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 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.