Craft Beers from Tap Station, Malate
Produced by small, independent, and traditional brewers, craft beers are causing a shift in the way Filipinos are enjoying their beer. For the discerning drinkers, these are the perfect alternatives to yellow, fizzy, and mass-produced beers that have been around since time immemorial. With the rise of the craft brewing revolution, beer-loving individuals are given plenty of choices to sample beers with robust aroma and flavor, far from the watery beers most of us have been used to. With the use of premium and natural ingredients, craft beers offer an explosion of flavors in every sip.
Bottles of Craft Beer We Ordered from Turning Wheels in Cebu
If you want to enjoy new and radical beer styles with unique flavors in Manila, you will have several choices. If you are clueless about what to try, let me make things easier for you by giving you a rundown of some of the best brewers who may be partly to be blamed for making us drink more. You might find yourself paying more to enjoy these beers, but it will be worth it as they do not skimp on ingredients. From hoppy to fruity, light to bold, these beers offer a different kind of drinking experience.
Last year, I wrote about 5 Philippine Microbreweries Changing The Way You Can Enjoy Beer. This year, I am sharing with you 6 other breweries that are doing basically the same thing, providing us with truly unqiue beers.
6 Local Craft Brewers That Are Changing the Drinking Scene in the Philippines
6. Pedro Brewcrafters
Weekend brewing sessions that turned into a business – this is how it all started for Pedro Brewcrafters. The group would often gather in the garage of Jill Borja on weekends. When Jill took a trip to Hong Kong for Beertopia, she saw a wide selection of craft breweries from all over the world with one thing that is missing – a representative from her own country, Philippines. Saddened but inspired, this motivated them to put up their own brewery.
Meet the geniuses behind Pedro Brewcrafters
One and a half year later, they now have a microbrewery in San Pedro. Jill acts as the managing director, with the husband and wife tandem of Jaime Fanlo and Nadine Howell – Fanlo. Nadine handles marketing and sales, while Jaime is the head brewer. Jaime just completed his apprenticeship in the US and certified by The American Brewer’s Guild. They also recruited Rochee de Leon as part of the team, who brings in his expertise in microbiology and biochemistry.
Endless Summer Wheat Ale
The first beer that they released was the Endless Summer Wheat Ale, a fruity and citrusy sessionable beer with slight toasted nuttiness, perfect to be paired with fried chicken, burritos, or your Japanese food of choice. In November, they will be releasing Procrastination Pale Ale, a fragrant and moderately hoppy brew that is sure to make beer enthusiasts and neophytes happy. This pale ale goes well with burgers, curries, and cheesy dishes.
Currently, you can savor the unique flavor of Pedro at Bar Pintxos, Backyard Kitchen + Brew, The Bottle Shop, The Perfect Pint, Smoky Bastard, and Z Hostel. No time to have a drink outside? You can also order bottles online from The Green Grocer.
Bottling and labeling
When asked about where the beer got its name, Nadine shared that apart from having the brewery in San Pedro Laguna, it was named after Jill’s grandfather. Pedro is a man who lived a long life in pursuit of his passions, all of which were accomplished with a beer in hand. As beer-lovers, this is the same life most of us dream of.
5. Turning Wheels Craft Brewery
Flavor and aroma are two of the things that separate superb craft brews from your run-of-the-mill beers. Michael Nikkel, the brewer and founder of Turning Wheels Craft Brewery did not drink and like beer until he learned they can taste good when he discovered the wonderful world of craft beer in 2013. Since then, he developed an obsession and kick started his home-brewing career. In 2014, he moved from Los Angeles to Cebu and started his brewing business.
Turning Wheels currently has a select few beers, all of which are made from all-natural, local and imported ingredients. To date, the most popular is their Skyline White IPA, a wheat IPA with hoppy flavors of grapefruit and pineapple with a hint of banana. Typical of a wheat beer, you can expect it to be light and crisp.
Mountain King IPA
Their newest offering is the Mountain King IPA, a West Coast style IPA. With this beer, you can expect an explosion of aromas and flavors coming from grapefruit, pineapple, and citrus. As it is a West Coast Style IPA, expect this beer to have intense hop aroma and recognizable bitterness. It can be perfectly paired with a grilled cheese sandwich. The creaminess of the cheese will complement the powerful profile of the beer. Aside from IPAs, they also other beer styles from their line-up including Double IPA, Imperial Stout, Imperial Amber Ale, and Porter.
To date, Turning Wheels beers are available at Irie Gastropubliko in Cebu and Brewery Gastropub in Iloilo. In Manila, they are available at The Bottle Shop, Bank Bar, The Perfect Pint, Alchemy Bistro Bar, and Big Bad Wolf, among others.
A Sample of Turning Wheels’ Homebrew Kit
The future looks bright not only for Turning Wheels, but for all lovers of craft beers. Michael Nikkel reiterates that given their passion for craft beer, there is no better way of sharing that passion than teaching others how to brew at home. This October, they are releasing their first batch of home-brew kits, making it possible to make your own hand-crafted beer at the comfort of your own kitchen. Isn’t this exciting news for all of us beer lovers?
4. Nipa Brew
Passion alone would not suffice to make a great beer. At Nipa Brew, their love for beer is complemented with their background in science. Beers are brewed by a team of young, innovative, and passionate individuals with background in biology, chemical engineering, and mechanical engineering, among other facets of science that are necessary to achieve the perfect beer formula, from creating an unadulterated recipe to coming up with attractive packaging. Their research and development commenced in the last quarter of 2014 and in March 2015, their beers started rolling out commercially.
Tropic Haze – Nipa Brew’s Flagship Beer
Tropic Haze, an American-style wheat beer, is currently their flagship brew and bestseller. Hazy and golden in appearance, it has a hoppy aroma and sweet, fruity flavor. It has a light and refreshing taste, which is perfect to be paired with light foods, such as chicken, seafood, and vegetables.
Sunstoked – A Fragrant and Light Blonde Ale
Sunstoked, a blonde ale released in mid-September, is another Nipa Brew creation that is worth a try. The fragrant and zesty notes of citrus is most noticeable in this beer.
With the belief that life is too short for the usual, Christopher Paraz, a member of the management team, shares that they are in an incessant quest towards creating new brews that deviate from the boring, taking craft beer experience to a higher level.
A glimpse of their brewery
If you want to have a taste of Nipa Brew, some of the places where you can have them include: The Deli at Shaw, Bar Pintxos, The Black Pig, The Daily Grind, Whiskey Dicks, Don Andres Peruvian Kitchen, Terrace 45, Burgers and Brewskies, and Farmacy.
Check out the rest of the list on the next page!