Casa Marcos brings Baguio craft beers to Manila for first time

Angelo G. Garcia

Posted at Oct 09 2017 12:28 PM | Updated as of Oct 09 2017 12:50 PM

Baguio Craft Brewery, one of the pioneer craft breweries in the country, has finally landed in Manila. The popular brewery and restobar in the City of Pines has been tapped by heritage restaurant Casa Marcos to bring in its best brews to town.

“Whenever I would go to Baguio, I make it a point to visit Baguio Craft Brewery because I truly enjoy their craft beer,” said Casa Marcos partner Kevin Khoe. “Chris Ordas once had dinner here and he can't stop raving about our callos. I love his beer and he loves my food so it's a perfect marriage.”

Ordas, the owner and brewer of Baguio Craft Brewery, started brewing beers in his garage in Canada 10 years ago. But it was in 2014 that he and some partners decided to open a brewery in Baguio City. It has been successful, to say the least, and their shop in the city has become a destination for locals and tourists alike.

“We're actually one of the first brewers here in the country, along with the brewers at Katipunan. But it is our first time in Manila and we're very excited,” Ordas said.

Ordas said that their brewery now has 67 types of craft beers but he is only bringing in 10 beers that are now available at Casa Marcos located at Il Terrazo commercial complex in Timog, Quezon City. He confessed these 10 are his favorites.

Baguio Craft's Kraken. Photo by author

In a recent launch, Casa Marcos introduced Baguio Craft Brewery with a special pairing menu. The heritage restaurant, which first opened in 1945, serves classic Spanish dishes and heirloom recipes. It ran for 55 years until it closed down in 2000. It reopened in 2011 and has since been reinventing itself. Its lone restaurant in Quezon City is very modern and now has local craft beers on the menu.

“Casa Marcos is actually a legacy brand but we want to reinvent it. There's no cerveceria here so I'm so happy he [Chris] agreed to partner with Casa Marcos,” Khoe said.

According to Ordas, craft beer is “the new wine” when it comes to food pairing. Beer in general is a good pair with any food but different craft beers have different tastes and characteristics. They paired the food based on contrasting or complementing flavors.

“There's basically two beers, ale and lager. The difference between them is the yeast that you use. Most lagers are popular in hotter climates because it's more refreshing and lighter. The ale is more bolder, in terms of taste. If you would compare it with wine, lager would be the white and ale would be the red,” he explained.

For example, gambas, a classic Spanish shrimp dish, is very simple yet bold in flavors because of the garlic and chili. They paired it with Kabunyan, a wheat brew that is bready and has high carbonation making it light and refreshing.

Two types of gambas paired with Kabunyan beer. Photo by author

Another garlicky dish, the almejas, is baked clams with cheese and lots of crispy garlic, is paired with Hop Attack, a brew with intense hop aroma and with hints of malty sweetness. The intense flavors of the dish and the beer complements each other.

On the other hand, Baguio Craft's popular beer, the Englishman in New York is an American pale ale that has a mild hop aroma with hints of malt and caramel. The refreshing beer is paired with the very rich and hearty dish that is callos.

Other food and beer pairing are available on the restaurant menu. Ordas said, however, that these pairings are only suggestions because the diners can pair the food with the beer they like. It still comes down with the matter of taste.

“Casa Marcos' food is heritage and very classic so you can't go wrong. Beer can be easily paired with these dishes. Taste is very subjective so the customers can still opt to pair it with what they like that's why we offer a taste of the beers first before they can choose,” he said.

Chorizo cheese platter paired with Philandering Pauper. Photo by author