I have a fascination for stories about Philippine mythology and think it’s really cool that brewers aim to popularize our folklore and promote local artists through beer. Alamat Craft Brew is a limited batch craft brewery established in 2015. The name Alamat is the Filipino word or legend or myth. All of Alamat Craft Brew’s beers are dedicated by Philippine Cryptozoology, Folklore and Mythology. Since they established themselves in 2015 while working in a homebrew setup in Quezon City, they’ve released a wide range of very distinctive beers.
The beers are brewed by artists (UP College of Fine Arts, and UP College of Engineering Alumni with rock, and metal bands). I heard that they are big fans of the horror/crime comics Trese created by writer Budjette Tan and artist Kajo Baldisimo, which tells the story of Alexandra Trese, a detective who deals with crimes of supernatural origin.
The super astig labels sport awesome graphic novel/comic-style artwork by the brewers themselves. The labels also feature interesting background stories about the mythological creatures they are named after. What a great way to introduce Filipino folklore to people, right?
As of October 2017, their current and released brews include:
BALETE Pale Ale
ANSISIT Session IPA
URDUJA Warrior IPA
KAPRE Smoky IPA (Limited Edition)
KAPRE Roasted IPA (Friendly Edition)
BAKUNAWA Duyog Stout (Oatmeal Cookie Stout)
MAMBABARANG (Imperial Black IPA)
ONI Extra IPA (1st Anniversary Brew)
BUNGISNGIS Kambal Tsoko Stout (Chocolate Stout) collab brew with Tweedle Book Cafe
TALAGBUSAO (UP FIGHTING MAROONS ALE) Maroon Ale
MINOKAWA Blood Moon Stout
DANAG Red IPA
SITAN Spiced Red IPA
GARUDA Spicy Double IPA – SEA IPA (2nd Anniversary Brew)
ORIOL Spicy Pale Ale
BLACK BOOK BREWS™ : feat. BERBEROKA Double IPA prototype
Photo from Alamat Craft Brew’s FB page
The brewers decided to focus on obscure and lesser-known creatures instead of the ones that have already been popularized by Pinoy horror flicks. These are just a few I’ve tried.
Balete Pale Ale (ABV: 5%)
Balete Trees (which are relatives of the Banyan tree) are infamous in Pinoy folklore for being the dwelling place of elemental beings or supernatural creatures like dwendes (dwarves), kapres (tree demons), diwatas (fairies) or tikbalangs (demon horses). There are 3 notable old Balete Trees in the Philippines, which have become tourist attractions in their locations. I’ve been to 2 out of 3 of these.
Some elders believe that the huge trees made of structured mazes of intertwined roots and vines are portals to the world of myths.
In the same spirit, Balete Pale Ale aims to be like the mythical tree and act “as a portal to the world of craft beers.” According to brewers, it’s brewed not to be too strong to scare new drinkers away, but rather entice them into the world of craft beer. The beer has a refreshing taste and light, fruity flavor that will leave you with a slight buzz by the end of the bottle.
Ansisit Session IPA (ABV: 5.25%)
In Ilocano Folkore, the Ansisit is a dwarf-like creature that could either be a friend of foe. It’s said to help around houses and farms if offered with sweets and treats. However, if you offend it, it may seek revenge by giving you ailments, bruises and sores.
Just like the mythical creature, ALAMAT Craft’s Ansisit “could have a good or bad effect on you.” The refreshing beverage tastes light and smooth despite its distinct hoppy aroma. However, if you drink too much, you will be punished with slurred speech and a woozy mind, according to the brewers.
Kapre Roasted IPA Limited Edition
The Kapre is a mythical creature usually characterized as a tree demon. It is often depicted in comics as a tall, dark, muscular creature that likes to smoke cigars. Kapres are said to dwell in big trees like acacias, mangoes, bamboo and balete trees and are mostly seen sitting under those trees.
The Kapre Roasted IPA is a limited release. The label features the namesake Kapre smoking a cigar and a short story about a kapre. The aroma and flavor is really roasty and strong with hints of tobacco. Very distinctive!
Bakunawa Duyog Stout (ABV: 5%)
Bakunawa is an Oatmeal Cookie Stout named after a dragon in Philippine mythology that is often depicted as a “gigantic sea serpent with a mouth the size of a lake, a red tongue, whiskers, gills, small wires at its sides, and two sets of wings.” The Bakunawa is believed to the cause of eclipses.
Minokawa Blood Moon Stout (ABV: 7%)
Minokawa Blood Moon Stout is a wheat Stout with a character of a Red Ale. Its name comes from a creature from a gigantic dragon-like bird in Philippine legends. In Bagobo folk stories about the origin of the eclipse, the Minokawa was believed to be so large that it could swallow the sun and moon.
Mambabarang Imperial Black IPA (8.2%)
Mambabarang Imperial Black IPA was crafted with Cold Brewed Coffee we have meticulously steeped for hours, using quality Arabica coffee from Sagada. In Visayan folklore, a mambabarang is a type of witch or summoner involved in the dark arts or black magic. They’re believed to use insects and spirits to enter the body of any person they hate.
I’m always excited when I hear of Alamat’s new brews. Kudos to the awesome brewers of these beers. Make sure to follow their pages to keep updated.
WHERE TO TRY ALAMAT CRAFT BREW:
Alamat Craft Beers are available at The Bottle Shop in Fort and Magallanes and Tweedle Book Cafe in Quezon City. Watch out for Biringan soon!
- Facebook: Alamat Craft Brew
- Contact number: 0921-9862512
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org