The Beer Gallery at Offbeat Cafe

Kostritzer Schwarzbier – highly recommended

Tucked away in a Makati sidestreet is the cultural melting pot known as The Collective. 11-11-11: It was my first time there at night, and it was the opening of The Beer Gallery at the Offbeat Cafe. They have an outstanding collection of beers, from American craft, hard-to-find German brews and Belgian abbey ales. What they don’t have, however, is flavorless yellow water. And rightly so, because these beers have to go well with the intense flavor combinations provided by Offbeat, with their Offbeat Burger (beef patty, egg, bacon in between a split Krispy Kreme Original Glazed) and their Bacon Fries (deep-fried bacon strips).

If you’re gonna go epic meal time, then you might as well have good beers that pair well with your food. The Beer Gallery has a versatile selection because they have hefeweizens and world-class pilseners, like Konig, Astra and Bitburger that allow the food to be the star, mostly complementing and cutting through all the calorific goodness. They also have a variety of stouts which can stand up to intensely-flavored food like Guinness Foreign Extra, Anderson Valley Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout, and the Kostritzer Schwarzbier. The last one, while not actually a stout, is really a black lager, but has enough body and flavor in it to throw down with the big boys. Clubgoer and partyphile favorites like Leffe and Desperadoes Tequila beer are also available, and even hopheads can get their fix with Anderson Valley Hop Ottin’ IPA. For those hoping to get a tipsy quickly, there’s also Oettinger Super Forte at 8.9% ABV in a whopping half-liter can. For a bit more flavor to balance your buzz, I found Gordon Biersch Blonde Bock a sleeper hit.

Gordon Biersch Blonde Bock – winner of the night

The Blonde Bock had a banana bread nose, and was malty and surprisingly flavorful. This is easily one of the best lagers I’ve had. I’m not really a fan of Gordon Biersch, but this one changed my mind, at least from making a hasty generalization. I guess this is one GB i won’t say no to. The sweetness of this one would provide a nice balance to their bacon fries.

The Kostritzer is their other highly-recommended beer, and that did not disappoint either. It’s similar to a porter with its roasted malt and caramel nose and dark brown color, but I found it more carbonated. I was pleasantly surprised by its pepper and spice finish which I never expected from a beer like this. This would be the perfect match for the Offbeat Burger.

Oh, and I haven’t mentioned the best part of The Beer Gallery – their prices. You can get good quality, flavorful foreign beers at prices close to what the B-Side sells the local lagers for. And hopefully, if everything falls into place, they will have Filipino-made microbrewed craft beer available on tap as well. Keep your fingers crossed for that, and in the meantime, check out the Beer Gallery at Offbeat Cafe in The Collective on Malugay Street. Be sure to try out their promos, such as an Offbeat Burger and three cans of Astra Urtyp for P350.

My phone’s camera does not do this homey place justice. Check out their Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr for more details.

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