Temple Bar and Brewery: A Pint for the Gods
Tucked slightly into a narrow alley, at some far-off industrial area in Nancheng is a petite Chinese house with just enough room for a plain picnic table, opposite a finely marble-decorated table and short bar. It’s not ultra-modern or covered in hip graffiti; it’s just a warm place to have a drink and talk the night away.
Throwing off all the trite specifications of what usually defines a bar, Alec Forsyth’s aptly named Temple Bar and Brewery worships one savior: beer. Forsyth is openly psyched about his place, and for good reason. He’s obsessive about every detail, making sure to mention numerous times throughout the night that he’s the only joint in Dongguan that stores the glasses at 2°C.
Part of the charm of the place is the openness of everything and Alec’s willingness to engage. I had a question about some manufacturing process and he took out a thick book, entitled something like Beer Encyclopedia, and took time to study it and find the answer. At another point, he apologized that there was no music and mentioned he dropped some device as a loose explanation.
He also wasted no time to take us on a tour of his facility that creates his custom brew. The more he talked, routinely directing us to “smell these hops” or “experience this cold room,” the stronger appreciation I had for his product.
“I didn’t make this tap box, but I did build the one at David’s [Treehouse Bar].” Which reminds me: there are a few bars around Dongguan that you might have oft visited who stock shockingly high-priced craft beer (whatever that means, right?). Well, that’s all Alec’s handiwork.
It was unclear if he’s running the entire operation solo or with the help with another guy, named William, who sat with us, too. Even still, to put the at least five varying types of beer on his own menu, plus supply a group of other local spots is nothing to scoff at and justifiably so, Alec’s proud of about it.
“I don’t know what’ll happen next, but so far it’s been a trip,” I heard him mention to a friend. I got the feeling he’s living the dream as he sits, quietly smiling and judging me for not knowing as much about what I’m drinking as he does. It strongly feels like Alec doesn’t really care if his place is given shining awards or placed on the peoples’ lists, and that’s exactly why it should be on yours.
Stop by and learn something about beer from 8 pm, Monday–Saturday.
Address: No.6, Alley One, Xiashou Village, Dongjun Rd, Xiping, Nancheng
Phone: 136 0015 9091 (please call Alec for more detailed directions)