By Gene Gonzalez
Perfect Pint is a truly amazing story of the three Tempongko brothers who are well placed in the corporate field and love their beers when they unwind, so the desire to go into this business was truly apparent.
I met Alec, the brew master, years ago when making beer for him was just a hobby and we were sampling some of his impressive brews. I had been probably one of the person that pushed him on this path. Alec, at that time, was operating the first Perfect Pint outlet and was curating the seasonal beers on tap that came from different local craft brewers. After almost a year of research, brewing lesson from foreign experts, and a complete immersion of the craft brew scene abroad, Alec brought out Holy Grail and a few others beers that he personally brewed. Holy Grail is one of his classic and iconic brews which is fresh, drinker-friendly with its balance of grain, frit, and floral flavors. It seems as though Alec discovered the formula preferred by his clientele and had opened his Molito branch where on-premise brewing became the attraction of the place as well as of course, fresh brewed beer on tap got people coming back.
Perfect Pint Greenbelt 2 branch is bigger and seems to have grown not only in table numbers but also the mezzanine area where the brewing is done. This facility has bigger brewing kettles and shows the Tempongko brother’s vision of good beer and bar chow. Alec at any given time sells 22 beers on tap with only two that he sources out. The recipes and character of his beers are very different from each other and one can spend an interesting evening sampling the beers with attentive staff and menu with ready recommendations for the food pairing. (When we talk of beer and food pairing, the Perfect Pint menu items are attuned and are enhanced by the character of their beers…)
Alec did let me try some of his new beers. (Of course, I was dreaming of chugging a glass of Holy Grail, which I did order later on…) I started with a raspberry Blonde Ale quite light at 5.2 ABV. The light, fruity tartness of raspberry was enhanced by a rather high IBU (International Bitterness Unit) of 20 from Alec’s style of dry hopping his brews to maintain the floral character of his hops. I had this with a stinky pizza to balance the rich creaminess of the cheese and enhanced its strong, ripe flavors from nutty, umami to creamy blue on every bite. The kapal face or crispy pork face with its spiced dark lightly sweet dip was balanced by batons of pickled vegetables.
For a next beer, I had to have the Holy Grail, the brew I had journeyed and braved the heavy traffic to Makati for on a Friday night. A good crisp heap of fresh bacon (to appreciate the sweet porky flavor) and the simple garlicky salpicado took me to my comfort zone. (I knew it wasn’t the beer because I was just on a second glass, but I was enthralled by the sight of everyone having a good time.) The Holy Grail was wonderfully fresh, floral with the bitter restrained bite of the dry hopping process plus the undertones of fresh dried nectarines.
By this time, my pretty mini skirted friends were taking a break from their first beers and enjoying the frozen mango daiquiris and a grapey and fruity cocktail called love in the Vineyard. Alec, by this time introduced me to what I would consider another one his brewing masterpiece called Saisons. This was a special saisons yeast combined with Japanese hops that immediately pushes ripe aromas and masculine cologne notes. Flavors extend to the floral reminiscent of ladies tale, lychee skins an unlit incense brought together by flavors of freshly ripened grain. I had this complex beer with their tuna tenders, all creamy and spicy as the ladies were asking me what part of the tuna these tenders came from. (Fat chance If I were to unravel what they are…)
For my two final beers, I took on the dark beer called Oakey Dokey that hints of toasted coconut; dark chocolate, floral, and scented oils that was interesting and could be a “one for the road beer” I would have wanted this paired with grilled pork or chicken or if one was into desserts probably a caramel pecan pie or a berry cheesecake. (Perhaps even dark chocolate brownies.)
But this did not stop them from recommending my last dram which is the Coco Loco. This involves the tedious process of toasting dehydrated coconut and collecting the oils by absorbent filtration so that the coconut oil does not impair the head of the dark beer. Complexity is achieved with the immersion of an oak spiral presoaked in bourbon during fermentation. The intense roast coconut with moka and peachy notes (probably from the bourbon) is the most robust of the present line of beer. I was jesting with Alec that Filipino kakanin would be a great partner but would be quite heavy especially as a night cap. (Glad there is Uber and Grab to get me home.)
You can email me at @firstname.lastname@example.org or follow my Instagram/@chefgenegonzalez