Batanes folks to enjoy Ivatan Beer first

The initial batch of the highly anticipated Ivatan Beer, developed from sweet potato or ‘camote” may only be sold in Batanes once it is released this month. The local folks will the the first to savor and enjoy it.

“The objective was to produce a beer out of the resources to supply the need of Ivatans and the tourists visiting the Batanes province only,” said Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Batanes Director Nora Garcia when asked if there is a plan to sell this beer in other parts of the country.

DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña recently recently said the first batch of 3,125 bottles of the Ivatan Beer are expected this month.

The first batch of production is a trial run for Tawsen Agri-Ventures, and is targetted to be out during the harvest time this coming May. Mass production by Tawsen, will subsequently follow to make the beer ready and available anytime the pandemic is over and tourism will boom again in Batanes,” Garcia said.

Garcia, a chemist, said she conceptualized and formulated the Ivatan Beer. Joy Ann Horlina and Leobert Banzali of the Batanes State College (BSC) also helped in the conceptualization, and they applied for a patent for the process under utility model.

“Batanes is known for its delicious sweet potato, and almost all tourists loved the Ivatan sweet potato. As per nutritional value, sweet potato contains vitamins A and B, and carotenoids. Sweet potato, especially the orange- colored variety which is grown in Batanes, is believed to contain anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetes, anti-stress and anti-cancer properties,” she said.

The DOST provided a P100,000 research and development (R&D) grant to the BSC for the development of the beer from camote that eventually took on the Ivatan Beer name brand.

Tawsen, which has been producing different types of wine from native fruits in Batanes such as arius, mabolo, and sweet potato, have signified interest to adopt the technology and produce the Ivatan Beer.

The R&D grant was utilized for fermenter brewer and the machine used in the product development, according to Garcia.

A technology licensing agreement was awarded to Tawsen, giving it the authority to commercialize the developed product. Garcia said that Tawsen will pay the BSC, but she did not disclose the amount.

The beer’s trial selling may start this month, and the DOST ordered 50 bottles for promotion, she said.