Beer Brand Filipinos Enjoy Most

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, or 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’ll find the buzz you’re looking for on 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 is the go-to choice of beer drinkers who pay close attention to their calorie intake and want 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, which is 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 aunt’s 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 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 it is sold more in the Visayan and Mindanao regions of 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 is the working Filipino men who can treat an ice-cold bottle as a reward after a tiring day.

9. Heineken

As it made waves in 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.

Interesting Facts About Filipino Beer Brands

Filipino beer is celebrated for its unique flavors and the rich history behind its brewing traditions. Here are some interesting facts and statistics about Filipino beer brands that highlight their significance in the country’s culture and economy.

  • San Miguel Pale Pilsen: Arguably the most iconic Filipino beer, San Miguel Pale Pilsen has been around since 1890, making it one of the oldest beer brands in Southeast Asia. It enjoys widespread popularity in the Philippines and is exported to over 40 countries worldwide.
  • Craft Beer Movement: In recent years, the Philippines has seen a surge in craft beer popularity, with over 60 microbreweries emerging across the country. These breweries produce a variety of styles, from IPAs to stouts, showcasing local ingredients and flavors.
  • Red Horse Beer: Known for its strong flavor and higher alcohol content (around 6.9%), Red Horse Beer is another flagship product of San Miguel Brewery. It’s particularly popular among the younger demographic and is famous for its distinct kick.
  • Beer Consumption: The Philippines ranks as one of the top beer-consuming countries in Southeast Asia. Filipinos consume approximately 20 liters of beer per capita annually.
  • International Awards: Filipino beer brands have gained international recognition, with several local breweries winning awards at international beer competitions. This highlights the quality and craftsmanship of Filipino brewing.
  • Economic Impact: The beer industry in the Philippines plays a significant role in the economy, contributing billions of pesos in taxes annually. It also provides employment opportunities in both the production and distribution sectors.
  • Barako Brew: A unique entry in the Filipino beer scene is the Barako Brew, which infuses the local Barako coffee bean into the beer, offering a distinct taste that combines the rich flavors of coffee and beer.
  • Beer Festivals: The Philippines hosts several beer festivals throughout the year, including the popular Oktoberfest celebrations. These festivals are a testament to the country’s love for beer, featuring local and international brands, music, and food.
  • Environmental Initiatives: Some Filipino breweries have initiated efforts to become more environmentally friendly, focusing on sustainability practices in brewing and packaging to reduce their ecological footprint.
  • Cultural Significance: Beer drinking is an integral part of Filipino social gatherings and celebrations, reflecting the communal and festive spirit of the Filipino people.

The Filipino beer industry continues to evolve, blending tradition with innovation and contributing to the rich tapestry of the nation’s cultural and economic landscape.

For more Filipino beer brands, you may read our article about Craft Beer Made in the Philippines.

Conclusion

From the time-honored tradition of San Miguel Pale Pilsen to the creative twists of local craft beers, each great beer brand offers a unique taste of the Philippines. The popularity of these beers, underscored by their presence at social gatherings, festivals, and international competitions, speaks volumes about their quality and the affection Filipinos have for them.

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