Bacolod Beer: Bog’s Brew

This is my first post in a long time because of a packed final exam schedule and a very lazy semestral break.
I bought bottles of Bog’s Brew (pictured above) and Bog’s Brew Prima from the 26th Negros Trade Fair at the Rockwell Tent around a month ago. Bog’s Brew from Bacolod stakes its claim as the first (and perhaps only) commercially available craft beer in the Philippines. I had the Prima then and there with some “authentic” chicken inasal, hence the lack of documentation. This was brewed with malted barley, organic rice, corn, muscovado sugar, wild honey, and pristine Negros Occidental spring water. I found it quite tart, strongly carbonated, but with more body than the traditional local pilseners. There was a hint of the muscovado and honey sweetness but the overall impression is really very acidic and almost astringent. Somehow, it went down better with the juiciest chicken inasal I’ve ever tried. I actually enjoyed this beer a lot more chasing down the oily, herby chicken.
I saved the bottle of Bog’s Brew for the house, which I drank a couple of days later with Lechon Kawali. This is pretty much your standard Filipino beer and food pairing – crispy, fatty roast pork and a cold lager. As far as that goes, the tandem did pretty well. The regular Bog’s Brew is made with malt extract and without the honey. As with the Prima, it was strongly carbonated as well, but with a much more appealing deep brown color. There was virtually no head though. I thought this beer felt more like a soda than a beer. Again, more acidic than the usual Pinoy pilseners, still quite light, but it definitely packed a lot more flavor than your Beer Below Zero or Double-Chilled San Mig Light, and it did a good job of cutting through all the porcine fat. The beer itself just really is not my thing, though.
I don’t know if the sourness is really what the brewmaster was after, or if the beer would taste better fresh. The clear glass bottles and the travel from Negros to Manila did not do the beers any good, that’s for sure. At any rate, This beer is definitely a good start for the Philippine craft brewing scene. Hopefully the homebrewers here in the country (more on them another time) will soon grow enough to start something good.
Note the thick sediment left behind in the empty bottle. Yeast and unfermented sugars? Is that why their beer was sour? I know little-to-nothing about the brewing process itself. If anyone can chime in as to what caused this, and how it contributed to how the final product tasted, I’d appreciate it a lot.

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