Celebrations in the Philippines won’t be complete without the best dishes in Filipino cuisine and of course, inuman (Filipino terms for drinking sessions)! Apart from being an eating nation, Filipinos are renowned as strong and hard drinkers. Whether it’s a weekend gathering with friends, birthday parties, graduation parties, to small and big town fiestas, it’s going to be wild and unforgettable with drinks always on the table.
Long before the Spaniards conquered the Philippines, Filipino have been creating alcoholic beverages from coconut and palm. When the Americans arrive, Filipinos learned how to create all the other types of liquors, resulting in the establishment of big distilleries. Among the many drinks, beer has evolved to be the national favorite and the staple on many occasions.
So, if you’re exploring the country, don’t miss out on trying out their best beers and experiencing the fun! Here are the best beer brands Filipinos enjoy most:
1. San Miguel Pale Pilsen
San Miguel Pale Pilsen is the champion among all the local Filipino beers. It’s a smooth drink with the flavors of bready malts and the right amount of bitterness and sweetness with a pleasant clean finish. This flagship golden lager is a sure sight all over the country and is easy to find in its distinct traditional old-school bottle. Yet, not only Filipinos love this beer. It’s also popular in the international market and its rich taste has been a hit with many foreigners. No surprise that it received the highest Grand Gold Quality Award from Belgium’s Monde Selection, as well as over 75 more international recognitions.
2. Red Horse Beer
Red Horse is one of the best-selling beers in the Philippines. It’s a deep lager with a satisfyingly rich flavor and strong kick, something that many look for in a good beer. This golden deep lager is uniquely sweet and bitter, making it easier to drink. Catch a couple of bottles and you’d find the buzz you’re looking for a wild night. A gold medal winner in the Australian Beer Awards, ranked no.1 in UAE, and a consistent contender in Belgium’s Monde Selection, the headaches tomorrow are all worth it after tasting delicious beer.
3. San Mig Light
For the younger Filipinos or those who are taken aback by strong beer, there’s always San Mig Light beer for them to chug. It’s the lighter and less bitter version of San Miguel Pale Pilsen. Also having fewer calories, it’s the go-to choice of beer drinkers who pay close watch to their calorie intake and wants to have fun without getting that belly bloat. Don’t fret as light doesn’t mean it’s less enjoyable, it is smooth, crisp, easy to drink, and refreshing – be ready to order a bucket more once you taste this delicious beer.
4. Manila Beer
A relatively new player in the Philippine beer industry, Manila Beer is enticing a good number of drinkers. It’s brewed using 100% premium malt, water, and noble hops for a strong, delicious taste that’s uniquely its own. It also has a lighter version, the Manila Light, which is even lighter than the popular San Mig Light, ideal if you’re only looking to relax for the night. While it’s new, it’s worth tasting and you might even love its excellent taste. Despite its name, however, you may have a difficult time finding it in Manila and may have more luck finding it in the nearby provinces.
5. Beer na Beer
Asia Brewery’s flagship Pilsen beer Beer na Beer may be less popular, but this smooth, clean, and refreshing beer has its legion of fans. It has a good aroma and medium flavor, with a distinct sweetness that makes it easier to drink compared to its competitors. This fizzy beer has fared pretty well in the international scene, also boasting gold medals from Monde Selection in Belgium. It’s another rare find in the city, however, and you’re more likely to come across this palatable beer in grocery stores and sari-sari stores (neighborhood sundry convenience stores) in the provinces.
6. San Mig Flavored Beer
San Mig Flavored Beer is the one for the ladies, with some people dubbing it as the aunts beer while the pale pilsen is for the uncles. It’s a light lager beer incorporated with the fruity flavors of apple, lemon, or lychee. Tasty, light, and with the bitterness masked by sweeter hints of fruit, it’s the perfect entry-level fruity beer for a tropical country like the Philippines and for those who don’t want to be shocked by beers with stronger flavors.
7. Cerveza Negra
Its dark color may seem intimidating, but taste it and you’ll know why you shouldn’t judge anything by its appearance. It is a rich, full-bodied lager with brown sugar and nutty aroma. The roasted malt provides a tasty caramel hint to drink, while the creamy froth makes it more satisfying. If you’re looking for something extraordinary to try apart from the usual local Filipino drink, this premium quality beer will be a great sip and leave a mark on your palate.
8. Gold Eagle Beer
Gold Eagle Beer is a mainstream smooth pale lager, but is sold more in the Visayan and Mindanao regions in the Philippines. It’s hard to find in Metro Manila, so don’t miss trying it if you encounter one. It’s an affordable, light-bodied beer made by San Miguel Corporation for “easy drinking.” Its target market as the working Filipino men, who can treat an ice-cold bottle as a reward after a tiring day.
As it made waves in other over 190 countries, Heineken from the Netherlands also reached and hit the Filipino market. Its famous green bottle with the iconic red star is an easy sight in supermarkets, grocery stores, and restaurants. So, if you want to taste its rich, crisp taste while traveling the Philippines. No worries, as you can always grab one for your drinking session.
10. San Miguel Premium All-Malt Beer
San Miguel Premium All-Malt Beer delights Filipinos with its rich malty flavor and aroma, plus please hop notes that come from a delicious blend of carefully selected malt and hops. It’s a golden, full-flavored, premium lager with balanced bitterness and sweetness. You’ll enjoy this drink if you’re looking for a great drink between the strength of the Pale Pilsen and the lightness of San Mig Light.
That’s the rundown of the best beer brands that Filipinos enjoy most. Grab a cold one, drink responsibly, and have fun!