5.076 Taste Test: The San Miguel Family (+ Pancit Canton)

-Cycle 5, Item 76-
22 (Sat) March 2014

Taste Test: The San Miguel Family (+ Pancit Canton)


by me

in my apartment

-Ermita, Manila-


San Miguel is a Philippine beer brand (no, Gustaf, not Spanish).  Founded in 1890.  About 95% domestic market share.  In addition to the flagship Pale Pilsen, the company offers many sub-brands, including Light (2nd most popular/prevalent), Premium All-Malt, Super Dry, Red Horse, Cerveza Negra, and Zero--more, particularly in overseas markets, but those are the products currently available at my local supermarket.

I conducted a taste test to determine which one that I like best.

The winner was the (1) Pale Pilsen.  Well-balanced, hoppy, rich, dry--globally famous/popular for good reason.  

Fortunately, I happen to have exactly 7 glasses.

As for the others, I wasn't that impressed.  In order of preference, (2) the Premium All-Malt was okay but a bit too intense/sweet on the finish; (3) the Cerveza Negra was okay but not rich enough as a dark beer; (4) the Super Dry was mediocre, like a bland American-style lager; (5) the Zero was totally tasteless but surprisingly decent for a low-cal (not zero-cal) beer; (6) the Light was almost exactly the same as the Zero but higher in calories; and (7) the Red Horse was terrible, like malt liquor, pumped up on the alcohol.

Even before living in the Philippines, San Miguel Pale Pilsen has been one of my all-time favorites beers (to the extent that I have favorite beers).

For dinner, I whipped up a bowl of pancit canton.  Not really traditional pancit canton, just a hodgepodge of ingredients, including shrimp, kangkong, peas, stir-fried with pancit canton noodles, plus various aromatics, seasoned with soy sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce, shrimp paste, and liquid seasoning.  Good enough, good with beer.  

On my last trip to Korea, I brought back my Snow Peak portable stove; butane gas canisters are sold in local Korean markets in the neighborhood; so much easier than the electric range in my apartment, and much cheaper, given the high cost of electricity here.

BTW, the 2.5 rating for this post concerns the pancit, not the beer.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I chuckled when I saw your camping stove on the (presumably?) marble kitchen top. So price wise, it's actually cheaper to cook off of gas canisters vs using the electric range? Damn, electricity really must be pricey over there! Anyway, hope you're doing well, seems like you've been busy with these lack of updates!

  3. Good post! Looking forward to a similar post concerning Korean beer :)

  4. @Austin: Yes, my friend, for the first time in years, so busy that my favorite thing in the world (writing the blog) has had to take a second seat to work (gotta make money to finance the food in the blog).

    As for the electricity, I paid about $100 for last month (my rent is $800).

    But more than cost, the electric burners just take too long to heat up, and they're difficult to maintain temperature.

    @Gustaf: You know very well how a post on Korean beer would turn out: all taste the same = crappy.

  5. I'm very interested to know how much your portable stove was. Please, do tell.

  6. are those egg noodles? I'm looking for a udon replacement. udon noodles get so bloated so quickly.

  7. @Anonymous:

    A typical portable stove, which is usually what I use at home for table-top grilling (see for example, usually goes for around USD 25.

    The Snow Peak stove, however, is closer to USD 250 (in Korea). As part of a portable camping/outdoor kitchen system (see generally, it fits into the table top frame and makes for convenient cooking. Certainly not worth the money per se, but it's a nice luxury. I also use it at home (in Korea) on occasion (see for example

  8. @Lisa:

    yes, egg noodles. so much better, at least in terms of texture and sustainability (holy crap, i'm starting to use WHO catch words--though apparently I don't understand the words well enough to use them correctly).

    anyway, i never liked udon noodles; they're the Japanese version of white bread.

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