Liquor connoisseurs and lovers, and regular tourists, have the opportunity to know the rich history of Spanish brandy in the country’s first ever Brandy Museum by Emperador Inc., the Philippines’ biggest liquor company and the world’s largest brandy manufacturer. It’s now open at the Iloilo Business Park in Iloilo City.
“Spanish brandy is one of those few drinks that many Filipinos can easily associate with some of their happiest, most treasured memories. This is why we are very excited to bring the first and currently the only Brandy Museum in the country, which we believe will give our guests a newfound appreciation of one of our most beloved liquors,” says Kendrick Tan, executive director, Emperador, Inc.
Opening a museum that celebrates the heritage of Spanish brandy in Iloilo City is no coincidence; there is significant meaning behind it. During the Spanish rule, in October 1889, Queen Regent Maria Cristina raised the city’s status to a “Royal City of the South,” and Iloilo was given the title La Muy Leal y Noble Ciudad (The Most Loyal and Most Noble City).
A visit to the Brandy Museum is an immersive learning experience.
Its dark interiors of sloped ceiling with exposed oak trellis, soft, atmospheric lighting transports the visitor to a Spanish bodega bearing the history of Spanish brandy that dates far back to 711 AD when wine distillation was discovered by the Moors. The story goes all the way to the modern day when Grupo Emperador Spain acquired Bodegas Fundador, makers of the world’s first Spanish brandy.
Important artifacts are on display at the Brandy Museum—books, letters, traditional wine- and brandy-making tools, samples of soil used to grow grapes, and rare, old Emperador brandy bottles. There are audio-visual presentations of the Bodegas Fundador vineyard and bodegas in Jerez, Spain, on the process of creating oak wine barrels, and the cultivation and harvesting of grapes for wine-making, also known as viticulture.
The exhibit showcases the respective history of each brandy brand under Emperador, Inc.—Fundador, Tres Cepas, Terry Centenario, Garvey, Soto, and Espléndido.
Visitors who want to know more about brandy can take the Brandy Appreciation classes for a fee. Classes are held at the Brandy Appreciation Hall, where the crests of Pedro Domecq, Tres Cepas, Emperador, Garvey, Sotto, and Gonzales Byass are displayed.
The Brandy Appreciation Hall opens to the souvenir shop where visitors can buy a bottle of Emperador or Fundador brandy.
A cafe offers frappes and iced drinks infused with Emperador’s latest offering, Emperador Coffee Brandy, best paired with the decadent desserts such as cakes and macarons on the menu.
The Brandy Museum is open every day, 10 a.m. to 7 pm., on the ground floor of Casa Emperador, which also houses the Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Arts (ILOMOCA), at Festive Walk Parade. Entrance is free. With the liquor ban during Alert Level 3 in Iloilo City, the selling and serving of liquor and of brandy-infused drinks are only until 6 pm.
Emperador Inc., a publicly listed company at the Philippine Stock Exchange, owns Emperador Distillers, Inc., Scotch whisky maker Whyte and Mackay Group, and Bodegas Fundador in Spain.