Batanes firm starts sweet potato beer production

By Villamor Visaya, Jr

TUGUEGARAO CITY – Tawsen Agri-Ventures has started the commercial production of the Ivatan Beer, the first and only locally brewed beer in Batanes, the country’s northernmost province.

Dr. Alfonso Simon, Batanes State College (BSC) 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.

BATANES’ PRIDE. Commercial production of the Ivatan Beer, the first and only locally brewed beer in Batanes, has begun in the province. The beverage is produced from sweet potato, which grows abundantly in the northernmost province of the country. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Alfonso Simon/Batanes State College)

The BSC, through Simon, and Dennis Lim of Tawsen Agri-Ventures, signed the Technology Licensing Agreement (TLA) for the beverage. 

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 told the Philippine News Agency.

Lim, a former college instructor who had turned entrepreneur, said the Ivatan Beer’s commercialization will “immensely contribute to the flourishing Batanes’ tourism industry.”

The Department of Science and Technology-Cagayan Valley through Regional Director Sancho Mabborang has issued the Fairness Opinion Report (FOR) on the licensing agreement’s terms and conditions.

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.

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 the same year, the product won third place in the Regional Invention Contest and Exhibit. (PNA)

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