brews only need one month to mature before being shipped out, ready to drink. In fact, most brews would go bad if matured any longer. However, for Bloch’s first batch of beer, he orchestrated his finest concoctions to mature for 13 months. Something most brewers would never dream of doing. And the difference in quality is outstanding.
So where does shoe shining come in? Well, Roland Bloch was never a shoe shiner. A 3rd generation German from the heart of Bavaria, Bloch is proud of his uprising, but also of his heritage, which is French.
Bloch is actually a French family name, but it was certainly not just any ordinary family. In fact, they were the shoe shiners of the French royal family once upon a time. Sure, that may not sound glamorous, but it was good enough to get them an official family crest, which can be seen on the Bloch Beer label. The colors have been changed to represent Bavaria’s blue and white, but the crest is real, and officially sanctioned by the French government.
The first batch of Bloch beer is available in Taiwan, and gaining exposure quickly. Surprisingly enough, the Dark Beer and Wheat Beer, are loved by the Taiwanese community, and are on the verge of selling out, but don’t worry, Bloch is well into his second round of brews, and they are coming soon. Currently Bloch has 8 beers in production:
Red Emperor Ale — Belgian Beer Four Season’s Ale — Amber AleGerman Dark Beer German Bock German Lager Wheat Beer English Bitter Mango Beer
He won’t be maturing the beer for 13 month anymore, 8 months will do just fine, but you can expect the same amazing quality and refinement, plus a lot of the delicious new flavors listed above. They are tasty, and I’m not just saying that, we actually went to the brewery and tried the fresh batch (The dark beer tastes like liquid chocolate…thinking about it now and drooling).
I’ve even got an awesome video for you, so you can get a sense for Bloch Beer right here:
For more news, pics, events and info, check out the official Facebook fan page here.
Read the original article at Taipei Trends
Originally published at buzzorange.com on July 15, 2015.