Eastwood Beer Festival 2013

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My backlog has built up to an almost insurmountable pile because of the lack of inactivity from September to most of October. I’ll try to make up for it by posting more regularly.

Since the last Friday of September 2013 and lasting up to the end of October, Eastwood City has been holding its Beer Festival, more or less coinciding with Oktoberfest in Munich (It startet and ends several weeks later). By way of disclosure, Megaworld actually contacted me, asking for help in getting in touch with the different local craft brewers and distributors. I also promised, for no consideration, to write about their press launch, but I fell sick on said day (perhaps a sign that I shouldn’t “sell out”). Instead, still feeling slightly under the weather, I attended the grand launch and concert. Katipunan Craft Ales and Craftpoint Brewing Co. answered the call and shared a booth. Their brews were practically the only two craft beers, strictly speaking, available at the grand launch and concert. Samuel Adams Boston Lager was available from The Distillery, as well. The rest of the beers were mostly European imports, from “premium” mass-market adjunct lagers to some decent German hefeweizens, Belgian ales and Trappist brews.

The concert featured an excellent lineup of artists and bands, namely Up Dharma Down, Pupil, Rico Blanco and Urbandub. Not bad, for a free concert. The bands also played lengthy sets of their hits, with Ely Buendia and Rico Blanco playing nostalgic numbers from former bands Eraserheads and Rivermaya. What else would go better at a rock concert featuring some of the best Original Pilipino Music than some original Pinoy craft beer?

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Craftpoint sold bottles of their tasty Liberation “revolutionary” pale ale and their light but flavorful Summer Sessions blond ale. It was a successful night for them, as they sold all their stocks for the evening.

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Katipunan Craft rolled out their brand new kegerator, pouring some fresh Indio Pale Ale. They had some bottles for those who wanted to take the good stuff home, as well. I recommend trying their beer fresh from the tap as the hoppiness is definitely more pronounced. Some representatives of Craft Beer Asia were in attendance and enjoyed the local craft beers that they tried.

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While there were a number of food options available, I went with Publiko Eat + Drink (a more in-depth post on the gastropub itself will follow soon), co-owned by a good friend of mine. Their fried tacos were excellent, and can’t be beat at a price point of somewhere around 100 Pesos. They have affordable pub grub, European beers on tap and the best desserts in Eastwood City, but more on that in another post.

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Radio DJ Sam YG co-hosted the event, and was entertaining as usual with his jokes and double entendres. He went down to visit the different booths and had some local craft beer himself.

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Congratulations to the local brewers for taking part in their first big beerfest! Hopefully, one day we will hold a large-scale Oktoberfest-style festival with the full lineup of craft beer available in the Philippines. The Eastwood Beerfest is closing on Halloween night. I’ll be there to try Katipunan Craft’s Dear Fred coffee IPA, a collaboration with Yardstick Coffee.

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