What exactly is it about beer that makes it a popular choice among Filipino drinkers? If you ask around, they would probably say it’s for economic reasons, since beer is relatively cheaper than other alcoholic drinks and is readily available in stores. Also, unlike wine (where your choice is affected by what you’re eating) or hard liquor (which has a much higher alcohol by volume, or ABV), beer has a “no fuss” nature that makes it the perfect go-to drink for any occasion.
And so when the two Viray brothers, Joe and Marco, set out to brew their own craft beer in 2013, they were already poised for success.
They first started brewing five years ago in their own home. Joe had learned how to brew beer in the U.S. and when he came home, Joe’s Brew was born. Then two years ago, they relocated to a different area in Poblacion and put up a brand new brewery and the tasting room.
“Poblacion became Poblacion because of the great bars that had opened up. The people behind it are all creative, they’re all good at it. And here there are no pretensions,” Marco says, noting how other hangout places in Metro Manila have an exclusive, VIP atmosphere. “We don’t have that here. We accept anyone, wherever you come from. That’s what’s great about Poblacion.”
Aside from serving their beers in the tasting room, they also supply the beer for most establishments around Poblacion. Some of their many notable clients are Tambai, Ebi 10, Alchemy Bistro Bar, Bucky’s, and The Smokeyard. When it comes to food, they have a partnership with Holy Smokes that serves food for both adjacent establishments.