Engkanto Brewery has entered the Philippine craft beer scene last Friday, April 7th 2017, in Manila House BGC. Since then, it has left a mystical aftertaste in everyone's mouths, merging Philippine folklore into the daily lives of the modern Filipino. Engkantos where believed to guard natural creations, beer being one of them.
The brewery is the brainchild of Ian Paradies, founder and president of Napa Gapa Beverages Corporation, alongside his partner, the brewmaster, Josh Karten. These men would become the fathers of Engkanto.
“Because I lived near Siquijor, I was fascinated by mysticism and folklore, hence the name Engkanto," Paradies commented. The etymology of this word may have rooted from a time near-forgotten, but they are marketing the beer not to those more familiar with the word, but the younger generation.
The craft beer market is more suited to younger generations, as they are more open to trying new things, the founders remarked. On the other hand, Karten decided to craft lagers as these are more familiar to the older generations.
"The craft beers scene is currently in its infancy stages in the Philippines, while it's been in the US for three decades.” Karten commented, "we want to see the transformation of what people think beer is to what people will think of beer in the future.”
Engkanto is merging the past and the future into satisfying, premium craft beverage flavors. But other than its appeal to varying generations, they also face another market hitch - satisfying the Filipino palate.
"The challenge is definitely suiting craft beers to the Filipino palate and trying to get people who don't like beer to like it,” Karten said. Their craft beer varies from lager, blonde ale, pale ale, to dalandan, Indian pale, and many more.
Paradies and Karten had opened a small brewery in Pasong Tamo, and are eyeing Poblacion for their next bar location. Rest assured, people will see more of Engkanto as they mystify and shake things up in the local brewery scene.