This is the beginning of the third installment in a series of reviews of the beers expats or travelers might find in the Philippines. The first round of reviews were split into two parts and featured my take on most of the beers brewed by the biggest brewer in the Philippines: San Miguel (SanMig Part 1 and Part 2).
In this installment, we’ll cover three beers brewed up by another small-batch craft brewery: Nipa Beer.
First up in this installment of More Filipino Craft Beer is Nipa’s Midnight Blur Porter. This beer is 5.5% Alcohol By Volume (ABV), according to the label. It poured a medium dark brown color with an off-white head that built high in my glass and resolved slowly to a thin coating. The head didn’t lace the inside of the glass much. I noticed aromas of vanilla, caramel and toffee up front. Some light chocolate notes as well.
It was a bit watery in my mouth, not full as I was expecting. Flavors of chocolate and coffee were the strongest. Some lighter chocolate-milk with malted milk and dark sugar flavors kicked in on the finish, along with a little light bitterness. Due to its light body, I’d call this a Filipino Porter. It’s a nice, flavorful beer.
Next up is Tropic Haze Wheat Beer, also by Nipa. Like the porter, it’s 5.5% ABV. Hazy as its name suggests, the color is a burnt sienna (if I remember my Crayola crayons correctly). It poured a high, off-white head that resolved to a thin line. Light lacing was left on the glass.
The wheat is definitely up front in the aroma. Bread, hops with some astringent fruits are what I smelled. Tropical fruits at first taste. Sweet but drying in the mouth with a slight citrus finish. Like the porter, the flavors are light and the bitterness is slight. A refreshing beer.
Something happened to my photo of Nipa’s Sunstoked Blonde Ale. Maybe it was the drinking, eh? Anyway, I “borrowed” this photo from Nipa’s Facebook site. I hope they don’t mind.
Sunstoked Blonde Ale is 4.5% ABV, according to the label. It poured a high, tight white head in my glass that resolved to the beer line and left no lacing. It was a cloudy gold in the glass. Malty with orange citrus aromas wafted from this beer. More malt and citrus in the flavors but lighter. What seems like a theme with Nipa, I noticed a watery mouth feel. This finished short and very pilsner-like. It’s as easy-drinking as advertised on the label.
If I were teaching a class on Filipino craft beer, or if I were taking my Filipino friends out for a drinking session, I think I would start with Nipa Brew beers. The beers are a big step up in craft and flavor than mass-produced beer but they just don’t have the punch a seasoned craft beer drinker might want.
To say it another way, if a friend handed me a San Miguel Cerveza Negra, I’d drink it. (Gladly! Feel free to hand me beer whenever I see you!) If they gave me a choice between having a Cerveza Negra and a Nipa Midnight Blur Porter, I’d rather drink the Nipa. If the choice was between a Nipa MBP and a Cebruery Chocolate Hills Porter, I’d drink the CHP. And on it goes…
That’s beer drinking and that’s craft beer. And that’s why having more Filipino craft beer available is a great thing for us drinkers! The Philippines will soon be at the point where, no matter where you are, you can find a good beer!
Thanks for reading these reviews of Nipa Brew beers. If you have any thoughts, leave a comment in the comment section below. Thanks!
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