Starting the beer drinking habit can be quite hard. I started out drinking beer by self education through books and blogs. I believe that I started out well with the help of my fellow beer lovers early on. Although I was lucky and patient enough to sieve through the plethora of information out there, it would be daunting task for anyone to start off the habit without a good start.
With that in mind, a six pack is the best way to start the journey into the world of beer. I compiled a suggested list for the neophyte beer enthusiast in you.
With this list, I compiled a set of criteria for the starter six pack.
The criteria should be that:
- The budget fall under one thousand pesos
- The beers are of light to medium in body and flavor
- The beers will have a maximum of 7% abv
- There should be six different styles of beer in the pack
- The current list is based on the availability of the beers in the market right now except for Kapuziner (because I love it so much and I still have some in the fridge right now!)
With these stipulations here are the beers that I thought for the neophyte in you:
1. The Hefeweizen (German Wheat Beer)
The hefeweizen is a german style wheat beer. It is a beer brewed with wheat, malts, water and hops. It uses unique yeast that imparts bubblegum, clove and banana flavors. It is slightly sweet with malty and biscuit flavors with slightly sour notes all encapsulated with the flavors discussed in the previous sentence.
Usually this beer is one of the cheapest beers around; they are usually served in 500 ml bottles. Thus, it is usually the most bang for your buck beer around.
This style, in my opinion, is the best beer to start with. It is a light bodied beer with great flavor. It is also one of the most versatile beers around when it comes to beer and food pairing. I recommend drinking this beer and eating with pork (especially sausages) or chicken as initial food pairings.
When it comes to the selection, Kapuziner is the brand that I recommend the most. It is around 120 pesos. It is currently available at Gilmore Wines and Spirits. Next to Kapuziner, I highly recommend Franziskaner. It is significantly more pricey (at 150 pesos) but it is definitely worth the price. Other brands to consider are Paulaner, Erdinger and Gordon Biersch. Most of these beers are available in major supermarkets. Price range is usually from 100-150 pesos.
2. The Belgian White Ale (Witbier)
The Belgian White Ale is the Belgian version of the wheat beer. It is also known as witbier which means white beer. It is a beer brewed with wheat with additional ingredients such as coriander and curacao orange peel. It is light in body such as the german style but it has more citrus and herbal notes.
The flavors in this style of beer are great for the palate especially at the start of the tasting. It goes well with almost anything but I recommend it with salad, seafood and chicken as initial food pairings.
Because of the versatility of Belgian White Ales when it comes to flavor, the availability of the beer is good. Hoegaarden is the most popular brand out there. I recommend Hitachino’s Nest White Ale although it is quite expensive. Blue Moon is another popular Belgian White Ale.
Hitachino’s Nest White Ale and Blue Moon are available at Global Beer Exchange and Gilmore Wines and Spirits. Hoegaarden is available in most major supermarkets. Hitachino’s Nest is priced at 250 pesos while Blue Moon and Hoegaarden are under 100 pesos.
*The beers on this list after number 1 and 2 are now pure malt beers. These beers are brewed only with malt, hops, water and yeast.
3. The Blonde Ale
Moving on to a heavier note, the Blonde ale is a great style after moving on from the wheat beers. It is not a heavy style. It is a beer in the lighter range but slightly heavier than the wheat beers. This style is malty and biscuity in its flavor with slight bursts of caramel. To add to that, hints of floral (close to the smell of sampaguita) notes and pepper (on a very mild potency) notes follow from the initial sweet introduction. The blonde ale is close to the flavor of the white ale but bolder in its flavor.
My beer bros from Craftpoint Brewing Co. make a mean blonde ale. It is called Summer Sessions Ale. It is available at Global Beer Exchange and Gilmore Wines and Spirits. Price is around 150 pesos.
If you’re looking for a readily available option , Leffe Blonde Ale is what you’re looking for. It is available in major supermarkets. The price is around 120 pesos.
4. The Pale Ale
The Pale Ale is one of my favorite beers. The style is focused on the balance of sweetness from malts and the right of bitter notes (it may be floral, minty or pine depending on the hops). The ale yeast lends slight fruit notes that give it a refreshing bite compared to the usual pilsners such as Pale Pilsen.
Beyond the Summer Sessions Ale, Craftpoint Brewing Co. also has their own version of a pale ale. They call their pale ale Liberation Pale Ale. I am amazed at the brewing ability of Marvin (the brewmaster of Craftpoint, by the way Marvin, please bottle your Belgian White Ale, you can take my money if you bottle it)! Craftpoint Brewing Co. is available at Global Beer Exchange and Gilmore Wines and Spirits. Price is around 150 pesos.
The popular Pale Ale right now is Katipunan Craft Aless Indio Pale Ale. They named it as the Indio Pale Ale to signify that this is a Filipino/Pinoy version of a Pale Ale similar to the Americans calling their Pale Ales American Pale Ales. The Indio Pale Ale is not an India Pale Ale; it is a completely different style. Katiounan Craft Ales is available at Ritual, Global Beer Exchange, Gilmore Wines and Spirits and various places. I’m very proud of Raffy, Kiyo and their third friend whom I don’t know. You can also taste their kegged Indio Pale Ales at Global Beer Exchange. Right now, I also know that they are available at Burgers and Brewskies. Kudos beer bros! Price is around 120- 150 pesos.
5. The Schwarzbier
The Schwarzbier is a personal favorite of mine. It is a beer with a thicker body (the texture of the beer) compared to the previous styles due to the inclusion of darker malts in the recipe. In German, Schwarz means black and bier means (duh) beer thus, it means black beer! As they say, once you go black, YOU CAN’T GO BACK!
It’s sheer blackness makes the beer contain stronger presence of caramel notes and brown sugar notes. It is a joy to drink this style of beer. It is simple yet satisfying. Get a bottle of this and eat your favorite liempo. Thank me later.
We are blessed with the opportunity that it is available right now in the country. The classic representative of the style, Köstritzer (from Köstritz, Germany), is available right now Global Beer Exchange and Gilmore Wines and Spirits. Price is around 80 pesos.
If you are looking for a readily available option, Cerveza Negra is a Schwarzbier. It’s not as good as Köstritzer but it is available almost everywhere. I recommend drinking it fresh but you can never tell if the beer is fresh. Cerveza Negra is good only when it is fresh. If the place that I’m in doesn’t have an extensive collection of beer, Cerveza Negra is the first beer that I look for. It is actually the best beer that San Miguel has to offer.
6. The Coffee Pale Ale
The Beer Bros from Katipunan Craft Ales has a brew called Dear Fred. A beer brewed with coffee from Yardstick coffee. I got to try this out at the Beerfest at Eastwood a month ago. It’s an interesting brew that has the same flavors of the Indio Pale Ale but with a coffee twist. I like this beer and if you like coffee, this is definitely a must try if you’re starting out. I got to try the fresh pint at 150 pesos then. Try it out with your favorite cheesecake! It’s perfect with a New York Cheesecake!
The six brews featured in this article are great introductory beers for the beer journey that you might want to partake into. The whole pack isn’t a tremendous damage to your wallet reserves. Try to ditch the usual beer and give these brews a change. It might be like going black. You might not go back!
For any comments, suggestions, flaming tendencies and even hate mail. Go ahead and message me at my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/beermanph . My mission is the spread the gospel of good beer. I would love to help in any way possible!
Cheers! Beerman out!