Traveling the Unknown

Palaweno Brewery, Palawan’s first craft beer was established six years ago with a microbrewery kit brought by its founders from California. While I’m not beer expert, my first question was “Who buys your beers considering they’re four to five times more expensive than factory-made beers?”

After doing some research, the strong beers from Palaweno Brewery was – like other artisanal products – enjoyed by a few, if not selected, consumers who, as the brewer said, “understand the beauty of craft and handmade.”

The brewer continued, “It is impossible to create two similar beers, with the same recipe, in two different places. The water makes the beer. This is why as much as we want to expand to places, like Boracay, where more people appreciate craft beer, we don’t think the water will produce the same beer. And that is why brewery needs to be built on or near water spring: to ensure streams of fresh uncontaminated water.”

I would agree that to appreciate a product, I need to understand not only its feature, but the efforts, the mission and, well, the story indeed.

And the next question was coming from Mike, my new Couchsurfing friend from Puerto Princesa, “Very few tourists that I know were bothered to come here. They’re here for the beach, islands and lakes. What are you trying to find?”

“I am not in any mission other than to learn what locals do. As we both found out today, the locals love – if not crazy about – beer. San Miguel or Heineken are not bad, but if it’s about beer, Palaweno Beer is as local as you can get here in Puerto Princesa,” I replied.

“Is this ‘following what you find out in places you visit’ what makes you prefer to travel alone?” Mike’s eyes squinted.

“It makes sense. Very few – if any – people are comfortable to travel without itinerary, in uncertainty. I of course have done my research for this trip. But when it comes to what actually happens in the trip, I usually leave it to what people told me. There’s a beauty in traveling the unknown. And, yes, that’s probably what keeps people away from traveling with me,” I laughed.

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