My love affair with beer started a year ago when I had the chance to be part of the media tour around the Philippines’ Summer Capital, Baguio City, where we visited the Baguio Craft Brewery. Before that, all glasses of beer were just glasses of beer until I had the chance to taste one of the best beer I had ever drunk in my whole life – the Eye of Medusa.
In the past, I was never fond of beer but I do drink a glass or two during night out with friends. Whenever I buy myself a drink, it would either be a cocktail drink or wine, but it was never beer. I don’t drink often and so whenever I drink I make sure I get the best drink even when it meant having to spend money. But as the case with friends wanting to hangout by the beach at night or some relaxing place, you take what is being offered to you and mostly, it’s a can of beer.
So why am I talking about beer? It’s because I just tasted Palau’s one and only locally brewed draft beer – the Red Rooster, last Saturday night. It just so happened that when I tasted the Red Rooster for the first time, I was having dinner with its former Head Brewer, Lucio Bandibas, at the Drop Off Bar and Grill in Malakal. Being a former lifestyle editor, I developed the natural tendency to make comments and observations in everything I tried for the first time be it a food, a drink, etc. so that means the Red Rooster was not an exception.
I first tried the Red Rooster Light. It was served to me on a big mug so there was no way to tell how much was its Alcohol by Volume (ABV) and International Bitterness Unit (IBU) but I was glad that Kuya Lucio was there to tell me that its alcohol content was 3%. It did not disappoint my taste buds. The beer was good in a way that its bitterness was not that strong. The taste was consistent even after its coolness had worn off. I had some beer before where I always made sure to finish off immediately before they got a little warmer as I don’t like that their bitterness intensified as their temperature got warmer. That one was different. I chugged it like it was juice.
On my second mug, I tried the Red Rooster Wheat which was just as good, not too sweet and not too bitter either but it had a stronger kick on it which was not a surprise since Kuya Lucio told me it had 5% alcohol content. I did not really mind that it has a subtle weird aroma in it, in fact, I like the smell but I’m not sure if it goes the same to all people. By this time, Kuya Lucio explained that Wheat Beer is actually a German Beer and that it has a little cloudy color in it because it was an unfiltered beer unlike the one that I first tried. I like that the Wheat beer left a foamy feeling on the tongue even after you swallowed it. It was pure, fresh beer that was a delight.
As we further went on with our beer talks, I realized that beer is not just beer. Doing it includes a complex process that involves some “Chemistry” concepts in it.
So I asked about something that has puzzled me since I developed interest about beer last year and that was, what is the difference between draft and craft beers? I learned after throwing a few questions and somehow doing a little research through Google that Draft beer is actually a beer that is “on tap”, meaning, it is fresher than bottled ones. Craft beer, on the other hand, is brewed by small breweries and they use some other ingredients that are locally available and they are much tastier (and also expensive compare to your regular beer). I’m not so satisfied about these definitions yet but I’m going to find out more about it soon.
Of course, as we are often reminded, too much of anything is bad. So always remember to drink moderately and do not drive when you had a drink to avoid unnecessary trouble. In my case, two glasses were enough and that was it.
So whenever you are in Palau, the Red Rooster is a must-try. Kampai! (Rhealyn C. Pojas/Reporter)