Behind the Brew: Live It Up Lager & High Hive Honey Ale
What’s remarkable about many great craft breweries is that they don’t shy away from new ideas—they embrace them.
Engkanto was founded on the idea of trying new things, so when Brewmaster Michael ‘MJ’ Jordan saw the need to shake up the current beer portfolio, the entire team was behind him.
At the least, switching up the beer packaging from the traditional six-pack to an easy-to-carry four-pack that suits the new line-up was the easy part. More demanding was putting together a fresher look for the brand and testing out new flavors. All told, it’s for making beers that we love for people who love beer.
Learn how the Live It Up Lager and High Hive Honey Ale, two enjoyably drinkable beers in the new line-up, passionately came about and why they stand for an insanely positive outlook on life and the spirit of collaboration.
Live It Up Lager: Raising our standards higher
The globally renowned Engkanto Lager took home the prestigious Country Winner award in the World Beer Awards 2021. It’s a testament to the team’s unrelenting focus and hard work in making the highest quality of local craft beers. Despite the exceptional feat, Brewmaster MJ looked to continue reaching out to more people and tell them how great craft beers can truly be. He rallied the team to set our standards higher and improve our products starting with the Lager.Crisp and easy to drink, the lager beer style is arguably the perennial favorite among many Filipinos due to giant, commercial brands taking hold of the market. But we as a craft brewery believe that when beer drinkers are presented with better quality, they adopt better quality.
An incredibly refreshing herald into the world of craft
Live It Up Lager is Brewmaster MJ’s fresh take on the Engkanto Lager. Stunningly brilliant, incredibly refreshing, and more approachable to craft beer newcomers at 4.8% ABV, the beer has a tropical profile of citrus, passionfruit, and melon, making it a flexible drink to pair with most dishes. Long-time fans of Engkanto will easily find the unmistakable balance of imported, high-quality malt and “New World” hops in the Live It Up Lager an homage to its predecessor. Exuding a more vibrant personality shown on the artful and informative new label, Live It Up Lager captures so much of the Engkanto spirit. It’s not just a better beer—a part of a better way of life. A great marriage of attitude, lifestyle, and full-bodied flavor. Fun to say, with memorable alliteration. After all, why merely live when you can Live It Up?
High Hive Honey Ale: Collaborating with the local community
The idea of brewing new Engkanto beers using local ingredients has kept the team in a buzz. When the time finally came to choose, we considered some tropical fruits, but didn’t want to end up with identical choices. Led by Brewmaster MJ, we agreed to introduce something a bit unknown and undiscovered. Soon enough, our collective thought pointed to an ingredient we all love—honey.
Exploring where to find pure, high-quality honey in the country was an eye-opener. Our pursuit led us to a small cottage industry of local apiaries. Beyond simply getting a raw material, the effort we have put in aims to support people we genuinely identify with. We often consider ourselves in luck after finding a hard-working community of beekeepers who have a passion for their own craft.
For our team to experience harvesting honey and learning the process in the apiaries speaks of the collaborative impact between a craft brewery and the local community. The skillful beekeepers were enthusiastic in sharing knowledge of their trade with us, much like we do in educating drinkers about craft beers. We’ve learned that in keeping the bee colonies healthy, the pollination in the area grows, and the diverse flora and fauna ultimately flourish.And by opening their doors to us, we’re guaranteed that the honey we’re using is not stretched nor weakened, but pure and extremely high quality.
A subtle and sophisticated new brew
It’s a challenge to make sure that the four natural ingredients in making beer—water, malt, hops, and yeast—combine like clockwork to bring out a brewer’s intended beer style. Adding another ingredient makes the process even more complex.
In the High Hive Honey Ale, Brewmaster MJ was up to the task using pure honey. He wants the aroma and flavor of honey to come through in the finished beer. Since honey is delicate and highly fermentable, he did two separate additions to capture its subtle sweetness and floral presence. After several trial brews, he finally nailed the uniqueness of our Honey Ale.
What many newcomers may expect from the High Hive Honey Ale is it’s a very sweet beer. On the contrary, it’s subtly sweet with light floral honey notes. Our easily drinkable golden ale at 5.1% ABV has complex aromas and flavors that you can describe as intriguing and sophisticated.