Filipino Beer: Red Horse vs San Miguel

Since I started blogging I have been trying to write mabuting mga blog post.

But, because many of my articles are about the Filipino culture and mentality, sometimes I cannot help but write some maboteng blog post as well.

The Tagalog word mabuti means “good” while mabote is a play on words (bote means “bottle”).

In my article about the Filipino drinking culture https://italpinoy1967.com/2020/04/23/binge-drinking-in-the-philippines-or-inuman-the-magnitude-of-the-phenomenon/ I mentioned the kaunti container Filipino approach to drinking, how the one who really rules the Philippines is not ang Presidente na nakaupo sa palasyo, but rather ang Emperador na nakatayo sa ibabaw ng mesa and how the younger generations in the Philippines are no longer singing nanay, tatay, gusto kong tinapay but rather nanay, tatay gusto ko isang tagay.

When it comes to drinking Filipinos definitely prefer hard liquers to beer.

An expression that I once heard from a Pinoy friend is beer bihira.

The Tagalog word bihira means seldom and so I assume that beer bihira means that Filipinos view beer as the last resort when hard liquers are not available, or, perhaps, as a starter before diving into Tanduay, Kwatro Cantos, Emperador, Fundador etc.

Although Pinoy people are more into drinking hard stuff, the Philippines does produce beer and plenty of it.

In the Philippines there are two main beer brands being San Miguel and Red Horse

Red Horse is the first extra-strong beer brand in the Philippines. It is a high-alcohol lager of the San Miguel Brewery, a subsidiary of the larger San Miguel Corporation, and it comes in various sizes including the 500 ml and the 1 lt bottles (the one in the picture above is the 1 lt bottle).

“San Miguel” beer is basically a normal lager beer, established in 1890 by the original San Miguel Brewery (renamed San Miguel Corporation in 1964), it is the largest selling beer in the country.

Red Horse is probably the one that heavy drinking Filipinos choose over San Miguel.

It is not uncommon to see Filipinos who drink two, three or even four bottles of “Red Horse”.

Here in Rome, Italy, the only place where I have been able to find Red Horse is this Pinoy restaurant

Drinking extra strong beer gives many Filipino men the 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”).

Have you ever visited the Philippines?

If you haven’t you definitely should.

If you do you will not only enjoy blissing out on the most amazing exotic beaches that you can imagine, but you will most likely have some maboteng usapan as well that will give you the opportunity to taste San Miguel and Red Horse….in addition to the endless choice of the other “stuff” that in the Philippines, a country where clean drinking water is not easy to find, is available in very large amounts.

14 thoughts on “Filipino Beer: Red Horse vs San Miguel

  1. Drinking is also an opportunity for us Filipino to talk and enjoy our moment with the one’s we rarely see. It becomes more memorable when we have something to drink while talking ’bout the stuffs in our life.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. haha! you never cease to amuse me, my friend! you know what? you are more filipino than the brown-skinned guys here. kasi sila pilipino by accident. by accident of birth. pero ikaw, you are a pilipino by choice. kaya hangang-hanga talaga ako sayo. because you take pains to know the culture, its idiosyncracies, its many difficulties. it is hard to be a Pinoy, but you choose to be one. bravo, amico mio!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Sir Ed. I’ve been away for quiet awhile now i come back and with my new blog – I switched to I Am Dex from Wandering Dex. Parang bongga na bongga ang come back ko sir dahil sa post mo about beer…. 🙂 🙂 Cheers!!!
    Sa amin hindi kompleto ang pag tipon tipon mapamilya man or mapakaibigan kapag walang beer and our favorite is San Miguel Beer but if we want to get drunk faster we drunk Red Horse dahil ang lakas sumipa… LOL…

    Liked by 1 person

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