• Location: 5658 Don Pedro St., Makati City
  • Operating Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 6:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.
  • Kind of establishment: Taproom
  • Cuisine: Fusion
  • Price per person: P350 ++
  • Signature drinks: The Enchanted Six – Blame it on the Heat, Cool Bird Spritz, Polilya Fire, Tigrita, Goldfinger, and RumAndCoke #2

A cold craft beer is good, but beer, cocktails, and food with beer are better. If you’re into beer and anything that goes with it, then Polilya—a bar in Poblacion that highlights local craft beer from Engkanto Brewery—is the place for you.

“’Polilya’ is moth is Tagalog. We wanted to have a subtle connection to our logo,” says Ian Paradies, co-owner of Polilya and founder of Napa Gapa Beverages Corporation, which launched Engkanto craft beer earlier this year. “Polilya is a nice name for the neighborhood, which we love.”

Framed moth sketches are displayed all around the bar

Polilya was originally conceptualized as a tasting room for Engkanto beer, but the other owners—Ian’s sister Nina Paradies, his wife Sandra Paradies, and his cousin Alex Colombo—suggested showcasing Engkanto beer as the hero product while offering an entirely new experience with beer-infused cocktails and bar chow. “We wanted to separate it [from the Engkanto brand] yet still have a subtle connection to it,” Paradies says.

Polilya head chef Luis de Terry and Polilya owners Ian Paradies and Alex Colombo

The interior of the place is cozy and inviting, like you’re having a drink in someone’s living room with various beer concoctions available for you to try. “Have you figured out what you want yet?” says the neon light box by the bar, and with various options on the menu, that is really a question you’d want to ask yourself when you scan the offerings.

Polilya bar
Restrooms options with Cory or Ninoy Aquino’s photo or Imelda or Ferdinand Marcos’s photo

This is the only place where you can try the first run-up of Engkanto beer seasonals. If you’re a fan of their beer, you can select the latest brews available from the tap. Beer flights are also available on the menu; order Four O’Clock Flight and choose any four beers for a fixed price of P280.

Four O’Clock Flight for only P280

The cocktail menu is something to look forward to. Created by Priscilla Young, a mixologist from the US, the menu is built around classics with a twist, what the owners love, what people love to drink nowadays, and of course, a fusion of Engkanto beers. There are 12 classic cocktails with Polilya twists, and six signature cocktails, called The Enchanted Six, which feature Engkanto beer infusions, Here are a few DrinkManila favorites:

Blame It on the Heat

Blame It on the Heat: It’s a frozen shandy made with fresh lemon juice, orange juice, calamansi juice, agave, and Engkanto stout beer.

Tigrita

Tigrita: One of our favorite cocktails we tried from the menu. It’s made with housemade tepache (a fermented beverage made from the peel and the rind of pineapples with added sugar), mezcal, fresh lime, double IPA, agave, orange oleo saccharum, pineapple juice, and cilantro.

Goldfinge

Goldfinger, you’ll be slurping the double IPA dalandan foam before you finish the drink! The cocktail is made with turmeric-infused vodka, pressed ginger syrup, fresh lime, and ginger beer.

RumAndCoke #2

RumAndCoke #2, normally we would skip rum and coke on the menu, but with this drink you’ll find yourself ordering more than one. It’s not your usual spiked cola drink, and it is such a pleasure to drink. It’s made with white rum, Averna, housemade cola, house A.B.C. bitters, and garnished with mint leaves (dip these in the liquid while you’re drinking it—it subtly changes the aroma and taste).

The Tipsy Paradies

The Tipsy Paradies: Party shots! These are made with Vuqo vodka, pandan, lime juice, and Cava.


“The hero of Polilya is the Engkanto Beers,” says Polilya head chef Luis de Terry, formerly of Lu restaurant. “This is the bahay of Engkanto. I wanted to make sure that we use every single one of the beers as heroes in bar chow that is classic.” The food menu is like a global pub food with a twist, with dishes that you’ll find traditionally in pubs around the world but enhanced with Filipino flavors and ingredients.

Here’s what to order:

Fried pickled jalapeños perfect to pair with Engkanto beer

Fried pickled jalapeños: made with Engkanto Pale Ale beer dipped in a tahini sauce. Now, why hasn’t anyone thought of this before? This starter with a firecracker pop is crunchy on the outside and fiery on the inside. A must-try!

Gambas Engkantadas paired with Polilya Fire

Gambas EngkantadasEngkanto lager-infused gambas al ajillo with mini baguette.

Zen Chicken Nuggets

Zen Chicken Nuggets. It’s Hainanese chicken but fried!

Bangla Mussels

Bangla Mussels: Steamed mussels in blonde ale beer, mustard oil, and coconut milk broth paired with homemade roti. You’ll definitely clean up the sauce with the roti.

Gangnam Style Chicken Wings

Gangnam Style Chicken Wings: Deep-fried chicken wings in gochujang glaze. Inspired by the various Korean restaurants and stores around Poblacion.

Deep-Fried Apple Pie A La Mode

Deep-Fried Apple Pie A La Mode: A pocket pie of cinnamon apples and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Grown-Up Chocolate Mousse

Grown-Up Chocolate Mousse: Davao single-origin three-chocolate mousse, seasoned with black pepper and Himalayan salt.

There are 16 food items on the menu. We suggest ordering depending on what you’re craving, your mood, and the weather. If you want to pair the food with cocktails, it’s best to pair any of the Enchanted Six with food infused with the same beer.

“It’s been pretty incredible,” says Terry. “We have made our mission clear; the message that we tried to put out there, people have understood very clearly.” Polilya is usually packed from 7:30 p.m. until two in the morning. People drop by for dinner and end up drinking until past midnight. You can come in your corporate suits after a long day at the office or in your casual clothing and tsinelas if you live in the neighborhood.

For news and updates about Polilya follow them on Facebook and Instagram at @Polilya.MNL

Photos and video by Star Sabroso

A publishing industry veteran who is the former creative director of PeopleAsia magazine and former lifestyle editor of The Standard newspaper. She was introduced to the wonderful world of spirits during her stint as executive creative director of digital agency DigitalFCB, where she led a team that created campaigns for some of the biggest liquor brands in the country. A lover of scotch and a curious spirit who is obsessed with the colorful world of mixology, she directs DrinkManila’s overall editorial content.

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