Written By: Enrico Suarez
Photos by: Nikko Martinez
Festival fever is in full swing all over the Philippines. Last Saturday, another kind of fest was set up. This time around though, it wasn’t the music that was the main headliner. A first of its kind, Drink Up PH aimed and succeeded in holding a festival showcasing different local and imported craft beers, specialty cocktails and of course, really really good grub! The festival happened last May 26, 2014 at Federacion Dr. and 9th Avenue, Fort Bonifacio (beside The Forum)
Although not being the main highlight for the festival, some of the best bands and DJs in the local scene provided great beats throughout the day. All the musicians and performers made sure that everyone had a good time while enjoying their choice of beverage and grub. Drink Up PH band favorites were the giant sound of the south Urbandub who played for the crowd some of the most iconic OPM rock anthems (the audience screamed for an encore even!) and Pedicab who are composed of Diego Mapa, Raimund Marasigan, Mike Dizon, Jason Caballa (“J.Sonic”), and RA Rivera (“Just Toni”). No stranger to the music scene, the group of seasoned artists rocked our with their beers out with such hits as “Dito Tayo Sa Dilim”, and “Dizzy Boy”. Other bands who played that day were: Ely Buendia fronted band, The Oktaves, SXSW alumnus Taken By Cars, Flying Ipis, Turbo Goth, Paranoid City, Cheats, The Diegos, Autotelic, Ourselves The Elves, DJ Mark Agustin, Imelda, and The Brat Pack.
As the festival’s name suggests, there was not shortage of drinks. And with the variety of participants to choose from, it was kind of impossible not to get home drunk or for some pre-game before hitting the clubs in the area. Among the participants that day were top nightlife spots and bars such as Raintree group’s pride and joy Rocket Room, Spanish influenced resto and bar Las Flores, makati’s newest watering hole Speakeasy and everyone’s favorite and legendary dive El Chupacabra. Other participants worth mentioning were beer purveyers Draft, Exit, Rambla, The Distillery, Big Bad Wolf, Brotzeit, Perfect Pint, Moonshine Bar, Museum Café, Pivo Praha and G Point Bar who definitely kept booze free flowing and the good vibes alive.
What was a very pleasant surprise though was the number of local craft breweries that showcased their beer. It was refreshing to see that the beer scene in Manila has tremendously changed and improved and by that not being limited anymore to the beer from big breweries. Amongst favorites that day were Xavierbier who debuted their beers, which are made in Baguio, Katipunan Craft Ales who are front liners in the craft brewing revolution, Fat Pauly’s a local brewery that tries to incorporate indegenous ingredients such as Timoga Spring waters, and wild Putyukan Honey. Last but not the least is Craftpoint Brewing Company which has been a favorite as they’ve recently set up shop inside the EDSA Beverage Design Group space right along EDSA.
Drink Up was definitely a good festival. Being one of the newer ideas in the festival scene, it still needs a bit of tweaking to get the festival really up and running. With that said, we hope to see a bigger and better Drink Up festival next year!