What Type of Beer is Made in the Philippines

If there is one unique thing you need to know about Filipino socialization, it’s their timeless love for drinking. Beer drinking in the Philippines has been embedded in the very fabric of the people’s culture that no occasion or holiday goes by without a beer case or two. For most Filipinos, beer drinking is an integral part of celebrating, socializing, and establishing brotherhood.

Beer is an omnipresent alcoholic beverage that graces every Filipino’s life event – it doesn’t matter if it is big or small, good or bad. Every famous beer brand plays an essential piece in the country’s historical puzzle, like the history of Corona beer does in the United States.

FILIPINOS LOVE THEIR BEER

a hand pouring a bottle of beer into a glass

Filipinos would indeed drink any type of beer available. Given the locals’ appetite for alcoholic drinks, commercial beer brands easily won the heart of the majority due to their affordability, availability, and popularity over the years.

The San Miguel Corporation, which traces its history back to the 1980s, remains at the top position in the beer market. AB Heineken Philippines, a foreign brewery, seems to come close, although not completely. San Miguel marketed several beer brands in the country alongside another giant corporation, the Asia Brewery. These beer brands became staple alcoholic drinks on every Filipino occasion.

With beer so dear to the Filipinos, it’s not surprising that it is the most consumed alcoholic beverage in the country. Studies show that a Filipino can drink up to 20 liters of beer per year on average. It makes us wonder, what type of beer do Filipinos drink? And why are they so special?

If you plan on visiting the Pearl of the Orient Seas, you will inevitably discover more than the warm greetings and the majestic sceneries. Sharing a drink or two with the locals would initiate you to the country’s drinking culture. So, for your reference, here are some of the famous beer brands that Filipinos enjoy.

BEER TYPES MADE IN THE PHILIPPINES

1. Red Horse Beer

Brewery: San Miguel | ABV: 6.9% 

Red Horse beer prides itself on its trademark strong alcoholic kick. Guzzle a couple of bottles, and you will undoubtedly lose any self-inhibition without warning. This high-alcohol lager is one of the country’s top beer choices for its sweetish taste and distinct bitter aftertaste. 

This beer is widely available in almost any bar and restaurant in the country. With its affordability, availability, and popularity, especially among men, Red Horse beer is an easy pick for those who want to overcome shyness and have a good time partying on the beaches. It is available in regular 500ml, 300ml Stallion, 330ml cans, and 1000ml which the locals call Litro.

Rumor has it that the Stallion ‘kicks’ better than the Litro. But, it indeed takes firsthand experience to confirm. Regardless of the size, you can enjoy the beer with or without the pulutan, a type of food paired with alcoholic beverages. 

2. San Miguel Pale Pilsen

San Miguel Pale Pilsen

Brewery: San Miguel | ABV: 5.0%

Being the oldest, most widely available beer brand in the 90s, San Miguel Pale Pilsen still lives up to its legacy. This beer is still one of the top alcoholic beverages ordered in restaurants and bars in the capital city of Manila and the adjacent provinces. It is an excellent choice for those who want to have a chill drinking session without having to worry about nasty hangovers.

If it’s your first time in the archipelago, you’d certainly see this beer brand available in every convenience-stores you visit. The smooth taste of the beer is enough to quench your summer thirst. Just be careful, though, as drinking bottle after bottle of this may make you visit the toilet for pee than usual.

3. Beer Na Beer Pale Pilsen

Brewery: Asia Brewery | ABV: 5.0%

Beer na Beer Pale Pilsen may be considered Asia Brewery’s answer to San Miguel’s version of pale Pilsen. Like its rival, this beer offers a fizzy 5% ABV beverage that is smooth and has a clean, refreshing aftertaste, almost tasteless. It, in return, makes an excellent thirst-quencher during scorching summers in the tropics, minus the nasty consequences.

Considered rare nowadays, Beer na Beer Pale Pilsen somehow misses urban bars and restaurants due to its somehow bland taste. Nonetheless, it’s one of the cheapest beers you can find in the local convenience stores. If you can find any of them, consider yourself lucky.

4. Gold Eagle Beer

Brewery: San Miguel | ABV: 4.5%

This beer brand may not be as famous in the cities as the first two above. Nonetheless, it captured the palates of the locals living in the southern provinces of the country. Gold Eagle Beer is a smooth pale lager usually enjoyed by the local farmers after a whole day’s toil in the field.

Thanks to its smooth aroma and low alcohol content, most locals can enjoy a few bottles of this beer. With an ABV of 4.5%, you can worry less about splitting headaches the following day. Older Filipinos prefer this drink as it helps ease the body from physical stress and makes for an excellent transition to sleep.

5. Manila Beer

Brewery: Asia Brewery | ABV: 7.0%

If low-alcohol beers do not impress you, you’ve got to check this one out. Manila Beer is a superb all-malt high-alcohol beer that easily soothes the palates with its premium taste. The 7% ABV beer would undoubtedly give you an impressive kick while giving you every hint of only the finest ingredients.

Manila Beer offers excellent hangout sessions with the locals as you bask in the gentle summer breeze and learn about the island’s diverse culture. It is also pretty affordable, meaning you can get as much of this premium beer as you want.

6. Cerveza Negra

Brewery: San Miguel | ABV: 5.0%

One look at Cerveza Negra, and you’d know – this exquisite and sexy full-bodied dark alcoholic beverage is worth trying. The beer features an intricate interplay of modest bitterness and sweetish roasted malt bouquets, thanks to its premium ingredients. It also comes with a unique richness of caramel flavor as soon as the beer touches the tongue.

Since it only has a moderate alcohol content, Cerveza Negra also makes an excellent after-party drink. Filipino drinkers who get tired of the same commercially available beers would often opt for Cerveza Negra for that premium twist.

FINAL WORDS

Wherever in the world, every bottle of beer holds a special place in people’s hearts. The Filipino people, for instance, have a great history of drinking culture that even dates back to the colonial period and even way before that. Filipinos not only serve beer for celebrating special occasions but also for welcoming life’s surprises, as well as challenges.

As Filipino author Alejandro Roces puts it, “Filipinos are ‘mild’ drinkers. They drink for only three good reasons: 1) when they are very happy, 2) when they are very sad, and 3) for any other reason.” You can have a drink with the locals when you finally visit the beautiful archipelago. With a Red Horse Beer bottle or two, try to find out– are Filipinos, mild drinkers? 

Cheers!