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Filipino Craft Beer – Part 2: The Cebruery

Thirty years ago, the Filipino people rose up against a dictator in a movement dubbed “People Power”. While the Filipino craft beer movement isn’t as deeply meaningful on the large scale, it is a revolution. Craft brewers are rising up against “Big Beer” and exposing the Philippines to new ideas, new styles and new flavors. The Filipino craft brew revolution probably won’t influence politics in this nation of islands but it is influencing the culture. And, hey, if we can all sit together and share a good beer, that’s a revolution worth backing!

In Part 1 of this two-parter, we tasted three beers from The Cebruery. Today we’ll taste four more.

Let’s Drink!

Filipino Craft Beer - The Cebruery's "People Power Pale Ale"The Cebruery’s People Power Pale Ale is the namesake of the bloodless revolution that occurred here in 1986. It checks in at 5.4% Alcohol By Volume (ABV).

When I popped the cap, I was greeted with an eruption of foam from the bottle. I’m starting to wonder if there isn’t too much bottle conditioning happening in some of these craft brews. I’ve had the same thing happen with other Cebruery beers (the porters have heads larger than a certain American billionaire presidentiable) as well as beers from other craft brewers.

It could be the way I have to store my beers on their sides in my fridge. Maybe I have to give them more time once they’re turned upright on the table. I’m going to try that because foam in the glass is good, but foam on the table and floor is bad!

People Power Pale Ale is a bright coppery gold in my glass (regardless of what the photo depicts) with a cream-colored head that leaves lots of lacing on the glass. The citrusy hops used in the beer create the dominant aromas. Grapefruit/pomelo aromas abound with some dark sugar notes underneath. The hops dominate the flavor profile as well with the same pomelo/grapefruit flavors as the nose, along with the same dark sugars. The finish is bitter in a pleasing pale ale way and isn’t harsh but rather, refreshing.  I had two of these, back to back, and did not become bored with the flavors or the bite of the beer.

Filipino Craft Beer - The Cebruery's "Chocolate Hills Porter Maple Vanilla Bourbon"The Cebruery’s special edition Chocolate Hills Porter “Maple Vanilla Bourbon” is billed as a “Breakfast Porter” and comes in at a relaxing 7.1% ABV.

Would you drink a beer for breakfast? While today’s culture frowns upon the  breakfast dinker (unless you’re drinking Bloody Marys), back in the day it was normal to drink beer in the morning.

The bottle opened clean on this beer but in the glass I faced another marathon head. It’s a beautiful thing to behold, all creamy and gauzy as it is. But the wait was so long that I started critiquing the Cebruery’s label (really, guys, some of them are unreadable).

Once the wait for the head to resolve was over, my nose was greeted with deep aromas of dark sugar, maple and vanilla, just like the label said. I’m glad that Filipino craft beer brewers are describing their beers accurately. If you’ve ever read a wine label and wondered where the flavors listed on the label went once the wine was in your mouth, you know how nice an honest label is.

This Maple Vanilla Bourbon edition of CHP has a luscious, almost chewy mouthfeel. It really is almost like eating. Malty brown sugar and dark coffee flavors were up front on this with a short finish of maple and vanilla. The slightly bitter finish gets the saliva glands working, and the shortness is remedied with another mouthfull of “breakfast”.

I’m a huge fan of The Cebruery’s core CHP and this version is a compliment to all of the good things in that beer.

Filipino Craft Beer - The Cebruery's "Gold Dust Woman Hefeweizen"

Gold Dust Woman Hefeweizen is The Cebruery’s seasonal wheat ale. it clocks in at 5.2% ABV.

I had the same “foam out” at uncapping that happened with the People Power Pale Ale and even short pours into my glass caused massive builds of bubbly white head. Again, as with the PPPA, it might be the way I store the bottles in the fridge. I can’t imagine bartenders across the Philippines wearing the foam like I did or that drinkers would stand for getting only half a bottle of drinkable beer due to this volcano action.

Anyway, pale golden Gold Dust Woman has a flowery aroma with citrus tones like a delicate, well, woman’s perfume. The first taste brought an uncountable number of fruity/flowery/spicy flavors. This is a very ambitious brew! A champagne feeling on the tongue complimented sweet notes yet finished dry, refreshingly tart and a bit short.  There are a myriad of flavors coaxed out of the ingredients that go into this beer and I’ll bet there are a lot of Filipino craft breer fans who can’t wait for Hefeweizen Season to roll around at The Cebruery.

cebruery03 Dumaguete Dubbel is The Cebruery’s foray into the Belgian Trappist style of brown ale. It weighs in at a strong, smile-producing 7.1% ABV.

The “Double D” has a beautiful dark golden brown color and a moderate cream-colored loose foam head that resolves to the beer line. Moderate lacing is left on the glass.

It has a lightly fruity, malty aroma with hints of caramel. The flavors are very complex: hard Christmas candies, malt, citrus and high notes of anise. The caramel from the nose reveals itself at the long, dry finish. The muscovado used in brewing shines a sweet, dark light on every chewy mouthful. I noticed almost no bitterness to this Dubbel which is true to type.

This is a fine beer with exceptional flavors and one of my new favorites in competition with their Chocolate Hills Porter.

Filipino craft beer Part 3

The third part in this multi-beer tasting series is in the works. We’ll be tasting a few brews by Nipa Brewing, a couple from Fat Pauly’s Brewing and some Crazy Carabao Brewing Co. beers that were recently available at our beer joint of choice: The Beereaucracy Bar in Davao’s Obrero district.

Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any thoughts on these beers. Thanks for sticking with me.



Disclaimer (also known as the “Cover Your Butt” section)

  • I’m not an expert. I’m not a professional taster, chef, gourmand or brew master.
  • I recognize that taste is subjective and what I don’t like, you may enjoy. These are my opinions. Let’s drink, not fight.
  • I did not and do not receive any compensation or consideration from anyone for tasting or blogging about anything.
  • I bought all of the beers I tasted at retail price

2 Responses to Filipino Craft Beer – Part 2: The Cebruery

  1. Ian Rob Parry March 4, 2016 at 5:11 PM #

    great beers luv dumaguete dubbel

  2. Bherryll Fajutnao Gabaldon March 5, 2016 at 7:24 AM #