Iloilo 1st Brandy Museum was unveiled January this year. Yes, brandy – the popular alcoholic beverage made popular by the brand names Emperador and Fundador.
The first Brandy Museum is nested at the ground floor of the imposing Casa Emperador at the Iloilo Business Park of the Megaworld, separated by a wall of the equally popular Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art (ILOMOCA).
It was opened January 2022 and it offers an immersive walk in the awe-inspiring presentation of the rich history of Spanish brandy and liquor connoisseurs will now have the opportunity to sample a variety of brandy.
According to says Kendrick Tan, executive director of Emperador, Inc., “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 for one of our most beloved liquors.”
The opening of the museum is also a celebration of the heritage carried by the Spanish brandy owing a parallelism to Iloilo City which was declared by Queen Regent Maria Cristina as the Royal City of the South and conferred the title: La Muy Leal y Noble Ciudad or The Most Loyal and Most Noble City in October 1889.
At the front yard of Iloilo 1st Brandy Museum is the another significant piece of history which immortalizes the struggle of Ilonggos against the Spanish rule – the 8.8-meter bronze statue of General Martin Delgado created by Spanish sculptor Gines Serran-Pagan for Megaworld. The statue was unveiled in 2019.
Walk back to Spanish Bodega
A visitor to the museum is transported back to time like entering the Spanish bodega with its sloping ceiling highlighting oak trellis, dark interiors, and soft dim lighting offering an ambiance of the past when gas lamps and later on incandescent bulbs were used for lighting.
The history of Spanish brandy can be traced as far back as 711 A.D. when wine distillation was discovered by the Moors, up to the modern-day when Grupo Emperador Spain acquired Bodegas Fundador, makers of the world’s first Spanish brandy. Hence, the museum is enlivened by important artifacts like books, letters, traditional wine- and brandy-making tools, samples of soils that were used to grow grapes, and a rare collection of old Emperador brandy bottles.
Learners or researchers of brandy or the brandy making process can view the audio-visual presentation at the museum which showcases the Bodegas Fundador vineyard and bodegas in Jerez, Spain and it shows the process of creating oak wine barrels and viticulture, the process of grape cultivation for wine-making and harvesting of produce.
Likewise, it exhibits the distinctive history that goes into every world-renowned brand of brandy under the line Emperador, Inc., namely: Fundador, Tres Cepas, Terry Centenario, Garvey, Soto, and Espléndido.
Taste a brandy to appreciate its history
The museum café offers frappes and iced drinks infused with Emperador’s latest offering, Emperador Coffee Brandy, best paired with the offered decadent desserts such as cakes and macarons.
Yet serious learners can go for a Brandy Appreciation class for a fee and which will be held at the Brandy Appreciation Hall, which also displays the crests of Pedro Domecq, Tres Cepas, Emperador, Garvey, Soto, and Gonzales Byass.
Upon exit, visitors can purchase a bottle of their preferred brandy whether Emperador or Fundador brandy and either as a gift or to bring home with them to enjoy.
The Brandy Museum is open every day from 10:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. and with no entrance is free. Visitors, however, need to be guided by the current Alert Level status of Iloilo City to comply with COVID-19 pandemic guidelines especially on on serving and consuming of alcoholic beverages.
Definitely, Emparador’s First Brandy Museum in Iloilo City will add to the city’s vibrancy and its growing arts and culture.