The Brewery: The Only Thing to Beer is Beer Itself

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Who would’ve thought that in the middle of the sexiest new hotspot for skanks and douchebags and humorless foreigners, there’s an actual place where someone could sit down and grab a real drink? The Brewery at The Palace is adjacent to both The Palace Pool Club and Valkyrie – the two trendiest clubs in the country (for the next 6 months). The Brewery, however, is focused on another trend that has piqued the interest of Filipinos – craft beer. While most establishments serve local craft beers from microbreweries around the country, The Brewery produces their own booze and brews them right on site. Being the first gastropub in the country to invest in their own brand and blend, The Brewery is banking on expertise and experience to produce the perfect brew for Filipino drinkers.

The Brewery – owned and operated by the veteran group that brought us Draft and Black Olive- is taking the crafting of their signature beer very seriously. So much so that they have secured the services of a brewmaster from the Czech Republic to oversee their beer-making operation. For the uninitiated, the Czech Republic is arguably home of the best beers in the world. It is where the “Pilsen” originates, named after the Czech town of Plzen. This country leads the world in beer consumption per capita. Hiring a brewmaster from here is akin to hiring Gregg Popovich to coach Ginebra.

Brewery4A craftsman, however, is nothing without his tools. The Brewery features in the confines of its own restaurant all the equipment one needs to make the perfect brew. The beer-making process begins in the boiler and filtration machine located at the heart of the bar. This is where the malt and hops are brewed for about 6-8 hours per batch of 500 liters. After adding yeast and cooling the brew, the beer is stored in large vats that extend until the second floor of the restaurant. The beer is fermented for 2-3 weeks before it is ready for serving. This entire setup looks like an episode of Breaking Bad in the middle of a noisy bar.

At present, The Brewery serves four different kinds of beer – Pilsner (P180), Wheat (P200), India Pale Ale (P220) and Brown Ale (P210) – with a fifth debuting very soon. The flavor of the beers range from light and refreshing (Pilsner and Wheat) to rich and complex (I P A and Brown Ale). According to the manager, their most popular brews are the Pilsner and Wheat blends, as these are the more refreshing and palatable ones. The I P A stands out because of the hints of citrus in its aroma and the layers of its flavor, which develop on the palate over several sips. The Brown Ale or Stout has notes of chocolate and coffee and is quite rich and heavy. The dark ale goes well with a lot of the hearty dishes on The Brewery’s menu.

Brewery2Since this is literally a brewery, there are lots of malt and hops abound and these aren’t left to go to waste. The Brewery uses the malts from brewing and incorporates them into their dishes. From their bread to even their ice cream, there is a touch of the beer-brewing process that is infused in their food. The Sliders – a trio of burgers with crab, salmon and beef patties – show off a nice range of flavors. The Pub-Style Nachos – which are seasoned more toward the British/Indian flavor profile than the American ballpark style – is a very generous serving good for big groups

The groups of people you see in here are quite diverse. There are those post-teen, pre-jaded-working-class folk in their pool party outfits having a nice dinner and loading up before going wild in the water. You will also see short-skirts and button-down shirts killing time and getting a buzz before heading to Valkyrie at 1am. There are also those who are just there for the beer – grown up men (and women) with rounded bellies and hearty laughs, enjoying the newest spot in town where they can just hang out and listen to Pearl Jam playing over the bar speakers.

Brewery3The Brewery is a mammoth two-story establishment reminiscent of places like Draft except with the Breaking Bad setup at the heart of the gastropub. With the evolving Filipino palate for craft beers – especially locally-made ones – this place is a haven for Pinoy drinkers. The beer is pricey – as most with most craft beers – so this isn’t a place where you go to drink your sorrows away with 3 buckets of Red Horse (they don’t serve other kinds of beer). It’s a place you go to taste, enjoy and understand what has always been at the heart of every Filipino inuman session – beer.

TL;DR

The Good – Craft beers made on site = Quality.
The Bad – At about P200 a beer, getting drunk is not cheap.
What P500 will get you – Two glasses of beer and payment for parking.

TAP’s recommendation for:

Javier Zobel – Offspring of a real estate magnate, appreciates the finer things in life, knows way too much about Rory McIlroy.

Jeffrey Marquez – Barangay Captain of a neighborhood in Paranaque, only dates models or pseudo-celebrities, attends social events in his polo barong so it appears he is actually doing some work during the day.

Manolo Cervantes (DLSZ ’13, DLSU ’16) – Looks like someone torn out from a Uniqlo catalog, arrived at The Palace early because traffic wasn’t bad on the Skyway, doesn’t even like beer but doesn’t want to party by the pool by himself.


THE BREWERY ON THE TAP MAP:

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