Red Horse: the “King” of Filipino Beers

The Bible says in Revelation that the apostle John “saw a red horse” in a vision.

Well, in the Philippines I saw plenty of “Red Horse”.

Red Horse is a Filipino beer brand. They have “San Miguel” beer, which is basically a normal lager beer, and they have “Red Horse” which is a strong one, as it is a 8% vol. beer.

I often hear, from some Filipino friends of mine, the expression beer bihira meaning more or less “we seldom have beer” and, I guess, what that means is that they prefer hard liquors to beer and if they do have beer they like it strong.

Red Horse is usually sold in a 0,5 liter bottle, which is the equivalent of drinking two pints of 4% vol. lager, but I’ve also seen a 1 liter one. It is not uncommon to see Filipinos who drink two, three or even four bottles of “Red Horse”.

Here in my city, because imported Red Horses is a bit expensive (4 euros for a 0.5 liter bottle) many Filipinos go for Atlas beer, a cheap Dutch (I think) super strong beer (12% vol.) that can be found in a popular local hard-discount chain.

Drinking strong or even extra strong beer gives many Filipino men a chance to dismiss their wives’ complaints with a reassuring “huwag kang mag-alala, tutal isang beer na lang ito” (“there is nothing to worry about, it is just a beer”).

If you marry a Filipina you will hardly share your life with a beer drinker, much less a drinker of hard stuff. As far as Filipino women are concerned beer is really bihira among them.

Nevertheless you will most certainly have regular dealings with “the boys” being her male relatives or friends and you will most likely have “visions” and “see a Red Horse” or, more realistically, plenty of it.

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