Beer in the Philippines

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San Miguel Pale Pilsen

Beer in the Philippines is mainly produced by the two large breweries: San Miguel Corporation, which produces San Miguel Pale Pilsen, and Asia Brewery, the second-largest brewery in the country. These large producers are now being joined by a small but growing number of microbreweries opening up across the nation, including Juan Brew,[1] Fat Pauly's in Iligan, Katipunan Craft Ales, Craftpoint, Great Islands Brewing in Manila, Bog's Brewery in Bacolod, Xavierbier brewing in Baguio at the tasting room Baguio Craft Brewery, Palaweño Brewery in Palawan, and Cebu Beer Factory in Cebu.

Beer is the most consumed alcoholic beverage in the Philippines and amounts to a 70% share of the domestic alcoholic drinks market in terms of volume during 2005. Between 2003 and 2004, the Philippines showed the fastest growth rate in the world of 15.6%. With a consumption rise from 1.22 to 1.41 million liters, it was the 22nd largest beer market in the world in 2004.[2] A Filipino will drink an average of nearly 20 litres of beer a year.[3]


Under a royal grant from Spain, Don Enrique María Barretto de Ycaza y Esteban opened La Fabrica de Cerveza de San Miguel, Southeast Asia's first brewery, on September 29, 1890 at 6 Calzada de Malacañan in Manila, near the Malacañan Palace, the then-residence of the Governor-General of the Philippines.[4] The trade-name San Miguel, originates from the local brewery of San Miguel, Barcelona, Spain. He named the company after the section of Manila in which he lived and worked. Besides the flagship brew, it also produced several brews that almost all disappeared, including Double Bock, Cerveza Negra, Foreign Stout, Gold Ribbon, Extra Stout, Imported Pilsner Type, and Super Bock.

Barretto was soon joined by Pedro Pablo Roxas, who brought with him a German brewmaster, Ludwig Kiene, as technical director. San Miguel's brew won its first major award at 1895's Philippines Regional Exposition. After six years of operation, the fledgling brewery was outselling imported brands five to one. At the outbreak of World War I, San Miguel was exporting its beer to Hong Kong, Shanghai and Guam. The company was incorporated in 1913.

When the Pacific War broke out in the 1940s, the Japanese military seized San Miguel Brewery and renamed it the Balintawak Beer Brewery where they used up their supply of raw materials before they had to resort to importing materials from Manchuria. After the country's liberation, Don Andres Soriano got San Miguel Brewery back and gave away all that was left of Balintawak Beer Brewery's supply to American and Filipino troops rather than bottle it under San Miguel's label. It took them two weeks of revelry to consume the brew.

A short-lived beer, Halili Beer was manufactured by the F.F. Halili Enterprises, a company established by former Bulacan Governor Fortunato Halili. The company, whose brewery was built along Balintawak in Quezon City, also owned other products and business ventures including Mission Beverages, Goody Rootbeer and the Halili Transit. It died off for an unknown reason, but it speculated that the business did not take over from the sons of the founder. It was also speculated that the San Miguel Brewery being threatened by Halili Beer, leading the former to buy out stocks of the latter.

In 1978, the San Miguel Brewery introduced the 1-liter version of San Miguel Beer, called "Grande".

The second brewer, Asia Brewery, Inc., was established by Lucio Tan in January 27, 1982, with the inauguration of its brewery in Cabuyao, Laguna, and the launch of its first brand, Beer Hausen Pale Pilsen. San Miguel Responded with Lagerlite, a light beer, Red Horse, an extra-strong beer, and Gold Eagle, a low-cost beer. Asia Brewery responded with by Max Beer, another extra strong beer, Manila Beer, a low-cost beer, and Carlsberg, (under licensed), marketed as a premium beer. San Miguel Brewery responded with a low-cost, smaller-sized variants of Red Horse, called "Colt", and San Miguel Beer, called "Miguelito", San Miguel NAB, a non-alcoholic version of San Miguel Beer, now discontinued, and San Miguel Super Dry, marketed against Carlsberg. Asia Brewery responded with the controversial Beer Pale Pilsen, now known as Beer Na Beer. It looks like the competitor's flagship brew, San Miguel Beer Pale Pilsen which caused a lawsuit against San Miguel Brewery.

San Miguel introduced a 330 ml variant of Red Horse, called "Stallion". San Miguel continues to produce new brands like Blue Ice, an ice beer, Texas Beer, a low-cost beer with low alcohol, and San Miguel Premium All-Malt, which relaunched in 2007.

In 1995, San Miguel launches Cali, an shandy that has been popular with teenagers.[citation needed] Asia Brewery responded with Q Shandy, which reportedly has a higher alcohol content than Cali. Q Shandy has been discontinued. San Miguel launched two new variants of Cali: Cali Ice, an apple-flavored shandy, and Cali 10, a 10-calorie Cali. It has been marketed as a non-alcoholic sparkling beverage.

In 1996, Red Horse has two new variants, including "Mucho", a 1-litre Red Horse, and a canned version as well.

San Miguel continues to be the number-1 brewery in the Philippines.[citation needed]


In general the alcoholic drinks market in Philippines showed a dramatic volume growth in 2007 and beer was a large contributor to that growth. The major beer producer, San Miguel Corp, developed a strong marketing campaign to increase drinking by consumers in the Philippines. San Miguel Corp continued to be the leading player and the key manufacturer in 2007, with the smaller and emerging brewers trying to grab a share of the market. Domestic beer remained one of the most popular alcoholic drinks in 2007 and sari-sari stores and independent food stores continued to be the main outlets. There are also establishments that are called "beerhouses" which could be described as a cross between a bar and a restaurant.[5] Consumption and sales of alcoholic drinks in the Philippines are projected to expand positively during 2008. With increasing disposable incomes, a young demographic population will evolve. This, together with the emerging influence of Western drinking and pub culture, will collectively act to positively increase alcoholic drinks in the country. In terms of types of alcoholic drinks, beer and spirits will continue to comprise the largest volumes.[2]


San Miguel Corp expects to raise up to $616 million from selling shares of its flagship domestic beer group in the first half of 2008.[7]

In 2011, San Miguel Corp accounted for 88 per cent of domestic beer sold in the Philippines.[8]


San Miguel Corporation[edit]

San Miguel Corporation is southeast Asia's oldest and largest brewer.

Asia Brewery[edit]

Craft Breweries[edit]

Bog's Brew[edit]

Established by Felix Hagad from his garage microbrewery, Bog's Brew debuted in Cafe Bob's and Bob's Restaurant as the island's first craft beer brand. Its initial selections of Bogsbrew and Primo Ale grew to include more types using different grain.[9]

Baguio Craft Brewery[edit]

Baguio Craft Brewery was created from humble beginnings. It started with home brewing in a garage, a passion for craft beer and a love for creating something extraordinarily delicious, out of basic, natural ingredients.

Fat Pauly's Hand-Crafted Ales & Lagers[edit]

Founded in April 2010 in Iligan City by Paul C. Stuart del Rosario, started as a small brewing company which supplies pubs and restaurants all over the country. In 2016, Greengold Gourmet Foods Inc., the makers of the famed Suka Pinakurat joined in with the intent of scaling up the business to meet a growing demand. The new team fabricated its own 5HL brewery with 8 700 litre fermenters. IN 2017, FAT PAULY’S opened its first taproom in Palao, Iligan City.

IN 2019, there are a few pubs exclusively tapping Fat Pauly's in some key areas:

HARLEY's FOOD + CRAFT BEER, Zamboanga City

BECCA, Tagbilaran City, Bohol

Fat Pauly's features at least 6 regular brews and is famous for seasonal brews. It is also well known for limited releases. Fat Pauly's is available in the following establishments:




TOPVIEW BAR, New Dawn Hotel Plus, Cagayan de Oro

BATU CAFE, Davao City

Juan Brewing, Inc.[edit]

Founded in 2014 by German-Filipino entrepreneur Alexander Lietz, Juan Brew is the first ever microbrewery in the Philippines to be 100% solar powered. Juan Brew is also a leading supplier of beer-making equipment and ingredients which are openly distributed to other craft breweries and homebrewers via their online webshop.[1]

Turning Wheels Craft Brewery[edit]

Cebu's first craft brewery specializing in American style ales.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Juan Brew". Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  2. ^ a b Plopinio, Julie T. (June 2006). "Savoring the Beer Industry". Food and Agri Business Monitor. Archived from the original on 2007-11-16. Retrieved 2008-08-23.
  3. ^ Salazar, Tessa (2008-02-10). "Filipinos' love of drinking inspired 'Vitamin Beer'". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on 4 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-24.
  4. ^ ":: San Miguel Corporation ::". Archived from the original on 22 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-23.
  5. ^ Sullivan, Gerard; Peter A. Jackson (2001). Gay and Lesbian Asia: Culture, Identity, Community. Haworth Press. p. 121. ISBN 1-56023-146-7. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
  6. ^ "Alcoholic Drinks in the Philippines". Euromonitor International. Archived from the original on 16 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-23.
  7. ^ "UPDATE 1-San Miguel Philippines beer unit revenue up 8 pct". 2008-01-09. Retrieved 2008-08-23.
  8. ^ Watson, Todd (4 July 2013). "Asahi shaking up the Filipino beer market". Inside Investor. Retrieved 6 July 2013.
  9. ^ Harland, Robert (26 September 2016). "Philippines' first female craft brewers". Retrieved 1 December 2018.

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