Drink

The Craft Beers in the Philippines and Where to Find Them

Did you know there are already 60 craft beer breweries around the country?
IMAGE Sam Lim for Esquire / Pixabay / Elias Wicked Ales & Spirits Facebook Page - Alta by Relik
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You may already know how to properly classify your beer at this point—it’s time to actually enjoy them. The best way to do so? Indulge in rich, specially brewed craft beers that are different from the mass-produced canned ones.

In case you don’t know yet, the Philippine craft beer industry has already grown significantly over the past few years. Production has thrived, as well as consumption and consumer awareness.

“Based on our data [the boom in the craft beer industry] started in 2010, but some of them started earlier as homebrewers. Then most of it [happened in] 2015, when we had around 15 breweries opened that year,” said Jun Flores, president of the Craft Beer Association of the Philippines (CBAP).

CBAP was incorporated in 2015 with one main goal: it is to help promote local craft beers, brewery and brewers and the community. Its core value revolves around promoting small and independent brewers, and educating consumers about craft beer, Flores said.

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“We are the bridge to our government for anything that concerns our community,” he added. This may include providing help related to taxes, laws, and other serious concerns.

Since 2015, the CBAP has signed up 60 craft beer breweries all over the Philippines.

Most of the craft beer breweries in the country are located in Metro Manila. 43.3 percent or 26 out of the total 60 current members of the CBAP have their factories in Makati, Manila, Parañaque, Quezon City, Las Piñas, Taguig, and Pasig.

Metro Manila craft beer producers include: BrewLab 2021, Engkanto Brewery, Joe's Brew, Pivo Praha, The Perfect Pint (Craft Beer & Fine Food), 63 North Brewing, Banayad Craft Brew, Big Bad Brews, Boondocks Brewing Co., Beer Bros Craft Brewing Co., Craftpoint Brewing Co., Katipunan Craft Ales, Manila Brewing Co., Nipa Brew Craft Beers, Alamat Craft Brew, BelAle, Cerveza Palanyag, Juan Brew, Elias Wicked Ales & Spirits, Mitchell's Backyard Brewery, Sikatuna Brewery, The Professor's Brew, Hideout Craft Brewery, The Brewery At The Place, Kapitolyo Brewing Company, and Crows Craft Brewing Co.

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In the country there are two types of considered brewers, Flores said. These are the commercial and homebrewers.

“Right now any brewers can be a member of CBAP. We will consider you a brewery when [you] start selling it commercially,” Flores said. But Flores said the entire community is equally growing with individuals who craft their own beers at home.

The rest of Luzon also has a generous share of the craft beer industry. Ten breweries are located in Southern Luzon, while another ten are in the Northern to Central regions.

Brands from the Northern-Central Luzon areas include Pinatubo Craft Beer, Santiago Brewery & Malthouse, Sunset Craft Beer, Weekend Craft Ales, Baguio Craft Brewery, Baler Brewing, Cerveza Sagada Craft Brewery, Bulul Brewery, The Laughing Carabao Craftbeers, and Calle Brewery.

In the Southern Luzon part, there are Ed & Son Craft Brewery, Isarog Brewing Co., Tallano Craft Brewery, Desert Fathers, Great Islands Craft Brewery, BlackWhite Brewery, Pedro Brewcrafters, Munting Ilog Craft Brewery, Crazy Carabao Brewing Co., and Monkey Eagle Brewery.

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These brands are not only necessarily available in the area where they are produced. Several of them also supply to other parts of the country, making their brews available to a wider market.

Visayas and Mindanao

The craft beer industry has already spread to the Visayas and Mindanao regions over the years—albeit rather slower than those in Luzon. To date, there are already 12 craft beer breweries in Visayas and two in Mindanao.

Mindanao only has two breweries registered with the CBAP, yet one of them is considered one of the pioneers of the craft beer industry in the Philippines: Fat Pauly's Hand - Crafted Ales & Lagers, which is located in Iligan City. (The other brewery hailing from Mindanao is Ruething Craft Brewing Co., which is found in Davao del Sur.)

“I don't know exactly know which one came first, but the first batch of [local craft beer makers are] Pivo Praha, Fat Pauly's, Katipunan, and Great Island. These make up the first batch of [local] breweries,” Flores said.

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Meanwhile, the breweries in the Visayas region are Bogsbrew Craft Beer, Illusion Brewery, Amigos De La Playa Craft Brewery, Cebu Brewing Company, Turning Wheels Craft Brewery, Birdie Num Num, Oriental Craft Brewery, Muenchen Brauhaus, The Cebruery, Bacuit Bay Brewhouse, Palaweno Brewery, and ABC Craft Beers.

Now that there are already many choices of craft beers available, is the market already saturated? Flores thinks this is not the case.

“[The local] beer market is huge at the moment—[craft beers] estimated less than one percent of the beer market... If you look at the market you don't see our beers unless you go to craft beer bars or restaurant. Craft beer has huge business potential, we just need to educate people,” Flores explained.

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Pauline Macaraeg
Esquire Philippines
Pauline is Esquire Philippines’ data journalist. Follow her on Twitter @paulinemacaraeg.
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