5.076 Taste Test: The San Miguel Family

Cycle 5 – Item 76

 22 (Sat) March 2014

The San Miguel Family


by me

in my apartment

-Ermita, Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines-


San Miguel Corporation is a Philippine company.  Founded 1890.  Currently the country’s largest company by revenue.  Beer is its core business.  About 95% domestic market share.

With so many brands available, I conducted a taste test to determine which one that I like best.  The contenders: Pale Pilsen (flagship), San Mig Light (2nd most popular/prevalent), Premium All-Malt, Super Dry, Red Horse, Cerveza Negra, and Zero.

I’m hoping that the different shapes of glassware didn’t impact the results too much.

The winner was (1) Pale Pilsen.  Well-balanced, hoppy, rich, dry – globally famous/popular for good reason.  Even before living in the Philippines, San Miguel Pale Pilsen has been one of my all-time favorites beers (to the extent that I have favorite beers).

As for the others, I wasn’t that impressed.  In order of preference, (2) the Premium All-Malt was okay but a bit too intense/sweet on the finish; (3) the Cerveza Negra was okay but not rich enough as a dark beer; (4) the Super Dry was mediocre, like a bland American-style lager; (5) the Zero was totally tasteless but surprisingly decent for a low-cal (not zero-cal) beer; (6) the Light was almost exactly the same as the Zero but higher in calories; and (7) the Red Horse was terrible, like malt liquor, pumped up on the alcohol.

For dinner, I whipped up a bowl of pancit canton.  Not really traditional pancit canton, just a hodgepodge of ingredients, including shrimp, kangkong, and peas, stir-fried with \noodles, plus various aromatics, seasoned with soy sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce, shrimp paste, and liquid seasoning.  Good enough, good with beer.

On my last trip to Korea, I’d packed my Snow Peak portable stove.  Butane gas canisters are sold in local Korean markets in the neighborhood, so much easier than the electric range in my apartment, and much cheaper, given the high cost of electricity here.

The 2.5 rating for this post concerns the pancit, not the beer.

(See also BOOZE)



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