For the first time ever, the Yuchengco museum held its first craft beer event. Last October 20, Blues and Brews @ the Y showcased the top local craft beers for just one day.
Let me begin by saying that in general, I choose not to drink alcohol. I only started being more open to alcohol a few months ago. I did come to the event with an open mind and the willingness to try something new.
So here are the thoughts of a non-beer drinker at a craft beer festival…
The event started at 11AM, but I went in the evening to fully experience the crowd’s culture. The crowd was a mix of both foreigners and locals.
This year, there were several participating craft beer brands. I asked for small samples of each of their bestsellers to come up with my Top 10.
Majority of the participating beer brands didn't have bottled beers and served their products from a keg or case instead (more popularly known as "draft" or "draught" beer).
#1) Katipunan Craft Ales
Though the event was not a competition, I hail Katipunan Craft Ales as my winner of the night. Katipunan Craft Ales had the most interesting beer of the event. They call it Signal No. 1, which they briefly described as a stout. The beer was dark and tasted like a very strong mocha latte. The most peculiar thing about this beer is that there is no chocolate or coffee in the ingredients.
#2) 63 North Brewing Co.
63 North had a special Filipino Wit Beer–the White Tiki. This is their localized take on the Belgian wit beer. Traditionally, this is made with coriander and orange, but 63 North decided to switch this up using lemongrass and dalandan instead.
#3) Pedro Brewcrafters
Pedro’s Endless Summer Wheat Ale tasted like the perfect beer I would have on a hot, summer day. Light, refreshing, and with the slightest hint of citrus.
Side note: As a designer, I was also in awe of how well-rounded Pedro is as a brand!
#4) Sikatuna Craft Brewery
Sikatuna’s IPA (India Pale Ale) is described as having an assertive lingering bitterness, which sounds off-putting to a non-beer drinker like me, but one sip had me converted.
Facebook: Sikatuna Craft Brewery
#5) Boondocks Brewery
I tried Beer #1 from Boondocks Brewery, which as they say, is their best beer for first-time drinkers. It’s the first brew they ever made, which is why it’s called Beer #1. I like that there was a very small hint of bitterness, and the citrus notes made for a refreshing drink.
As the night rolled in, Ben&Ben started to perform and entertained the guests with really good music.
#6) Kapitolyo Brewing Co
Kapitolyo's Galaxy had a very smooth finish to it, which is great for first-timers like me. An easier way to describe it would be beer without the bitterness.
Facebook: Kapitolyo Brewing Company
#7) Nipa Brew
Nipa Brew had a wide selection of craft beers, but they highly recommend the Tropic Haze for starters. It was sweet and fruity, but not too much to go beyond being a beer and turning into juice.
#8) Crazy Carabao Brewing Co.
Crazy Carabao's Lapu Lapu Lager is a crisp and refreshing beer, great for humid nights in the city.
#9) Bulul Brewery
Bulul Brewery is a brand proudly born from the Northern part of the Philippines, which is well-represented in their logo of a bulul–a wooden figure used to guard rice crop by the Igorots. I like their Pumpkin Seasonal Ale–malty but not bitter, with hints of the pumpkin cutting through.
Facebook: Bulul Brewery
#10) Joe's Brew
Joe's Brew is perhaps one of the most familiar craft beer brands in the city. My top pick for Joe's Brew is their Fish Rider Pale Ale, with a well-rounded flavor and the slightest hint of bitterness.
More songs were performed by BP Valenzuela as the night came to a close.
In the end, I still ended up with a non-alcoholic drink, but only because I’m still not fully aware of my alcohol tolerance. Plus I wanted to remember what I tried the whole night.
I walked away from the event having a newfound appreciation for craft beer and all the hard work that goes into it. I see a very successful future for our local craft breweries!
Congratulations to the team behind Blues and Brews for a very successful event!
Live an Awesome Life,
MONIQUE of TEAM OUR AWESOME PLANET
P.S. If ever you come across Engkanto Brewery, look for their Double IPA. It was much too strong for a first timer like me, but seasoned beer drinkers would definitely love it!