There’s craft beer in my hometown Naga City! Ibalon Craft Brew is introducing to Naga City the first craft beers in the Bicol region. I’m so happy that folks in Bicol now have more beer options and can enjoy something new and different compared to the usual commercial beers served in most stores, bars and restaurants in Naga City.
A revolution is definitely brewing in the craft beer scene here in the Philippines. It seems that in the past few years, there’s been a boom in local microbreweries. According to the Philippine Craft Beer Community as of 2017, there are at least 36 local breweries: 12 Craft Brewpubs and 24 Nano / Microbreweries with over 250+ Craft Beer Styles in the Philippines.
If you’re a craft beer enthusiast or you want to try something new, here are some homegrown microbreweries and beers that you should look out for when you travel around the Philippines. Here’s where you can find them by geographical location or where they originated (NOTE: List updated as of December 1, 2017 with new beers sold during the MNL Craft Beer Festival):
For travelers, backpackers and province-based tourists, Manila is often just thought of as a stopover between flights on the way to another destination. The big city can be overwhelming with the heavy traffic and crowded streets. It’s often seen as gritty and chaotic, especially if you visit the areas of Quiapo and Divisoria.
I often take the tourist sights in Manila for granted because I live here. But if I were a first-time tourist in the Philippines or if I had to take around foreign tourists, balikbayans, expats or province-based friends, what would I do and where would I go? Continue reading
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.
I always feel like I’m in a different country whenever I go around the neighborhood of Poblacion in Makati. Barangay Poblacion in the old downtown area feels like a backpacker red light district, similar to Bangkok’s Khaosan Road or Cambodia’s Pub Street. The food choices in the neighborhood have wide international appeal, from small Korean joints to biker bars serving Indian cuisine.
Thailand’s food is a feast for the senses. First you eat with your eyes, as each dish is beautifully presented. A whiff of the spicy aroma teases you again before you finally dig in. Once you start eating, every bite tantalizes the tastebuds. Thai cuisine is diverse, with influences from a lot of different countries. Its flavors are complex. Each individual element and condiment is used deliberately. It’s a delicate blend of exotic spices, flavors and textures that result in dishes that transports you to places.
The Cebruery is a Cebu-based craft brewery that launched in 2014. I read that their brewery in Mandaue, Cebu is open for site visits on a reservation basis only and didn’t have a chance to visit because of limited time during a recent trip. Luckily, I found out that Coco Loco, a new bar and restaurant in Anda Beach in Bohol carried their craft beers, so I made it a point to visit the restaurant to check it out.
Crazy Carabao Brewing Co. (CCB) is one of the newer microbreweries in the Philippines. Launched in late 2015, this Laguna-based brewery aims to deliver the freshest and finest locally made boutique beers to quality establishments throughout Metro Manila and beyond.
I first got to taste their beers last October 2015 during Brewfest PH in Circuit Makati and absolutely loved everything about it. Last week, I ordered cases for a party at home, so I got a chance to take better photos of the different beers and savor it. Aside from the amazing taste, the design and packaging of the beers are distinctly Filipino, which I like.
Irie Gastropubliko is a bar and restaurant in Cebu City that’s been around for a couple of years. Located on the Ground Floor of Skyrise 4 Building in the business district of Cebu I.T. Park, it caters mostly to those living and working in the area. They also get a lot of expats and craft beer enthusiasts from all over, who really seek out the place since it’s apparently the only place that you can try beers on tap from Turning Wheels Craft Brewery, Cebu’s first craft beer.
What’s that? Beer brewed in Baguio City inspired by the five realms of Ifugao Mythology? Shut up and take my money!
Xavierbier, which launched their flagship line in 2014, is one of the newest microbreweries to hit the craft beer scene. Their line of Mythic beers represent five realms: Pugaw (Earthworld), an India Pale Ale; Kabunyan (Skyworld), a Wheat Beer; Dalom (Underworld), a Brown Ale; Lagud (Easternworld), a strawberry beer; and Daya (Westernworld), a German Lager.