Try the Different Flavors of Barik Supremo Lambanog


BRAND PROFILE





THE BUSINESS





Brand Story





What seemed to be a holiday escapade in the eastern coast of Luzon turned out to be our first encounter with a promising native spirit remaining untapped from brackish palm (nipa or sasa). This locally distilled moonshine from nipa nectar proved to have a lighter and smoother flavour than the more popular coconut lambanog. Our ventures in learning more about this sweet yet potent liquor closely acquainted us with a thriving cottage industry of strong market potential and a rich heritage of drinking heroes and locals that deserves to be shared.





Barik Supremo Lambanog is a craft‐ distilled liquor from nipa or sasa puree. Adhering to the traditional process, the sap is first collected from a nipa blossom through a bamboo collector. The nectar is then cooked using wood‐ fire and distilled to produce the 80 proof crystal clear lambanog sa sasa. Unlike the commercial lambanog available in the market, this uniquely packaged distilled spirit offers a clean‐ tasting punch with a subtle sweetness at the tip of the sip. It can be enjoyed as it is or served as a versatile base for cocktail infusions.

Even  if nipa lambanog is relatively rare, its source abundantly grows in brackish waters. The  promotion  of  developing the liquor might also encourage the conservation of mangrove ecosystems  along  our  coastlines.  If these were sustainably grown and harvested, locals seeing their benefits would be more motivated to practice environmental conservation.

Barik  Supremo  Lambanog  is  also poised to become the distinct liquor Filipinos can identify with. If Mexicans take pride in their tequila that can only be authentically produced from the  endemic  agave  cactus,  then  it  is  also  possible  to  harness  the  potential  of  our  rich native resources to create a signature drink. Our archipelagic geography defined by vast coastlines is perfect for cultivating nipa for lambanog. Moreover, this prospective nipa industry can also prosper not  only  through  alcohol  production  but  also  from  other  commercial  opportunities,  notably from honey (nectar), vinegar, natural oil/gas or even as a viable source of fibre for weaving (nipa leaves). Just like the coconut, nothing is wasted from nipa production.

Despite  this  geographical  edge,  lambanog,  particularly  the  one  from  nipa,  has  not  yet penetrated a bigger commercial market and remained to be dubbed as an ill provincial arrack. This  misconception  can  be  solved  by  endorsing  the  lighter  yet  equally  intoxicating  taste  of lambanog sa sasa. Eventually, this spurred interest for lambanog will also entice the drinking Filipino public to learn more and try out our very own spirits and liquors.

It is very ironic to note that the current generation is very much unaware of the long legacy of local alcohol production. During the course of researching about the product, we have even stumbled upon a lambanog distillery which dates back to 1673. Such discoveries only point out to a very old tradition of local spirit making. It is also not difficult to surmise that lambanog might have been the premium liquor our ancestors probably swigged. One distinguished account even describes that lambanog might have been the welcome drink offered to Ferdinand Magellan upon  his  arrival  in  Philippine  shores.  Through  Barik  Supremo  Lambanog, this native spirit intimately  linked  to  our  identity  and  history  can  achieve  a  renowned prestige as the Filipino liquor.


  

THE BRAND


Barik Supremo Moonshine aspires to become a premium alcohol brand that can be genuinely  identified  as  the  Filipino  liquor.  We  aim  to  introduce  this  native  organic  spirit  – smooth yet potent, without preservatives, not from chemical concentrates, self‐ packaged to the modern Filipino drinker. Locally brewed yet globally appealing in quality, Barik Supremo Moonshine stands as a refined classic that is truly Filipino.
With its name “Barik” hailing from the archaic Tagalog euphemism for alcohol drinking, our brand strongly holds on to its commitment as the Philippine moonshine. The tagline “Heroes are not saints” appeals to the enduring legacy of lambanog drinking: unlike saints, native heroes are known to have swilled this local spirit for an instant shot of bravery (a little spark of “madness”) before  entering  battle.  With  such  connection,  our  brand  serves  as  a  link to that tradition of heroes  not  being  pure  saints  but  human  beings  in  dire  need  of  immediate inspiration and a history of indigenous spirit production fostering a sense of identity. Moreover, it is hoped that the  popularity  of Barik Supremo Lambanog will stimulate the public’s interest in embracing their local liquor and stand independent from the plethora of foreign options prevailing in the current market.
Barik Supremo Lambanog vows to bring nipa lambanog in the forefront of local spirits that  merits  to  be  known  by  the  Filipino  drinking  public.  Our  brand  is  also  dedicated  to maximizing local production’s potential. Sustainably produced, craft‐ distilled, and meticulously packaged, our brand offers the unique experience of a strong but not jarring swig capped with a subtle sweetness a generation of heroes has relished.


POSITIONING


Driven  by  its  cause  of  promoting  the  locally  brewed  spirit  and  its  heritage,  Barik Supremo Moonshine serves as a more sophisticated and artisanal version of nipa lambanog. Its 80 proof  alcohol  content  matched with a smooth and sweet flavour makes it ideal as an elegant choice for drinking on all occasions.








As of date, two variations have been developed. Barik Puro (500 mL) can be mixed for cocktails or enjoyed on its own like whiskey. It is still not sold per litre so as to avoid making the consumers feel intimidated. We want to deliver the message that the customers can confidently finish one on his or her own. An ideal setup for presentation in bars is that the bottle should be placed  in  a palayok (black claypot) over ice accompanied by a jigger and whiskey glasses. The jigger will be used by the customer to measure how much s/he wants in her/his glass. In this manner,  ordering  Barik  serves  as  a complete experience: one can play as a bartender with a group of friends. This parallels the communality cultivated by traditional lambanog drinking.

The  other  variant  is  our very own cocktail mix: Barik Ginger Sour (250 mL) can be consumed  on  its  own,  chilled  or  on  the rocks. The ladies are the prime target group of this lambanog infusion flavoured with calamansi, honey, and ginger. The drink should be chilled and the glass should be served with the bottle so that the customers can freely pour her/his preferred amount.

The  experience  does  not  only  stop  with visual presentation: unlike common types of liquor, one can get easily inebriated by drinking just a few shots of Barik and the drunkenness one  experiences  expires upon stopping, leaving no lingering effects. This happy kind of buzz coupled with high alcohol content makes it popular as a festive drink. Not only that, consuming it does not give undesirable hangovers. This unique quality is a characteristic of organic and local liquors, particularly of lambanog. As such, drinking Barik offers a refreshing perspective on the modern alcohol experience that has long been enjoyed by local drinkers.

Serving  as  a  hip  and artisanal choice for craft‐ distilled nipa lambanog, we are eyeing to distribute this premium brand to high end bars and pubs in the major cities in the country. It will also  be  made  available  to  popular  liquor  stores  across  the  metro.  However,  we  are  initially marketing the product in the international market as a rare Filipino spirit. In this way, we can strategically establish the brand’s native roots and gain traction in the Philippine market as an internationally‐ acclaimed  spirit.  Building  Barik’s  reputation  first  in the world market ensures that the brand will secure a strong and sound foothold in the Philippine drinking scene (and not just last as a fad) since Filipino consumers tend to keenly prefer recognized brands. This strategy, albeit  “reverse”  in  orientation,  will  bolster  Barik’s  brand  as  the  Filipino  moonshine  that represents excellent quality and proud heritage both in the national and global alcohol market.


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