Katipunan Craft Ales Indio Pale Ale and Breadcrumb Linguine

It’s an exciting time to be a beer drinker in the Philippines because the home-brewing scene is slowly but steadily growing. I’d say that they would fall under either of two categories. The first are the slightly older, more experienced brewers who have at few years of experience and have started experimenting with lesser known beer styles. I’ll do a feature on them another time. I’ve tried a few of their stuff, and I’ll vouch that what they produce is much better than anything being produced by the mainstream beer companies both locally and abroad. I would even go so far as to say that some of their stuff is on par with many craft beers as well.

In this post, however, I’ll focus on the second category of homebrewers, the twenty-somethings who are just getting started. One group in particular of budding young homebrewers who were a couple batches ahead of me in high school shared a bottle of their own pale ale. They source most of their ingredients from Singapore, because that’s the closest place with homebrewing shops that sell malt extract and hop pellets. Among the three pale ales I’ve tried which were produced by up-and-coming homebrewers, I’d say this one was hands down the best.

The beer poured quite murky, in between a dark peach gradient that gets darker towards the bottom of the glass, with a thick head which dissipates quickly. I couldn’t really get much aroma because I’d been nursing a cold, although some faint hops were present. Flavorwise, I noted some bread and dessicated coconut (niyog), the kind you top kakanin with. I found this an interesting taste because I’d never really had it before in a beer. I found apt carbonation but I felt the body was a bit lacking as I consumed more of the beer, but I tip my hat off to these guys for getting the flavor right. I’ve tried some homebrews which tasted like sinamak vinegar, but this pale ale was refreshing, easy to drink.

For dinner, I paired their pale ale with linguine tossed in breadcrumbs, red pepper flakes, oil and garlic, topped with cheese. This was a simple yet satisfying pasta, and perhaps the same could be said with the homebrewed pale ale I drank with my meal.

Things are really looking up, and I know that with experience, all the upstart young brewers will start consistently producing some tasty ales. The best thing about the craft beer and homebrewing scene here in the Philippines is that, there’s no such thing as competition, only community. Cheers to that!

Edit: What was at the time of posting an experimental brew is now taking the Philippine beer scene by storm. This once anonymous beer is now sold as Katipunan Craft Ales’ Indio Pale Ale, available at Ritual, Global Beer Exchange and Gilmore Wines and Spirits.

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