Food & Drink

Are You Ready for Kamote Beer from Batanes?

Coming soon to a fridge near you.
IMAGE FACEBOOK/DOST PSTC BATANES
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Batanes is known for many things: wild, rugged terrain; honest and friendly people; a laidback and easygoing lifestyle. Now you can add beer producer to the list. 

The country’s northernmost province is set to introduce possibly the first commercially produced beer made from sweet potato (wakay to the locals or kamote in Tagalog). According to a story from the Philippine News Agency, the beer was initially developed by a team from the Batanes State College (BSC) and passed on to a local entrepreneur.

Photo by Ivatan beer.

Mass production of what is being called Ivatan Beer (named for the indigenous people of the islands of Batanes) has begun after a Technology Licensing Agreement was signed by the BSC, through its president Dr. Alfonso Simon, and entrepreneur Dennis Lim of Tawsen Agri-Ventures. The company will produce and market the beer in the province. According to its Facebook page, Tawsen Agri-Ventures is a one-stop souvenir shop that promotes Batanes local products and industries. It also assists livelihood activities among marginalized sectors in the province.

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According to Lim, Ivatan beer, which is the first to be brewed in the province, will “immensely contribute to the flourishing Batanes' tourism industry.”

The Cagayan Valley office of the Department of Science and Technology provided funds amounting to P400,000 to the BSC  to develop the beer in 2018. Ivatan Beer was introduced a year later during the Science and Technology Caravan in Batanes. The product won third place in the Regional Invention Contest and Exhibit the same year.

"The fact that the Ivatan Beer is made from the locally grown wakay or sweet potato, which is abundant in the province of Batanes, the product becomes even more interesting and appealing to the locals of Batanes," Dr. Simon told PNA.

We wonder how many calories it has, but we're pretty sure it tastes great.

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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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