I stumbled across the Nipa Brew Taproom & Brewhouse by chance as I had a meeting in the area at 7 in the evening and didn’t want to sit in traffic for ages. A quick Google search and look on their website, it seemed an obvious choice to have a couple of beers before my dinner meeting.
My waitress, Shane, was very helpful and let me sample a few beers before choosing an excellent India Pale Ale or IPA. I explained to her that I write restaurant/bar reviews for expat.com.ph. She took my card and said Carissa, would be in touch (which she did) and we hatched a plan to arrange a select tasting and brewery tour for a few friends. The bar is simply decorated but has a great ambiance with both low and high seating. My personal preference is to sit on a stool when drinking beer.
Nipa Brew Taproom & Brewhouse was founded in 2014 by two childhood friends, Carissa Lim as the COO, and Stephen Michael Co as the CEO. Stephen found his love of craft ales from taking his Master’s degree in the UK. The journey started by brewing at home and experimenting with various flavors. In September, the construction of the microbrewery begun, then the story moves onto January 2015 when the first beer was brewed, using their brewhouse system. The beer was called Tropic Haze which I have tasted it and its marvelous, as to be fair so do all their beers, they also have a non-alcoholic beer which is really good.
After several email exchanges and a meeting, with the young, articulate and entrepreneurial team at Nipa Brew Taproom & Brewhouse, we finalized the date to meet with few friends on the 28th February. We met in the Taproom, which is located beside the brewery, with seating for around 40 and you can hire the room exclusively for events, something I will take advantage of. The evening started with a superb Juicy IPA, which is a dark full-bodied beer. We were given then an excellent presentation by Con Paminiano, their Sales and Marketing Manager about their brewing process that could make a month’s worth of craft beer. The brewing process taking 2-4 weeks.
Following the insightful presentation and understanding the key differences between commercially brewed beer and craft beer, we were invited to visit the brewery next door to the taproom, with beer in hand! The brewery is spotlessly clean and has several 250 liter tanks, we were treated a sample from a tank that had been fermenting for a day, the smell and taste were surprisingly like tea. For those who like to brew their own beer, they hold homebrew classes. You may get in touch with them directly and get yourself down there.
Following the tour, we adjourned back to the Taproom and had an informal discussion with Stephen, Carissa, and Con. The knowledge, enthusiasm, and passion these guys have for beer is phenomenal as the group happily engaged with the team for the best part of 2 hours. Amongst the many topics of conversation were beer and food pairings, the group learned that sour beers are best with soft cheeses, light to brown beers with hard cheeses, and dark beers pair well with smoked cheeses.
Nipa Brew Taproom & Brewhouse supplies many bars and restaurants in the Philippines: those of us that live in Makati will be familiar with Alchemy Bistro Bar, Smokey Bastard at the Hole in the Wall, Century Mall, and the Bottle Shop, to name, but a few. Those in the Fort BGC will no doubt be familiar with The Bottle Shop, Big bad Wolf, and Craft Pub & Grill. Please check out their website for a full list of outlets they supply and check out the customization available for weddings, birthdays, corporate events or any special events. Please note they have their own sodas and service coffee’s which are delicious and wine for a very reasonable P150 a glass.
A very good time was had by all and the overwhelming memory, of course, was the great beer, without the chemical infusions we are used to drinking. However, the greatest memory was meeting young Filipino’s who are intelligent, articulate and entrepreneurial, a great credit to their country.
In the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger “I/we will be back”!
Address: 9639 Kamagong Street San Antonio Village Makati 1203
Contact number: +63 917 893 0486