Tuguegarao—The production of the Ivatan Beer, the first and only locally brewed beer in Batanes, has started in the country’s northernmost province.
In a statement, Dr. Alfonso Simon, Batanes State College (BSC) president, said the technology used for producing the beer using sweet potato was developed by the BSC Research and Development department and transferred to a local entrepreneur.
Simon highlighted the significance of the Ivatan Beer to the people of Batanes and has become a symbolic product of the locale since then.
“The fact the Ivatan Beer is made from the locally-grown ‘wakay’ or sweet potato, which is abundant in Batanes, the product becomes even more interesting and appealing to the locals of Batanes,” Simon stressed.
Sweet potato, locally known as wakay, is one of Batanes’ most common root crops along with yam and taro. Ivatans eat it steamed, smoked, or even grilled, said to be best consumed with coconut cream. Now, they also use it to produce Ivatan beer, known as the first and only locally brewed beer in Batanes.
The BSC, through Simon and Dennis Lim of Tawsen Agri-Ventures, signed the Technology Licensing Agreement (TLA) for the beverage.
In 2020, Tawsen Agri-Ventures and BSC signed the term sheet of the licensor and the licensee to agree on the conditions to push through with the Ivatan Beer’s commercialization.
Lim, a former college instructor who had turned entrepreneur, said the Ivatan Beer’s commercialization will immensely help boost Batanes tourism industry.”
It will be available at 330mL per bottle. Anytime starting 2021, Ivatans and travelers to the Philippines’ northernmost province can enjoy the proudly local beverage to make the most of their Batanes experience, Lim added.
The Department of Science and Technology-Cagayan Valley through Regional Director Sancho Mabborang has issued the Fairness Opinion Report (FOR) on the licensing agreement’s terms and conditions.
Ivatan beer was developed in 2018 with the financial assistance of the Department of Science and Technology. The technology for its production is found in the research and development department of the Batanes State College (BSC).
BSC received a P400, 000 fund from the DOST to develop the beverage in 2018.
The following year, the native beer made its public debut during the Science and Technology Caravan in Batanes.
In the same year, the product won third place in the Regional Invention Contest and Exhibit.