Sweet Bacolod: Sampling Bogs Brew and Primo AlesJanuary 17, 2019
- Nico GocoWords
I slept through a lot of my Philippine History and Geography classes in high school (I blame the school for scheduling the class after lunch), which explains why I’m a bit hazy on the subject. Still, on the rare occasions that I was awake, I did pay attention. One thing that always stuck in my mind was the lesson about Negros, and how it was the sugar capital of the Philippines. Undoubtedly, this is where Bogs Brew, a small brewery in Bacolod, takes its cue.
Bogs Brew prides itself in making beer that reflects the spirit of Negros, an island where sugar flows in the veins of its people and in the Basi that they drink. Currently, the brewery has two products, the eponymous Bogs Brew and the Primo. Both ales make use of the NegrosIsland sugar.
While the beers they make have been pretty popular in Bacolod for a while, the past couple of years have seen them make the rounds in Manila as well. Today, we get to sample just what the flavors of Negros have to offer in these two brews.
The beer comes in a 350 mL bottle. Poured into a glass, you’re greeted with a nice amber color. Plenty of leftover residue can be seen in the beer and there was also so much bubbling going on that I got caught up just watching the bubbles push the residue up and down for several minutes.
On your first drink, right off the bat, the beer hits you with a strong hoppy flavor. The bitterness doesn’t stay too long, though, and you then get to taste the sweet notes come through. It’s almost like having a bit of toffee dissolved in your beer. My main gripes would have to be the excessive carbonation and a lack of body. Both factors make the hops overpower the flavor.
Still, it’s a decent drink, and fares better than a lot of major commercial beer brands. The addition of the molasses-like flavor also adds an interesting dimension.
Primo is labeled as an “all-grain” beer, presumably since it doesn’t use any malt extracts. The mix of grains used consists of barley, organic rice, and corn. It feels good to know that even local beer is trying to go organic, too.
This beer comes in the same bottle as Bogs Brew, but it’s a warm golden color when poured into a glass. There was still a lot of bubbling going on, but it wasn’t as overly carbonated as its brother. There was also virtually zero residue.
An interesting note on the aroma of this brew is that it reminded me of overripe or caramelized pineapples. The same note could also be found in the aftertaste of the drink, like a hint of sweet pineapple jam. I’m guessing the wild bee honey and the muscovado sugar helped bring a unique sweetness and tang to this drink.
Personally, I liked the Primo better than the Bogs Brew. It’s a lot more balanced, and the slight hoppiness helps the other flavors come through.
Overall, both beers are decent drinks, and come at a good price of around PHP 70 per bottle. Drinking the brew also made me more curious as to how well it would fare when enjoyed with the native cuisine of Negros (which is already famous in its own right).
Bogs brew has done an excellent job of representing the heritage of Negros, and makes a great addition to the other craft brews we have going around. As they declare on their bottles, the drink is one of friendship, fun, and flavor. I couldn’t agree more.
Have you tried Bogs Brew? Know of any other local craft beers that we need to try? Let us know in the comments!
Bogs Brew and Primo
Brewed in Bob’s Farm,
Bacolod, Negros Occidental
Comes in 350 mL Bottles (approximately 5% alcohol)
Available in Bacolod,
at Cab Café in Kapitolyo, Pasig,
and Global Beer Exchange, Paseo de Magallanes (when available)