Food & Drink
Beer Adventures: 5 Kinds You Must Try on Your Next Night Out
A guide to the once boorish beverage’s more refined varieties.
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In the past, few beverages had a reputation as boorish as beer. Those days are long gone. The humble brew has developed a tasting culture similar to that of wine, thanks to myriad styles being developed and perfected in thousands of breweries around the world. For the budding connoisseur, here are five of the most popular varieties—and our recommendations for each:


Quadrupel




Also known as Grand Cru in a number of Belgian breweries, quadrupels are sweet, bold, and intense, with low bitterness and an average alcohol by volume of about 10 percent. Quads usually exhibit fruity and/or bready notes with a heady aroma.

Some of the best quadrupels are brewed in Belgian Trappist monasteries, including the holy grail for beer hunters, the limited-supply Westvleteren XII. Given the relative scarcity of the product, however, you may want to set your sights on Pannepot, which is brewed in the same region of Westvleteren, using the same water. For something more easily available in the local market, Rochefort 10 is a good choice.

Stout




Stouts are known for their characteristic almost pitch-black darkness, which comes from heavily roasted barley and malt. The roasting results in a deep sweetness, with hints of chocolate and burnt sugar. The carbonation, on the other hand, lends a creamy quality to the beer’s flavor profile.

Guinness and Murphy’s are the go-to names for stouts, and are readily available in many local stores. For something a little different, try Japan’s Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout, which offers strong notes of both chocolate and coffee, but with a light finish, making it a perfect dessert beer. Katipunan Craft Ales’ Signal No. 1 Stout is also a great option for those wanting to support local breweries.

Saison




Saisons, or farmhouse ales, used to be overlooked by most beer drinkers. The massively underrated style, however, is seeing a revival among connoisseurs, due to its complex profile, featuring fruity, earthy, and sour tones, along with hints of brown sugar.

The U.S., in particular, has been a large proponent of bringing saisons back in vogue, with the Boulevard Brewing Co.’s Saison-Brett being an exemplar of the style. Belgium’s Saison Dupont is also a good choice.

The style has limited exposure in the local markets, though bottles of the serviceable Saison de Silly have been spotted on store shelves, and work well as an introduction to saisons.

Indian Pale Ale

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Indian Pale Ale (IPA) is a popular variety in North America, though it can be rather polarizing. Characterized by heavy doses of hops, IPAs are more crisp and more bitter than other styles, resulting in a robust scent profile and invigorating mouthfeel.

For IPAs, you can’t go wrong with the Russian River Brewing Company’s Pliny the Elder, or with Dogfish Head’s 90 Minute IPA. If you want something with the same bite, but with a local flavor, head on up to Baguio and get a pint of Message in a Bottle Black IPA at Baguio Craft Brewery.

Lambic




Lambics are often recommended for people who “don’t like beer,” and for good reason: these spontaneously fermented beers are light-bodied and crisp, giving them a soda- or cider-like mouthfeel. Many lambics are brewed with fruit flavors, making them a refreshing choice for people who want the buzz of beer without the bite.

Belgium’s Cantillon Lambic is one of the best examples of an unblended lambic—the beer, with its tartness and woodiness, speaks for itself. Flavored lambics, on the other hand, are largely dependent on the drinker’s fruit preferences; Lindemans and Floris are both excellent beers, and have several flavors available in the local market.

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Marco Sumayao
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