IN an attempt to offer an alternative brew to beer lovers, a Batanes-based business venture has started the commercial production of the Ivatan Beer — the first and only locally-brewed beer — in the country’s northernmost province.
Dr. Alfonso Simon, Batanes State College 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 and Dennis Lim of Tawsen Agri-Ventures signed the technology licensing agreement for the beverage.
In a statement sent to The Manila Times, Simon highlighted the significance of the Ivatan Beer to the people of Batanes.
“The fact that 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,” he said.
Lim, a college instructor turned entrepreneur, said the Ivatan Beer’s commercialization will “immensely contribute to the flourishing Batanes’ tourism industry.”
The Department of Science and Technology (DoST)-Cagayan Valley through Regional Director Sancho Mabborang has issued the Fairness Opinion Report on the licensing agreement’s terms and conditions.
The 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 September 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.
In the same year, the product won third place in the Regional Invention Contest and Exhibit.