The Beers We’re Looking Forward to Tasting at MNL Craft Beer Festival

Manila’s biggest craft beer festival is happening this weekend. Here are the brews we’re most intrigued about.

by Philbert Dy

This weekend, the MNL Craft Beer Festival is going to be bringing forty brewers together at the Greenfield District’s Mayflower parking. It is the largest gathering of brewers the country has ever seen, and it’s going to be a great place to try a lot of what this growing industry has to offer. We’ve scoured the Internet to find out what the brewers are going to be bringing, and we’ve put together a small list of the stuff that’s really piqued our interest.

Turning Wheels Oatmeal Coffee Stout

Every beer Turning Wheels turns out is going to be worth trying. This oatmeal stout, which clocks in at a healthy 5.8% ABV, is a collaboration with Cebu’s Linear Coffee Roasters, so expect some big, lovely coffee flavors. We’ve yet to taste a Turning Wheels beer that even comes close to tarnishing their reputation as one of the country’s top breweries. We don’t expect this one to disappoint, either.

Bacuit Bay Brewhouse Montezuma’s Maze Mexican Lager

This El Nido-based brewery has been up to some really interesting things. It’s interesting enough that they’re making a lager, which is a style that a lot of craft brewers will just straight up ignore. According to Bacuit Bay, they’ve added just a touch of local corn in their brew, and we just have no idea what that would do to a beer. It’s a 4.5% beer, so it should be a nice, steady drink to have during the outdoor festival.

63 North Pinyeta Pineapple Sour Ale

63 North is one of the smaller brewers operating out of Metro Manila, their beers just showing up in a handful of locations and at the occasional festival. Years ago, they did a green mango gose that was a bit of a revelation. It was the kind of sour beer that served as a great introduction to the style: boldly fresh and tart, with just a hint of salt to balance things out. A new sour ale from these guys should be pretty good.

Munting Ilog Berliner Weisse Sour Ale


We’ve sung the praises of Munting Ilog before. The Cavite-based brewery is a pretty solid bet, having already churned out a pretty great variety of beers in the year or so that they’ve been in serious operation. To our knowledge, this is their first stab at a sour beer, and as these guys tend to really lean into the strengths of each style, this Berliner Weisse should be a good time. If nothing else, it’s probably going to be solid choice for a humid Manila day.

Calle Brewery Kabayo ni Gabriela Sweet Stout

We don’t know much about Vigan’s Calle Brewery. Their taproom opened just a couple of months ago up in Ilocos, and while their beers have made it down here to Metro Manila before, this festival is going to be our first opportunity to really go through their beer lineup. We’re most intrigued by their stout, which they describe as a sweet stout, while touting its 70 IBUs. This sounds like the kind of paradox that will make for a unique taste sensation.

Nipa x Katipunan Black Sickle Saison

We don’t actually know for sure if this beer is going to be available for the festival, since they’re advertising it for a special SEABrew-related event in the Nipa Brew tap room in Makati. But we’re hoping anyway. This brews sounds really wild: a saison, which is a pretty funky style on its own, with black rice and rye added. Nothing about that sounds familiar, which makes it one of our top priorities for this festival.

Other beers we’re hoping to try: Elias Wicked Ales’ Double IPA, which has been on tap at their home turf at 13 Ubay, is supposed to be really good. We’re hoping they’re bringing that along. Side note: their Far Far Away Galaxy New England IPA is delicious, and if that’s on tap you should definitely get it. Another regional brewer making the trip is Boracay’s Amigos de la Playa. We have no idea what their beers are like. We imagine they’re going to be, for lack of a better word, “beachy.” Bacolod’s Illusion Brewery has a pretty good set of beers, but we’ve only ever been able to try their stuff in bottles. This might be a chance to try their stuff on tap. We’re always up for whatever experiment The Professor’s Brew is cooking up. And there’s probably going to be a table of homebrewers at the event, too, and that’s just an opportunity to try out some wild beers.

The MNL Craft Beer Festival is taking place on June 23 and 24, at the Mayflower Parking at the Greenfield District. Gates open at 4PM. Admission is free. For more information, visit their Facebook page.