Craft Beer Philippines – New Drinking Pleasures in the Philippines

Craft Beer Philippines

Craft Beer Philippines?  Yes, these excellent beers are locally produced by small breweries.

When you want to buy a tooth paste in the Philippines, you ask for a Colgate. When you are thirsty, you order a San Mig or sometimes a Pale Pilsen. Brand names have become synonyms for whole categories of products. The beer market in the Philippines is dominated by two brands: San Miguel and Beer na Beer. They are quiet good beers, but also quiet international standard, like Heineken.

Wikipedia says that Ramon S. Ang’s San Miguel Brewery Inc. have a market share of 95% and Lucio Tan’s Asia Brewery, Inc. have a share of 9%. These mathematics are a bit funny. Maybe the authors had a beer too much. Last year on May 26, Lucio Tan recently had signed an agreement with Dutch beer giant Heineken International B.V. to form a local venture that will brew Heineken brands.

Craft Beer Philippines

But what is Craft Beer? Three words can describe this: Small, Independent, Traditional.
Small: Many of these breweries produce only a few barrels per day or even per week. The market is very local with maybe a radius of  a hundred kilometers.
Independent: Proprietors are mostly private persons, cooperatives or associations. They are often associated to a restaurant. Or one can find the brewery even inside the restaurant’s premises. No big investors direct the financial routes.
Traditional: These breweries work with old recipes and a lot of creativity.

In the Philippines we count today some 12 Craft Beer breweries. There might be more, but we don’t know them yet.

How to find these beers?

You surely won’t find them in a super-market. But local groceries, deli-shops and restaurants may offer them.
We found Fat Pauly’s beer by chance in a restaurant in Cagayan de Oro. The Damaso restaurant had been recommended to us by friends who also own a restaurant. Our server made a capital error: When I ordered my chicken filet and the wine card, she told me that they do not serve wine. OK, Pinoys aren’t wine drinkers, so I ordered a Pale Pilsen. Again I got a “Sorry Sir”. They do not have Pale Pilsen. OMG, I hate soft drinks (aka. sugar bombs). But when while already walking away from our table, the server said that they had local beer.

Wow! What a word! She then brought 3 different beers from Fat Pauly’s. What a pleasure!
The first bottle I tasted was an amber lager beer. It remembered me the wonderful “Leffe” from Belgium. It must have been either the “Lumad” or the the” Trigo”. I don’t remember the name but the excellent taste. Fortunately there hadn’t been a second bottle on stock. This is why I tasted a dark Ale. Guiness would get pale, if they knew this wonderful local beer.

Fat Pauly from Iligan

We recently came back to the Damaso Restaurant. Of course, now I exactly knew what I wanted – a Fat Pauly craft beer. As the chicken fillets had been out of stock, I ordered the warm mushrooms. After the excellent dinner, our neighbor from next table came to us – the owner of Fat Pauly’s himself.  We had an interesting discussion about beer and brewing. Next time over on mainland Mindanao, we’ll drive to Iligan and visit the brewery. Fat Pauly’s is here: 005 Sparrow Rd., Isabel Village, Pala-o, Iligan City

Craft Beer Philippines

And there are other Craft Beer Philippines

Crows: Most known  is their “De Puta Madre”. This is a limited-batch brewery, Crows Craft Brewing Co. intentionally limits their batches to control brew excellence with no compromise, using only fresh yeast, hops, barley and water. Address: 119 Dingalan Loop Ayala, Alabang Village, Muntinlupa City, Manila. Phone: +63 2 211 4999

Cerveza Sagada: First craft brewery in Sagada. Brewing since 2014 and initially available only in our outdoor bar at Sagada Cellar Door. Address: Sagada, Mountain Province. Phone: +63 917 554 1345

Baguio Craft Brewery: This is Baguio’s first and only craft brewery with freshly-brewed beer from 18 rotating taps. Address: 4, Ben Palispis Hwy, KM 4, Baguio, 2600 Benguet. Phone: +63 74 620 2278

Turning Wheels Brewery:  Turning Wheels Craft Brewery is the first of its kind in Cebu, Philippines and has been created through the passion of brewing and drinking fine handcrafted beer. Address: 11, Gov. M. Cuenco Ave, Cebu City, Cebu. Phone:+63 917 552 0793

Craftpoint Brewing: They have a simple mantra, says Craftpoint, “everyone deserves to have the most memorable and unique craft beer experience.”  Address: Manila.  Phone: +63 917 8032 004

Katipunan Craft: Bringing the craft brewing revolution to the Philippines! Our first beer, Indio Pale Ale, is now available in Metro Manila. Address: Manila. Phone +63 916 667 7862

Alamat Craft Brew: Limited Batch (Artisan) Craft Brewery from Quezon City. Proudly made in the Philippines. Brews and Labels are Tribute to Filipino Cryptozoology, Folklore and Mythology. Address: Cubao, Quezon City. Phone: n/a

Santiago Brewery and Malthouse: Brewing with our own locally malted barley. We try going a bit further by growing our own Barley and Herbs to produce the first True Filipino Beer. Address: Antipolo, Rizal. Phone: +63 2 964 5525

63 North Brewing: Brews refreshing, drinkable, and deeply flavorful beers.  Address: Malate, Manila. Phone: +63 908 811 9881

And even more Craft Beer Philippines

While doing a bit of beer research for this article, we found two interesting articles: Esquire Magazine and Travelling Up.

One last word: CHEERS! Cheers! Craft Beer Philippines

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