Asia Brewers Network

Philippine craft brewers object to new ‘Craft Beer Style’ release

3rd February 2023

Philippine craft brewers are objecting to a new beer range released by local industrial brewing conglomerate Asia Brewery that claims to be “Craft Beer Style”.

The beer in question, the ”Paraiso” brand, has been accused of being a poor imitation of authentic craft beers and of misleading consumers with its branding.

A number of prominent craft brewers signed a Press Release which has been posted and shared widely online calling out the industrial beverage conglomerate for the misleading marketing.

Do or Do Not, There is no “Style”

In the press release the head brewers of prominent craft breweries Engkanto Brewery, Boondocks Brewing Co., Papa Bolo and Elias Wicked Ales claim “This doesn’t sit well with us and our friends in the Craft Brewers of the Philippines” and go on to explain how the word ‘craft’ sets them apart from the major commercial brewery giants.

Read the full Press Release here:

A press release feom philippines craft brewers about the release of a craft style beer by a megabrewery

In the Philippines craft breweries have been gaining popularity in recent years with their growth driven by a growing demand for unique, high-quality beers, often with local provenance.

However, the release of Asia Brewery’s new ‘Craft Beer Style’ beer has raised concerns among these businesses. Critics argue that the beer, which is mass-produced by a large company, does not meet the standards of authentic craft beers.

One of the signatories to the press release, Boondocks Brewing’s founder and head brewer Frederick Calope told us “When we first got wind of this product being released to the market, the four of us brewers just thought it was a blatant appropriation of the term craft by an entity that has never produced anything that could be called craft or aspired to be craft.”

Reflecting on the feeling that the hard work of the craft industry to grow their market segment was in some way being hijacked by a non-craft entity he continued “we decided that we’d put out a joint statement taking umbrage to the fact that our craft is being cashed in upon by someone that obviously isn’t craft.”

Lacking the passion

In their press release the craft brewers infer that the new Asia Brewery brand is a cheap imitation of the real thing, using cheap ingredients and lacking the handcrafted passion that makes craft beers so popular.

The beers themselves are a 6.9% strong lager named “Lakas” (Strong) and a 5% fragrant lager named “Bighani” (Charm).

Paraiso beer from Asia Breweries

The Paraiso “craft beer style” brews have caused quite a stir in the Philippines craft beer community

The issue has sparked a debate among brewers, with many taking to social media to voice their opinions. “Just because it says “Craft” on the label doesn’t make it Craft Beer!” posted Coron Brewery.

Papa Bolo, one of the signees on the press release adds “It’s what on the inside that counts. That’s what we Craft. We’re all about what is great, what is true, and what a real craft beer experience is.”

The situation highlights the challenges faced by the young craft brewing industry in the Philippines, and serves as a reminder of the importance of protecting the integrity of this growing product segment.

It is clear that the issue will continue to be a source of discussion and debate in the months to come.

The brewers end their release with an invitation to consumers to visit their breweries and experience the passion and ingredients that goes into the production of their beers – and of course try some delicious brews while they are there.

Article by:

Charles Guerrier

Charles Guerrier

Charles founded SEA Brew in 2015 and is now responsible for the running of the Asia Brewers Network and associated activities. He travels extensively throughout the region putting his Beer Sommelier accreditation to good use.

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