Iloilo is one of the best destination for foodies in Visayas. For most people, a trip here isn’t complete without having Ilonggo favorites like La Paz Batchoy, Pancit Molo and Lechon Manok. But if you’re a craft beer lover, Brewery Gastropub should definitely be at the top of your list of places to visit. Brewery Gastropub is the first bar and gastropub in Iloilo City that offers a wide selection of both imported and local craft beers from all over the world. They feature over 100 different varieties of bottled beer that you can choose from including 15 fresh beers in draft form.
The last time I visited the bar was in 2016 on the way back from a trip to Antique. The bar wasn’t open yet when some travel blogger friends and I arrived. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a lot of time to really enjoy the beers before I had to catch my flight home, but we managed to split a beer flight sampler as soon as the bar opened.
I recently got invited to the inaugural flight from Manila to Iloilo via AirAsia and was really excited to find out that the bar was on our itinerary. During our dinner visit, I finally got to enjoy a few of their selection of beers and try out the restaurant’s excellent gourmet food.
Brewery Gastropub Iloilo is located in Westland Gateway Complex, a top dining and entertainment hub in Iloilo City. You can find it on the ground floor of a building along Donato Pison Avenue in Brgy. San Rafael in Mandurriao District of Iloilo City.
The bar, which was established in 2014, comes from the same people behind other top restaurants in Iloilo such as Al Dente, Iloilo, Freska Hometown Buffet, and Farm-to-Table with food conceptualized by Chef Pauline Banusing. Aside from Brewery Gastropub’s main branch in Iloilo, they’ve also opened branches in Bacolod and Cebu.
The bar has very cool, dark wood and brick interiors with lots of empty bottles lining the windows and decorating the ceiling counters. It feels like a proper pub with all the beer memorabilia and draft kegs around the space. There’s a wide selection of beers displayed in glass shelf at the back which you can order to enjoy in the bar (or take home). Overall, Brewry Gastropub has a very relaxed atmosphere, where you can enjoy good food and beer in the afternoon to evenings. Even the bathroom his decorated in beer memorabilia signs.
Brewery Gastropub pairs their beers with refined gourmet food like lamb chops, slow-cooked beef belly, pink salmon and US Certified Angus Beef Ribeye Steak. We sampled a good assortment of pub grub including appetizers, sausages, rack of skewers and French style beef brisket, but it was the eye-catching Beer Can Chicken (served on top of German beer Oettinger Hefeweizen) that caught the group’s attention.
I loved their Signature Adobo Rice and Boneless Crispy Pata served with onion rings and several dipping sauces.
Brewery Gastropub has a very wide selection of imported and local craft beers including some from nearby islands in the Visayas region and beyond. There’s Kawayan Pale Ale and Negros Pale Ale (NPA) by Bogsbrew from Negros Island, lots of beers from the Cebu-based Turning Wheels and The Cebruery and even Fat Pauly’s Guava Beer from Iligan. Imported beer brands include Holgate, Stone, Anderson Valley, Rogue, Floris, and many more.
Since we had just come from Guimaras, which is well-known for their mangoes, I had to try the Guimaras Gose, a mango-based beer. Every batch of Guimaras Gose is made with raw Filipino sea salt, freshly ground imported Indian coriander, and over 100 kilos of mangoes per batch! It’s a very intensely flavored beer — almost like a beer margarita, with the combination of salty and sour notes. If you like Green Mango, you’ll like this. It has a very distinct taste.
Upon finding out that I was into craft beer, Chef Pauline and Gus Banusing suggested I try a bottle of the Epic IPA brewed by The Brewery at the Palace. It’s a double IPA brewed with extra malt and 3 special kinds of hops for an extra bitter character with citrus and floral hints and a red copper color. Pretty good!
I was pleasantly surprised with the Dinayang Pale Ale, one of their in-house draft beers inspired by the City’s famous Dinagyang Festival. Dinagyang Pale Ale is brewed using imported ingredients, local muskovado and lemons. It’s very sweet and floral easy drinking beer that will leave you in a very happy mood even with just a few sips.
This October, Brewery Gastropub Iloilo is currently having a beer-all-you-can promo for just P299 for a selection of their craft brews including the Guimaras Gose and Tuff Tuko by Crazy Carabao.
Craft beer is really more expensive than normal beers because you’re paying for quality brews. It’s quite rare to find local craft beer in normal restaurants even in Manila, since most establishments normally just serve commercial beers. So to have such a wide selection available in Iloilo is great. Bottled beers are priced at P130 to P260 each (with some brands like Holgate costing P600+); appetizers cost about P200+ while main dishes are in the P300-P400 price range each.
P.S. I’ve been posting too many beer photos in my main travel account, so I made a more beer-centric account on Instagram: www.instagram.com/beer.up
Behind the bar at @brewerygastropub in Iloilo City. I think I had too many glasses of Dinagyang Beer. A companion pointed out that it was the happiest he had seen me the whole trip. Well. Yeah. Haha. Craft beer has that effect on me 🙂 Revisiting this craft beer heaven was the main reason I wanted to go back to Iloilo. 🍻 Crispy pata and beer can chicken were great too. But the beer…the beer… #AirAsiainIloilo