Mindanao’s master brewer offers alternative beer products

October 23, 2015 5:54 am 

DAVAO CITY, Oct. 21 — The only brewer in Mindanao has started expanding the production and distribution of its all-natural beer to different key cities in the country.

What started as a passion, master brewer Paul Stuart del Rosario said his beer brewing developed and he now has at least 30 variants of beer products. His beer passed through a series of testing, served during special occasions and shared with friends during weekends.

Del Rosario's beer which he named as Fat Pauly has developed a following in their locality in Iligan City.

He started with five gallons per day in 2010. In 2013, the production rose to 20 and continues to increase.

"The product is doing good and is being sold in Iloilo, Iligan, Cagayan de Oro, Bukidnon, Davao, Manila and even in Boracay," he said. The volume is not yet that big but orders come regularly, he added.

Del Rosario said his Fat Pauly also earned the interest of foreigners here like Americans, Germans, Italians and other Asian nationals.

He found a partner who handles the marketing and distribution of his products in Davao City. US national Thomas Cirineo from Seattle traveled to Iligan City a year ago to personally see the production process. He happened to find the product online.

Cirineo, who believes in the product, regularly supplies selected restaurants in Davao City and even expanded the distribution to other neighboring cities.

Del Rosario said that what is special about the product is that it has natural ingredients. The yeast, which is a basic ingredient, is sourced abroad.

"I buy a particular yeast brand in Belgium and Germany," Del Rosario said. Other than yeast, the natural ingredients are supplied by farmers in the locality.

Cirineo said their brewing carries an advocacy of supporting small farmers.

The alternative beer is infused with local flavors like wild pukyutan or honey, mangrove barks, wild tuba yeast strain, biasong or Philippine limje, kulikot chillies, strawberries from Bukidnon and also the Malagos chocolate from Davao.

Del Rosario disclosed that in the next five years, they aim to produce about 500 gallons.

Incidentally, Del Rosario also belongs to the family that popularized the sukang "Pinakurat."

Like the beer, which uses yeast strain from tuba (taken from coconut), the Pinakurat uses tuba vinegar.

Del Rosario, who is the executive vice president for marketing of the family corporation, said there are about a hundred tuba gatherers that supply them local vinegar regularly.

This is our way of helping the "manangiti" or tuba gatherer and also the coconut farmers, he said.

The making of Pinakurat vinegar also infuses several spices that are supplied by farmers in the area.

He admitted that it was not easy for their vinegar product to enter the market but they had it promoted by joining exhibits and fairs organized by government and private sector. The break came when the product formed part of a Christmas basket giveaways. It was then that orders by volume followed.

It was in 2004 when the family, with their little money of P20,000 ventured on the seasoned vinegar that his father concocted, Del Rosario shared.

Pinakurat vinegar could now be found everywhere and became a known brand even as Del Rosario said "I think the product hit the Filipino palate that is why it became popular."

He said the product has already penetrated international markets through consolidators like the US, Europe, Canada, Australia, Africa, and other Asian countries. (PNA)

LAP/PGL/LCM/DIGNA D. BANZON/LDP

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