“A good beer is one you can drink on any occasion—light, refreshing, and crisp,” says Ian Paradies. “I personally enjoy drinking to unwind after work, or when I’m chilling out on the beach or at a party.” His fondness for craft beer dates back to his university years when the big American brands were beginning to enter the Philippine market. Ian worked for several years in the transportation logistics and port industries before deciding it was time to move back home to pursue his dream of starting a premium craft beer brewery. Teaming up with his business partner, brewmaster Josh Karten, Ian buckled down to work—and Engkanto Brewery was born.
As the name of their beer suggests, Ian is set to debunk myths and allow Filipinos a taste of what good beer can be. “All our formulas have been developed specifically to cater to the local market,” he says. “I don’t want to push a Western style on my countrymen, but I do want to facilitate an easy transition by getting them to appreciate our beer, and hopefully elevate the taste levels.” He plans to open a bar in Poblacion, which will serve as a test lab for Engkanto’s new concoctions. Brewing classes for patrons will also be made available later on.
At this stage, Engkanto is still a young company; Ian is tasked with ironing out the kinks that come with a starting new business, but takes it all in his stride because he loves what he does. “Oftentimes, I welcome the mistakes because they’re what I learn from,” he admits. “Going through all these birthing pains might not be for the faint of heart, but I personally find it fulfilling and even fun.”
He also emphasises on the value of a stable work-life balance because a good life makes getting up and going to work easier. “I’m a family man; I love spending my weekends with my wife and two kids. Because I’m doing so much on weekdays, I enjoy kicking back and relaxing on my days off—with a bottle of beer in hand, of course.”