If you’re looking for a unique watering hole to try this October, a great place to check out is Bravo Sports Bar in Makati. The restaurant doubles as a microbrewery for Pivo Praha, a Czech-style beer brewed right here in Manila. Apparently, some craft beer experts in the country don’t really consider Pivo Praha a craft beer, because it’s more commercial compared to the smaller microbreweries like those producing Philippine craft beers, but the beers are definitely worth trying out. In fact, since the most popular mainstream beer in the country now tastes like water to me, this remains one of my favorite drinking spots because of the affordable and great tasting beer, good food and generally quiet and uncrowded atmosphere.
Pivo Praha Microbrewery can be found in Bravo Best Foods Restaurant / Sports Bar in Makati, right across Makati City Hall. Despite its distance from our residence in Quezon City, we’ve been frequenting this place for a couple of years now just to get our fix of their delicious Czech microbrewed beer. Any visit to Makati is an excuse for a glass or two as well as an opportunity to stock up on a half dozen bottles or a party pack to take home.
The main dining space resembles a fine dining restaurant, which can make it look a little intimidating at first. Since it’s far from malls and business hubs, it generally does not get crowded there, which is great. There’s a tank of the microbrewed beer right in the premises, next to the wide bar where you can order fresh beer on tap.
The second floor of the restaurant has a more informal sports bar feel and can be closed off for private events. There’s also a bakery section on one side for fresh roasted coffee and pastries. They recently renovated and now have an al fresco dining space in front of the restaurant resembling a European cafe. However, they close relatively early at 11 pm and are not open on Sundays. It’s good for lunch, afternoon drinking sessions or early evenings especially on Fridays and Saturdays, when the beer is freshest.
The restaurant serves mainly Czech and Bavarian cuisine like sausage platters, wiener schnitzel, beef goulash, potato dumplings, potato pancakes and Czech-style pork knuckles as well as specialty pizzas. They also have more budget-friendly Pinoy appetizer snacks like chicharon bulaklak, chicken skin, pork sisig, pepperoni or Italian sausage and nachos that go great with the beer.
Pivo Praha is brewed from 100% pure malt and Saaz hops for the bittersweet aroma and buttery flavor of traditional Czech beer. The beer comes in four flavors: Classic, Dark Beer, German Weizen and Czech Light which all have an alcohol by volume content of 4.5%.
Apparently, Czech pilsner was the first pilsner beer in the world and the term Pilsen is taken from the town of Plzeň in the Czech Republic, around 90 km west of Prague, which produces the world famous Pilsner Urquell. As well as being a major beer exporter, the Czechs are said to produce the finest hops for pilsner-style lager beers and Czech pilsners are considered among the finest styles of beer in the world.
Pivo Praha Classic: The original Czech pilsner, Classic is a fresh full malt beer, a result of the unique mix of barley malt, Saaz hops and fresh yeast.
Pivo Praha Light: The Light version of Pivo Praha is the newest of the types of beer served here and is said to be a Filipino favorite. Czech Light is brewed for drinkers who want to enjoy a low calorie beer with less hop bitterness. Of all the beers here, I find this one a bit too diluted.
Pivo Praha Weizen: Weizen is German for wheat and this house specialty is a unique, light-bodied wheat beer This is my favorite of the beers served here. Pivo Praha Weizen has a spicy floral flavor and aroma with a bite that slightly lingers.
Pivo Praha Dark: Pivo Praha Dark is made from a mix of barley, caramel and black malt, hops and yeast. It has rich caramel undertones and a sweet rather than bitter aftertaste. This has a very distinctive taste and is another favorite
I frequently take home the bottled beers, but the best way to enjoy this beer is fresh from the tap, which is like drinking sunshine straight from a frosted glass. Unfortunately, sometimes the bottled beers are not as good, and sometimes can taste quite flat and stale, especially if not drunk at once.
The prices of the beer on tap are pretty affordable (as far as craft beer goes), at just P70 (330 ml), P100 (500 ml), P155 (pitcher) and P300 (double pitcher). If you’re planning to take them home, each bottle of beer costs from P60-P72 each plus deposit. The restaurant also sells party packs of the Microbrewed beer in 1 Liter, 4 Liter, and 6 Liter containers, which will remain stable for 48 hours after time of purchase. Pinoy Sports bar snacks cost P90-P350 per dish. Bavarian specials and sausage platters range from P220-P650.
DELIVERY (*updated December 2014)You can now get Pivo Praha bottles or draft beer delivered to your homes! They normally require a 10 case minimum order, which comes with a free extra case. Their rates per case of 12 bottles is 900 pesos for the Weizen and the Dark and 780 for the Classic. They also offer draft beer with a keg rental fee of P1,500. It costs P2,950.00 per 15L keg for the Weizen and Dark and P2,750.00 for the Classic. For inquiries and reservations, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or text them at: 09175148118