5 Philippine Microbreweries Changing the Way You Can Enjoy Beer

5 Philippine Microbreweries Changing the Way You Can Enjoy Beer 

When in Manila, you will have an abundance of choices when it comes to alcoholic drinks that you can enjoy, although it is a fact that none is as omnipresent as beer. A typical drinker’s table usually has a few bottles of San Mig Light or Pale Pilsen (or Red Horse, for those who prefer a stronger kick) on it, consumed even during the most trivial of conversations.

The drinking scene, however, is gradually changing. Where is this shift leading? I believe it is towards the craft beer revolution. The latter, although still in its infancy, is slowly gaining popularity, especially for those who have refined tastes when it comes to their drinks, or those whose beer bellies have been filled with too much fizzy, watery beer.

5 Philippine Microbreweries Changing the Way You Can Enjoy Beer

Craft beer is replete in terms of characteristics that make it different from the highly commercialized beers that are produced by the bigwigs in the alcoholic beverage industry. One association of brewers defines craft beer as being made by a brewery that is “small, independent, and traditional”. They are promoted to be as diverse as wine in terms of their available selections and often pair those selections with gourmet food.

In spite of their small-scale production, though, these beers are distributed in various establishments in Manila. If you want to check them out, you can head to The Bottle Shop if you are from the South or Barley Gastropub if you are from the North.

5 Philippine Microbreweries Changing the Way You Can Enjoy Beer

 The Bottle Shop offers the largest selection of both local and imported craft beers.

5 Philippine Microbreweries Changing the Way You Can Enjoy Beer

Barley Gastropub allows you to enjoy craft beer paired with gourmet food.

 

In the Philippines, more and more small-scale breweries are sprouting here and there, some as a result of mere curiosity and the desire to experiment and others to take things to a higher level. The latter usually introduces their own line of fine crafted beers to the public. Here are some of the microbreweries in the country that you should know about, including their creations that are sure to make you drool. 

5 Philippine Microbreweries Changing the Way You Can Enjoy Beer 

 

5. Baguio Craft Brewery

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Although local at its very core, Baguio Craft Brewery (Xavierbier) started when Chris Ordas, currently the President of the microbrewery, met with Ryan Garcia in Seattle in 2011. The two talked about starting their own brewery in the Philippines. Soon, Mico Cortez, Michael Anderson, Alex Basa, and their Head Brewer, Arnold Miguel, joined the team.

5 Philippine Microbreweries Changing the Way You Can Enjoy Beer

Arnold Miguel and Chris Ordas of Baguio Craft Brewery 

It was in May 2014 when the brewery started becoming fully operational. From Baguio City, their beers are now being distributed in different places all over Metro Manila. According to Mico, who is in charge of their marketing efforts, they “strive towards recreating the vibrant Western craft beer culture here in our country – a culture where beer is not just about getting drunk, but about belonging to a community exposing your palate to new sensations, and taking pride in our craft”.

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Xavierbier’s Line of Mythic Beers 

 

Right now, their bestseller is the Pugaw IPA (7%), which is a part of their Mythic Beers line and draws inspiration from Ifugao mythology. It is characterized by its high hop flavor, and citrusy and piney notes. It is a tribute to the soil where two of the main ingredients are grown – hops and grains. It is perfect when paired with grilled meats and sausages. 

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Their brews are available at The Tasting Room in Baguio City.

5 Philippine Microbreweries Changing the Way You Can Enjoy Beer

Ripe Passion Fruit Beer – perfect for those who love their beer sweet and tangy.

 

Aside from their Mythic Beers, they also have their Legends line, which consists of their seasonal beers. One that will surely tickle your tastebuds is their Message in a Bottle Black IPA (7.6%). This is made with the use of roasted grains, which gives it a bitter taste and dark color. If you are into hoppy beers, the Hop Attack Imperial IPA (8.3% ABV) would be a good choice. It is currently the most bitter one from their brews and the one with the highest alcohol content. If you are into sweet beers, I highly recommend their Ripe Passion Fruit Beer (5.4% ABV) and their Ida Raspberry Beer (5.4%).

 

4. Craftpoint Brewing Co. 

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When Craftpoint Brewing Co. started in May 2013; Marvin Moreho, Aldous Bernardo, and Chip Vega united because of what they wanted to do: to build a lasting business with the use of their passion in creating great craft beer experiences. From what used to be an informal friendship and meetings every last Thursday of the month, the brewery is growing to be one of the best in the business today.

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The founders of Craftpoint (Photo from Shutterpanda Photography)

 

One of the regular beers from Craftpoint is the Liberation Pale Ale (5.5% ABV), which is also my personal favorite. As its name suggests, it is meant to liberate drinkers and be taken in its complexity. The assertive flavor of this beer is perfect when paired with steaks, burgers, meat dishes, and spicy curries.

 5 Philippine Microbreweries Changing the Way You Can Enjoy Beer

My favorite from Craftpoint 

 

For those who are just starting to discover the wonderful world of craft beer, I suggest that you try their Summer Sessions Blonde Ale (4.7% ABV). It is smooth and light, without aggressive flavors, but will surely give you a taste of what craft beer should be like. It is perfect when having a light meal, such as when enjoying your salad, chicken, or fish.

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They also have seasonal brews, which are made in collabrewation with the places where they are available. Some of the choices include Big Bad Beer Brown Ale available at Big Bad Wolf; Hounds Bark Mangosteen Sour Beer available at Niner Ichi Nana and Hounds Bark; Mr. Braumeister Dry Hopped German Pale Ale available at Prost Braumeister, and Day Coffee IPA and Night Mocha Porter, available at EDSA Beverage Design Studio and The Curator.

Craftpoint recently celebrated its first anniversary, which also signals the arrival of new offerings to the market. Surely, this is an exciting news for craft beer lovers!


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