Mitchell’s Backyard Brewery have struck gold again, this time in the first Craft Beer Association of the Philippines (CBAP) Beer Competition.
The Quezon City (Metro Manila) based brewery took home top honours in the competition to find the country’s best American India Pale Ale (IPA).
With Manila being under strict lockdown restrictions at the time the awards were announced at an online presentation on Saturday 10th April.
The winning entry, Talusian Daydream IPA, is a West Coast style IPA brewed using the new Talus hop, one of the criteria for the competition.
Commenting on their win, founder and head brewer James Mitchell said “I was thrilled that we won the first ever Philippines-based competition, as it demonstrated to our team that we continue to be on the right track forward as we seek to make better and better beers.”
Mitchell’s Backyard Brewery was also the first craft brewer from the Philippines to collect a Gold Medal at the annual Asia Beer Championship when they won the Stout Category in 2020 with their Mocha Stout.
The beer competition was run for the Philippine craft brewing community by CBAP with help from competition partner ingredients distributors MGM Food & Commodities Corp. (MGM Food) and Maharlaka Malts.
In order to keep things simple for their first competition CBAP set brewers a basic brief; brew your best American IPA. The only criteria being they were to include in their recipe Talus Hops, one of US-05, S-04 or K-97 yeast strains from Fermentis and a base malt from New Zealand’s Gladfield Malts.
The judging of the competition was delayed due to the latest round of lockdown measures enacted by the Metro Manila government just before the competition was due to be judged. This meant that the assessment of the beers had to be performed virtually with samples being sent to the judges homes.
Talking with the Asia Brewers Network Samuel Salcedo, of MGM Food, told how “the lockdown stopped us from organizing an in-person judging as we had to prioritize safety. We were able to do judging remotely via online video calls [and] awarding was done via an online video conference”
Beers were assessed along Beer Judge Certification (BJCP) guidelines once brewers had declared the specific style they had brewed.
Taking a very credible Silver Medal was Madbul Cerveza Artesana, out of Bulacan, and in Bronze place was Baliuag’s 3006 Craft Brewery.
Mitchell, who has won several awards since launching Mitchell’s Backyard Brewery in 2015, was keen to stress the importance he places in the role competitions have to play in helping the craft beer industry develop.
“I like to joke” he says “that if you ask your friends what your beer tastes like, most of them will reply “it tastes like beer!” This is well-meaning, but unhelpful on how to improve your next batch.”
He continues “Competitions are invaluable as a tool to receive unbiased feedback on how to improve either the next batch or your brewing practices in general. Based on the judges’ feedback for this last competition, I’m already exploring how to make the next Talusian Daydream IPA better than the winning batch.”
The competition was split into two categories, Professional Brewers and Home Brewers.
Elaborating on the move to include homebrewers, Salcedo explained how the lockdowns over the past year had lead to an increase in home brewing in the Philippines, and with it a new generation of brewers looking for more knowledge and feedback on their brews.
“That’s why we decided on holding a brewing competition” he says “so that we could stir the competitive spirit within those people, and provide them with valuable feed back so they can use this to improve.”
Following the success of their first competition CBAP plan to second edition later this year.