Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Brewery at the Palace: Good Times, Great Food, and Fresh Brews on Tap

There's no better place to enjoy a classic fresh brew than in a place that brews its own beer, and fresh is always best... 

With the largest microbrewery of its kind in the metro, The Brewery at the Palace is now ready to serve its own selection of specialty beers fresh from the tap, along with its own "freestyle" pub cuisine and a stage for live bands, all in one place. The impressive microbrewery is prominently featured behind the bar in the spacious two-storey structure, as stainless steel pipes lead up to rows of stainless steel tanks above. And it's quite a sight...

Fresh beer on tap, brewed on-site at The Brewery. "We wanted to showcase the artistry of the beer brewing process and be a major force in changing the local dining landscape by providing fresh beers on tap paired with a delectable menu and some of the most popular bands in the country today," shared Raj Sadhwani, The Brewery's CEO.  

At the second floor, the day's freshest brews are stored in stainless steel tanks (L), ready for serving. The entire brewing process is done at The Brewery. At left, The Brewery's partners share a toast during the media preview with (L-R) Mikhal Perner, Raj Sadhwani, Mitch Malli, Chef Carlo Miguel, and Rico Blanco leading the toast. 

Using the very best best premium and imported hops and grains, Czech Master Brewer Mikhal Perner showcases The Brewery's signature beers, with his Pilsner, IPA, Wheat, and Stout, with even more beer flavors scheduled in the pipeline, infused with local flavors. Things are definitely brewin' at The Brewery... 

And it all begins with the finest hops and grains (L). Throughout the brewing process, the product is kept in airtight containers with absolutely no contact with both the air or light to contaminate the product. After the brewing process, the spent grains are used for various baked items (R), including bread and pizza crusts.  

The elegant and wide glass arched windows, the wooden tables, and bare concrete walls rendered with illustrations of brewing equipment exude a comforting and homey warmth, with the glistening stainless steel and golden copper tones of the microbrewery completing the look. It is, after all, a brewery, and there's no better place to have a fresh brew. A Sampling Flight of The Brewery's signature beers is the best way to go and discover and experience the different brews, each with their own distinct, subtle notes and flavor profiles.

The Brewery's four artisanal beers include (L-R) the robust and full-bodied Stout with its hint of coffee flavor and just the right kick with 4.7% alcohol content, the Wheat Beer with its fresh and fruity notes packing a 4.5% alcohol content punch, the IPA, or India Pale Ale, with a more pronounced malty and bitter notes with more hops and 5% alcohol content, and the Pilsner, a Czech style light lager with a refreshingly smooth finish and clear golden hue, and 4.3% alcohol content. To best enjoy your craft beer experience, start with the Pislner, followed by the IPA and the Wheat Beer, with the Stout capping your beer flight. The subtle nuances and flavor profiles become more apparent, allowing you to fully enjoy each artisan beer.

After your beer flight, go for a full serving of your favorite brews. In my case, I start with the Pilsner (P 180-330 ml/P 250-500ml), the IPA (P 220-330ml/P 310ml), the Wheat Beer (P 200-330ml/P 280-500ml) and the Stout (P 210-330ml/P 290-500ml). Think of it as my own version of the sampler flight, with larger glasses. The Brewery also serves premium wine and spirits, and some cool Beer Cocktails like the Summer Hoedown, Coupe de Ville, and Micro Mojito, infused with a refreshing Pilsner.

And along with great beer, The Brewery at the Palace also offers some great food with Chef Carlo Miguel's "freestyle" pub cuisine...

We start with The Brewery's Truffled Mushroom Grilled Cheese Sandwich (P 420), a toasted ciabbata bun with mushroom ragout, truffle paste, Gruyere, and mozzarella, served with a side of steak cut fries and cheddar ale aioli. The soft and tender mushrooms and the creamy Gruyere and mozzarella combine for rich flavors, just perfect for a light snack and a cold glass of freshly brewed beer.

The G.O.A.T Burger (P 540), which stands for the "greatest of all time," with 100% Wagyu ground beef patty, Gruyere, double smoked bacon, caramelized onions, foie gras, and balsamic Stout gastrique. Wagyu, foie gras, and double smoked bacon...just can't get better than that. Seriously.

The Banh Mi (P 330), a Vietnamese style bbq pork belly, house-pickled vegetable relish, and fresh coriander on a crispy baguette, represents the diversity of flavors offered at The Brewery. The richness of the tender pork belly with its sweet bbq glaze is tempered by the subtle yet sharp lemony and citrus notes of the fresh coriander for balanced flavors.

The Brewery's Sausage Platter (P 580), a meaty selection of grilled Hungarian, Bratwurst, Wienerli, and Cheese Hungarian Sausages served with warm potato salad and sauerkraut. Beer and sausages, always a winning combo.

But Chef Carlo Miguel had more dishes lined up for the media preview, starting with the Stout and Onion Soup (P 220), a comforting bowl with caramelized onions in a hearty beef stock, Gruyere and baguette, finished with The Brewery's very own Stout beer. The infusion of Stout beer adds an additional layer of richness unlike the usual onion soup, giving it The Brewery's special touch.

The Brewery's Fisherman's Basket (P 690), a flavorful medley of wheat beer battered sole fillet and soft-shell crab, lightly breaded New Zealand mussels, calamari, white shrimps, and steak cut fries, served with tomato salsa, caper aioli, and sweet chili sauce. Anything fried just pairs so well with a cold beer, and The Brewery's Fisherman's Basket does the job. The delicate flavors of the sole fillet, the mildly sweet and briny notes of the soft-shell crab, and the richness of the plump mussels still come through with every bite, with the crisp breading and beer batter adding contrasting textures.

Pulled Chicken Steak Frites (P 385), steak cut fries smothered with tender, spiced pulled chicken, jalapeno peppers, beer cheese sauce made with The Brewery's own beer, 12-month aged Parmesan and chipotle aioli. Unlike the heavier flavors of a similar dish, like poutine, The Brewery's Pulled Chicken Steak Frites is lighter in flavor, with the beer cheese sauce, jalapenos, and spices bringing out the flavors.

Chef Carlo Miguel shared his own take on the traditional Kilawin, with his Modern Kilawin (P 380), a refreshing dish with fresh tanigue fillets in pinakurat and coconut cream, onions, ginger, chili, bell peppers, and topped with chicharon and lemon foam. The lemon foam not only adds to the presentation of the dish, but flavor as well. The fresh and clean notes of the fish are enhanced by the sharpness of the local pinakurat vinegar, onions, ginger and chili, balanced by the coconut cream. The chicharon and lemon foam rounds out the flavors and textures of the dish for a refreshing new spin on a traditional classic.A light and smooth Pilsner would pair well with this dish.

A pizza and a beer. Another of those classic and comforting pairings. The Microbrewery Beer Cheese Pizza (P 520), a crisp and rustic crust made from spent grains topped with homemade beer cheese sauce, mozzarella, Parmesan, Gruyere, and caramelized onions is great with either the IPA or the Wheat Beer. Other pizza selections at The Brewery include Chicken Chipotle Pizza, Sisig Pizza, Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza, Vegetarian Pizza, All Meat Pizza, Classic Pepperoni, Roast Tomato Margerita, and Ham, Spinach and Mushroom Pizza.

Every time I have sisig and a beer, there's this little voice inside my head whispering for garlic rice. Chef Carlo Miguel addresses that perfectly with his Modern Sisilog (P 380) homemade pork sisig topped with 62 degree egg and calamansi foam on garlic fried rice. Chef Carlo Miguel doesn't pre-boil his sisig the way the traditional dish is made, instead he uses another proprietary method to retain the rich flavors. And that's what you get in this dish, full flavors. And the 62 degree egg and calamansi foam just caps this dish perfectly.

The usual mac and cheese gets another spin with Chef Carlo Miguel's Crab Mac and Cheese (P 420), a comforting pasta dish with blue swimmer crabs, beer cheese sauce, Parmesan, and mozzarella. The crabs add a delicate lightness to the dish, finished by the medley of cheeses. Different yet comfortingly familiar, just in time for another round of Pilsners.

And it gets better. Chef Carlo Miguel's US Angus Tomahawk (P 300 per 100g), finished with cafe de paris butter, with a side of fresh greens, peppercorn sauce, and creamy mashed potatoes. Any way you look at it, it's an impressive dish...time for fresh round of brown ale Stout.

Perfectly seasoned with just salt and pepper, with the complex compound butter providing all the flavor, it's great as is without the sauce. Grilled to medium rare with a juicy pink center, it's the way I prefer my steaks. Another slice of Angus beef, and another round of Stout...could there be anything better?

For dessert, Chef Carlo Miguel served his Brewer's Cheesecake (P 350), a rich and indulgent cheesecake infused with Stout on a spent grain crust...

...and the Skillet Cookie (P 280), freshly baked spent grain chocolate chip cookie with beer caramel and homemade vanilla ice cream served on a skillet. From starters to mains and desserts, Chef Carlo Miguel has everything covered at The Brewery.

After a few rounds of beer, Nicole Asensio and her band took over the stage for a few sets. Rico Blanco, one of the partners behind The Brewery, makes sure the live entertainment at The Brewery always hits the spot. And you can expect live performances every Wednesdays or Thursdays at The Brewery.

We then sampled some of The Brewery's new beer flavors infused with local ingredients, like the comforting Honey Beer (L) and the refreshing Ginger Beer (R).  And this is just the start, as Mikhal Perner continues to work on even more beer flavors and varieties. "The Brewery is far from your ordinary pub in that we've put together the top three things customers look for when they want to have a good time - great food, great live entertainment, and of course, excellent beers to round out the whole experience. No need to hop from one place to another because you can have all these here at The Brewery," shared Raj Sadhwani.

See you at The Brewery...

The Brewery at the Palace is located at The Palace, 10th Avenue corner 38th Street in Uptown Fort, Bonifacio Global City and is open Mondays to Sundays, 11am until 2am for dine-in, take-out and events reservations. Contact their reservations hotline at 0917-813-9429 and Events hotline at 0917-638-3339 for more information. 

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