I was really excited when I started seeing photos of Alamat Craft Brew’s beer on Instagram and the Philippine Craft Beer Community‘s page. 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, currently working in a homebrew setup in Quezon City. The name of the brewery is inspired by the founders’ “nationalistic, yet playful, spirit.” In support of the local craft beer industry, they decided to adopt a local but very distinct name. The name Alamat is the Filipino word or legend or myth and the beers are inspired by Filipino Folklore and Mythological Characters and creatures. They currently have 3 bottled beers: Balete Pale Ale, Ansisit Session IPA and Kapre Roasted IPA (Limited Edition).
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 each mythological creature they are named after. What a great way to introduce Filipino folklore to people, right?
Balete Pale Ale (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 (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!
Other beers in development (according to their Facebook page) include: URDUJA Warrior IPA (for sampling), Bakunawa Oatmeal Cookie Stout (in the pipeline), Lam-Ang, Talagbusao, Minokawa, Maria Makiling, Black Lady, Aswang, and more…With our rich folklore, there are so many possibilities!
Really exciting stuff! 🙂 Kudos to the brewers of these beers. Thank you for the special beer delivery since I missed the launch at BrewFest MNL.
WHERE TO TRY ALAMAT CRAFT BREW:
The beers were launched during Brewfest MNL on February 19-21, 2016 at the World Trade Center. They are available at The Bottle Shop in Fort and Magallanes.
- Facebook: Alamat Craft Brew
- Contact number: 0921-9862512
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org