For decades now, Heineken, the World’s #1 International Premium Beer, has had a constant presence in the Philippine market. There have been events and ad campaigns sponsored by Heineken over the years, one of which was the successful tie-up with a James Bond film. It’s surprising to hear that Heineken was only formally launched in Manila in September at the World Trade Center.

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Earlier this year, the premium brand based in the Netherlands, known for its green bottle and crisp, refreshing beer joined forces with one of the biggest breweries in the country, Asia Brewery Inc. And since Heineken will be brewing on our shores (in two locations: Cabuyao in Laguna and El Salvador in Misamis Oriental), an official launch for Manila was in order.

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Guests were welcomed with free-flowing Heineken, with a choice of bottled or draft, at the lobby of the World Trade Center. It was like entering the Emerald City in The Wizard of Oz. Everything was bathed in a green glow, green being the iconic color of Heineken. A motion-sensing interactive display was set up to engage guests and to give a little information about the beer.

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Motion-sensing interactive display at the Heineken event
World Trade Center was dressed up with iconic party cities from around the world
World Trade Center dressed up in iconic party cities from around the world

The doors opened and a walkway bathed in the same green light led to a circular area, where there were five distinct bar setups from iconic party cities around the world: Tokyo, Ibiza, Brooklyn, Rio de Janeiro, and Amsterdam. Guests got a sense of what it would be like to enjoy a cold Heineken in one of these cities. There were images of gears turning projected on the screens in the perimeter, giving a kinetic feeling to the space, like the place was in perpetual motion.

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Managing Director of Heineken Cyril Charzat

The enduring message of Heineken, “Open Your World,” was carried through the theme of the evening, encouraging Filipinos to live beyond boundaries, inspiring them to open up to new places, new people, and new experiences. The launch was well executed; it got people curious and kept them on their toes. The setup itself was immersive, and the program took guests to a quick bar crawl all over the world, with performances to showcase each location (geishas and drummers in Tokyo, an aerialist and babes in bathing suits in Ibiza, breakdancers in Brooklyn, Carnival dancers and capoeira practitioners in Rio, and denizens of the red light district in Amsterdam).

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Amsterdam bar set up
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Tokyo bar set up
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Ibiza inspired bar
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Aerialist in front of the Ibiza bar

All performers converged at the Amsterdam bar area, as managing director of Heineken Cyril Charzat handed bottles out to guests and did a trust fall before striding onto the stage. He and chief operating officer of Asia Brewery, Inc. (ABI) Michael Tan each poured a glass of Heineken draft and made a toast to symbolize the new partnership and an exciting future for Heineken in the Philippines.

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Managing director of Heineken Cyril Charzat and chief operating officer of Asia Brewery, Inc. (ABI) Michael Tan
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Cyril Charzat getting the party started
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And he did a trust fall
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Cyril Charzat

Heineken has a smooth and casual but sophisticated, “anything goes,” cosmopolitan image. Present in 192 countries the world over, and now the Philippines, its reputation as a global beer is undeniable. As Heineken opens the world to Filipinos, new possibilities and experiences await both the brewery and consumers.

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Dj Ace Ramos

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Chrysmas is your go-to gal for all things involving alcohol. She maneuvers her way through the Metro's traffic in her black boots and fishnet stockings, scouring places where one can indulge one's self in libations of all kinds. From Poblacion to Pasay, Malate to Makati, Tagaytay to Taguig. Ask her where to go to get your choice of poison and chances are she's already there holding a good stiff drink in one hand and a pen in the other.

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