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Perfect Pint: Just grin and ‘beer’ it

Alec Tempongko, co-owner of the Perfect Pint gastropub with his brothers Noel and Raymond, poses with the row of tanks in which beer is brewed for 30 days.

Spending barely three hours at Perfect Pint, a cozy gastropub in Greenbelt 2 in Makati City, proved to be educational especially for non-beer-drinkers like me and my friends Raoul Tidalgo and Edmund Silvestre (a contributor to this section) who are friends with Alec Tempongko whom they knew from their New York days. Alec happens to be the owner-manager (with brothers Noel and Raymond) of the place and he invited us for, well, a “look see” and to taste the different kinds of beer that he himself brews.

A CPA, Alec learned everything there was to know about beer when he worked at Diageo, the biggest UK-based brewer of Smirnoff, and supervised the building of a techno farm in Laguna which he managed for 25 years until he left it four years ago and put up the first Perfect Pint at Greenbelt 2 in 2014, followed by an outlet in Alabang, Muntinlupa City, the next year.

Why did he call it Perfect Pint?

“Well,” said Alec, “I did a research and I found out that ‘perfect pint’ refers to a formula done by a group of scientists in the UK who came up with a mathematical equation how to measure the level of happiness of a customer. If you drink on a Friday and there’s no work the next day, your level of happiness is higher especially if you drink with friends.”

The Tempongkos had to totally demolish the space which was occupied by another establishment and took six months to rebuild it into a beer-lover’s paradise that can seat more than 180 in both the ground and second floors with a little corner for the singer during the Happy Hour. The chandelier is lined with more than 80 beer bottles which Alec and friends must have emptied before turning them into decorative pieces. There are reminders on the walls, such “Cheers” and “Savor the Flavor.”

On the second floor, Alec showed us the rows of tanks in which the beer is brewed (Perfect Pint is the only brewery in Greenbelt) for as long as 30 days. Downstairs, there is a row of faucets marked with names of the beer brands available. You open the faucet and, presto, your choice of beer flows freely into your mug.   

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To complement the selection of brews, the Tempongko brothers tapped chef Gene Gonzalez to develop a sumptuous menu selection of modernized Filipino dishes and other popular comfort food specially designed to go with the brews.

“Your kind of beer should go with the right kind of food,” reminded Alec. “They should go together, otherwise the combination wouldn’t taste good.”

Here are samples craft beer and food pairings:

• Crispy Pig Knuckles with Mango Salad and Tom Yum Dip with Pivo Weizen or Sierra Madre American Wheat;

• Two-Way Oysters with Katipunan Craft Ale’s Signal No. 1 Stout or TPP’s Black Mamba;

• Grilled Sausage Platter with India Pale Ale or Imperial Stout; and

• Heap of Bacon with Pivo Dark Lager (The Pivo Dark Lager, a light beer with a strong flavor, cuts through the saltiness and delicious fattiness of the bacon very well. The beer’s malty flavor and a distinct, slightly bitter “hoppiness” provides an excellent contrast with the saltiness of cured bacon just perfectly.) Reminder: As you order, ask Alec to explain the parings.

Since Alec told us that the last mentioned item was the great favorite of a popular businessman (“He can consume a plateful of the bacon,” said Alec, “and sometimes orders more”), we were curious how it tasted, so we ordered a plateful. Yes, it tasted oh-so-crispy, so heavenly!

That sort of concluded our "educational" visit to Perfect Pint.

Let’s drink to that!!!

 

 

 

 

(E-mail reactions at entphilstar@yahoo.com. For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.) - Photos by RICKY LO

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