Beerfest Asia 2015 Thoughts

Craft Beer Asia

I attended the trade event for Beerfest Asia 2015. All in all it was a good opportunity to meet fellow local brewers, local distributors and share a couple of beers. Here are some thoughts I had on the event:

  • Archipelago was holding a beer-and-food-pairing workshop in partnership with the employment and employability institute.  I thought that was a good start to push for more craft awareness in the f&b industry.
  • There wasn’t much ‘trade’ activity going on – distributors were busy making sure their booths were ready for the public session, neither was there much networking to be done. A good number of ‘trade visitors’ were from the media(myself included).
  • The trade session quickly escalated into people getting started on drinking early.

Some thoughts on the rest of Beerfest Asia:

  • Food options were limited and disappointing(akin to previous years). Pre-prepared bar snacks and fried offerings by Harry’s Bar led to…

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Beer 101: What is Craft Beer?

A Selection of International Beers and Craft Beers
A Selection of International Beers and Craft Beers

With the introduction of various beers in the market today, it is hard for anyone to decipher which is which. From “International,”  “Premium,” and “Special” Beers, anyone who would want to buy a bottle of beer would have a hard time knowing what is the difference.

With that in mind, I thought of writing this article to make it easier for anyone to make it easier to know what’s the difference between these labels.

First and foremost, Craft Beer is the most famous label that gets thrown around right now when it comes to small breweries. The meaning of Craft Beer comes from the Brewers Association (based in the USA). Usually, it is beer brewed according to the capacity of the brewery.

Here is the definition of a Craft Brewery from the Brewers Association (http://www.brewersassociation.org/pages/business-tools/craft-brewing-statistics/craft-brewer-defined):

  • Small: Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3 percent of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is attributed to the rules of alternating proprietorships.
  • Independent: Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by a beverage alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer.
  • Traditional: A brewer that has a majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation. Flavored malt beverages (FMBs) are not considered beers.

The problem with the definition of Craft Brewers here in the Philippines is that these definitions are not appropriate for the country. These definitions are appropriated towards the US. Thus, brewers here in the Philippines are not considered as craft breweries (in the Brewers Association sense).

Moving on, the one aspect that could be taken from the definitions earlier would be the definition for traditional craft brewers. In my opinion, one can be considered a craft brewery as long as its focus is on focusing on the craft of brewing beer, whether traditional or innovative. A craft brewer can call itself as one as long as the focus of the brewer is on quality and not quantity.

Continue reading “Beer 101: What is Craft Beer?”

Suds and Grub! Oreo Edition!

Good day fellow beer lovers!

I remember a month ago during the holidays when I was in Davao. Now, Davao is a great city. It’s a great place to live since nature is around you and the people are warm and very relaxed. The problem with Davao is the beer selection. With that problem, I was forced to think of solutions to satiate my hunger for  suds while also having some great grub to pair it with.

Nonetheless, I didn’t get to fully satiate my hunger and thirst for a great pairing but I returned to the foundation where I found beer and food pairing to be one of my passions in life. It is the simple Oreo cookie and Cerveza Negra!

Oreos!

Continue reading “Suds and Grub! Oreo Edition!”

The Holiday Post Part 1

Happy New Year fellow beer lovers,

Just like you guys, I celebrated the holidays so I was preoccupied with copious amounts of food and drinks that gave me the reason to slack off and just enjoy the time. With that in mind, I am sorry for posting a new article just now. I can be lazy that way but nonetheless, I promise to post regularly from now on.

Moving on, the holidays was a time for me to reconnect with friends and family. With this occurrence, it necessitated some celebratory drinks! As with this blog is primarily about beer, I celebrated these moments with beer and a few glasses of liquor as well.

I met up with my good friend Rommel during the holidays to catch up since the last time we saw each other was months ago. At first, I wanted to check out Black Sheep at W Building but it was too busy that night. My friend wanted to just have a relaxed night so we proceeded to The Bottle Shop of Global Beer Exchange.

We each had a drink and we choose the beers on tap.

Fat Pauly's Lumad Strong Lager on Tap

 

Continue reading “The Holiday Post Part 1”

Suds and Grubs (Beer and Food Pairing): Guinness and a Flourless, Sugarless Chocolate Cake

 

Happy holidays everyone!

With the yulitede season, I flew in to Davao at the behest of my relatives for the holidays. Sadly I had a hard time coping with the beer selection here but luckily I found some Guiness Extra Stout at the Swiss Deli.

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Today also marks the birthday of one of my closest cousins and his older sister baked him a flourless,  sugarless chocolate cake for his birthday dinner.

With the beer that I got, I had an opportunity to find a good beer for pairing with the dessert.

FYI: Guinness Extra Stout comes direct Ireland and it is significantly better than the Guinness Foreign Extra Stout cheaper 330 ml can that you can avail in most supermarkets. The Foreign Extra Stout comes from Malaysia and it’s horrible! Please avoid it at all costs!

Moving on, beer and food pairing is a passion of mine when it comes to beer. You can never dissociate beer from food. The biggest reason why I’m such a beer geek is because a great pairing of beer and food is one of the best gastronomic experiences around!

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So now! Let’s start with the pairing…

Continue reading “Suds and Grubs (Beer and Food Pairing): Guinness and a Flourless, Sugarless Chocolate Cake”

Pub and Grub: Burgers and Brewskies

Last Thursday, my favorite scuba diving couple (by default), my cousin (the ever famous blogger, Mikka Wee, yes I’m plugging her, check her stuff at pepper.ph) and I went to Burgers and Brewskies at The Fort (I refuse to call it BGC, I don’t like calling cities as strings of letters). This was my second time to go here and I am honestly impressed with their burgers.

The Indio Pale Ale

Continue reading “Pub and Grub: Burgers and Brewskies”

The 6 Pack Starter’s Guide to Beer

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)

IMG_7209

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)

Hitachino's Nest White Ale

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

Summer Sessions 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

Craftpoint's Liberation 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. 

Taken from Katipunan Craft Ales' Facebook Page
Taken from Katipunan Craft Ales’ Facebook Page

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

Kostritzer

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

Taken from Katipunan Craft Ales' Facebook Page
Taken from Katipunan Craft Ales’ Facebook Page

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!

Drink for a Cause


From Yummy Magazine's facebook page

With the recent calamity striking our country, two of the local beer businesses here in the country are doing their part in helping to provide aid for our fellow Filipinos. Global Beer Exchange and Katipunan Craft Ales are donating twenty percent of their sales this coming weekend (November 16 and 17) to the Philippine Red Cross.

Global Beer Exchange has a great selection of local craft beers right now. They have an extensive collection of local craft beers ranging from Fat Pauly’s Hand-Crafted Ales and Lagers, Craftpoint Brewery and Katipunan Craft Ales. 

From Global Beer Exchange's Facebook Page
From Global Beer Exchange’s Facebook Page

 

If there ever was a time to start out your beer journey, start this weekend.

If not, try eating out in one of the establishments who are participating this weekend. It’s awesome that you can eat and help out the people who are in need.

*Global Beer Exchange is located at Tritan Ventures Building, Paseo De Magallanes Center, Barangay Magallanes, 1219 Makati City. Like them at https://www.facebook.com/GlobalBeerExchange

*Katipunan Craft Ales is available in various establishments. Like their Facebook page for availability https://www.facebook.com/KatipunanCraftAles.

Beer Myths: The Beer Belly

Yes, I said it. It is a myth. This myth ticks me off. Whenever I go out, it irritates me that people associate beer with getting fat and being lazy. They always say “I’ll drink a cocktail instead; I don’t want a beer belly.” The truth is, it’s your lifestyle that makes you fat; not the beer.

Take this into consideration, late night outings result into binge eating and binge drinking. No matter what you eat or drink, you will tend to consume more calories than normal. From the extra sisig to the last shot or last bottle, it’s the lifestyle that the person practices that makes belly, not the beer.

Image from Mike Lewis from flickr

Although the myth still permeates till this day, science (yes, SCIENCE!) has proved that beer is actually beneficial to everyone.

Charles Bamforth, chair of the Department Food Science and Technology and beer expert at UC Davis, states that beer in moderation is actually beneficial for health. He states in his findings that “beer is not comprised merely of empty calories. Rather, it can contain significant levels of vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and fiber.” Moreover, he states that “”In truth, the majority of beers on the market contain relatively low levels of carbohydrates.”

Science has saved the day for beer lovers. Just remember, beer is beneficial for health purposes. All it takes is a little moderation and a better lifestyle.

*For a more in-depth discussion on the matter, check out the link in my sources.

Source:
http://www.news.ucdavis.edu/search/news_detail.lasso?id=7525

http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2417/2287255428_708d20aaae_o.jpg by Mike Lewis: http://www.flickr.com/people/mikelewis/

The Beer Pour

With the glassware discussed in the previous article, it is time to move on to the pour. Pouring a beer is a tricky thing. There are several ways to actually pour a beer and the debate is an endless one. This post will show the different styles of pouring a beer to give you the choice of which would be best for you.

This link is from fora.tv. The speaker in this video is Dave McLean, an owner of a brewery in San Francisco. This pouring style is the style that most people are used to. This pouring style is easy and good. Using this style would be great while you’re starting out.

This video features and in-depth discussion on pouring and tasting beer. I recommend watching this video just for the eloquence and mastery of Dave McLean on the topic.

The other link is a pouring style that is recommended by Randy Mosher. Randy Mosher is the writer of the book “Tasting Beer: An Insider’s Guide to the World’s Greatest Drink.” The pouring style is difficult compared to the first but it does make the beer taste better. This is my personal opinion. Don’t take this as verbatim. My take on the pour is that it allows the beer to be fully aerated thus helping the beer reach optimal flavor in the least amount of time.

The last link is the pouring style for a German Wheat Beer. German Wheat Beers are different from most styles due to the high amount of wheat. The wheat gives the beer a larger head (beer foam). To add to that, most German Wheat Beers still have the yeast inside the containers. Due to this occurrence, pouring a wheat beer is similar but different in the tiny details.  Below is the video made by Cicerone (beer’s version of a sommelier) Robert V. He gives an in-depth discussion on the style itself while talking about the effects each step of the pour.

Pouring a beer is not that complicated. It just so happens that there are tiny details that sometimes become obsessive compulsive sometimes.

With that in mind,  it’s up to you which one suits you the best. If you think that a certain pouring style makes the beer better, then go with it!