Pinoy lawyers return from US to start own brewery


Posted at Oct 07 2016 08:32 AM

MANILA -- Boondocks Brewing Company, a local craft brewery, is launching its first beer on Friday at Fred’s Revolucion in Cubao Expo.

Called Beer No. 1, it’s a traditional Belgian-style wheat beer with a crisp and clean citrusy finish due to the humble but vibrant flavors of dalandan.

Derived from the Filipino word “bundok,” American soldiers during the Philippine-American war of independence borrowed the word “bundok” to refer to any place away from the city.

The founders of Boondocks Brewing likewise came from the Philippines, spent time away, and have come full circle and returned home.

Fred Calope and Oliver Ong, both lawyers, left global law firms in the US to establish their own brewing business in the Philippines.

“We want to brew beer that makes you feel like you’re back home. We want to brew beer that makes you think about your roots,” Calope said.

The two started brewing beer from homebrew kits in small five-gallon batches using a giant pot in Calope’s kitchen. From the stove it went to fermenting the beer in plastic buckets. Later, Calope spent time in a microbrewery in the US learning commercial scale brewing.

Together they spent a lot of time sampling and creating different beers, bringing brews back to Manila, and having friends go on beer odysseys with them in order to understand what Filipinos wanted in a great beer. They wanted not only to brew world-class beer but to make it accessible to the public.

“We want to produce beers that make you want to kick back, relax and enjoy life,” Calope said.

According to the two, all beers brewed at Boondocks Brewing are meticulously monitored throughout the brewing, fermentation, and aging processes.

This attention to detail becomes evident in Beer No. 1. From the golden haze, to the first graze of spices, citrus, and wheat that hits the nose when the glass is tipped, followed by the grace of deeply satisfying and creamy full bodied taste, and ending with the pierce and tang that sets apart the great witbiers from the rest.

“This is a beer to drink when you want to celebrate life, or the reliable bright shine of a good buddy,” Calope said.

Boondocks Brewing will be providing samples of Beer No. 1 to guests at Fred’s Revolucion -- just bring your own beer stein. Drinkers who come with their own beer stein get to have their fill of this beer all night long as long as supplies last.