January 31, 2023

If one craves for Spanish dishes, a different kind of beer, and an outdoor table with a view of the trees, Craft 1945 is the only place to get the package.
Located at Outlook Drive, this restaurant presents a combination of old wooden Baguio residential home converted into a dining space. The garden has twin patios for small group gatherings. On weekends, acoustic music adds more life to its quiet nature ambience.
Baguio Craft Brewery which produces 11 flavors of craft beer has a little of everything for different taste buds. If one prefers strong malt beer or light fruity sweet beer, there is one to match one’s choice. Brew education says there are three kinds of beers – ale, lager, and lambic. “Lagers are crisper and cleaner in flavor, whereas ales are more robust and complex. Lambic beers are bright, sometimes sour or fruity and always unique,” says Heather Barnet in “Basics of Beer”.
So, there you have it. If one is new at it, one can sample the ale, lager or lambic beer here before one orders a glass to go with the meal. I tried Englishman New York which was a lager according to my taste buds, a light and clean flavor. There are so many lambic beers made with strawberry or raspberry, depending on one’s favorite fruit.The bitter and robust ale might be for you, too. A fair warning to customers is the higher alcohol content in the craft beer compared with the commercial counterparts.
This choice went well with the paella negra dish. This Spanish rice meal has velvety squid ink as the base of the sauce and shrimps, crab, clams, and squid mixed with sweet peas, bell peppers, and onions. Garnished with slices of red and green bell peppers and topped with a boiled egg, this meal is perfect with a slice of lemon or lime squeezed over it to heighten flavors. The shrimp size was perfect, squid tender and clams just enough. I would have loved some of the chewy rice stuck at the bottom of the paellera (pan) as an added treat of all its delicious seafood flavors.
While waiting, a basket of bite size pandesal and butter is served. They bake their own bread and this chewy pandesal was delightful. They say they sell this in a bag too.
This simply means that another visit is needed to explore the Spanish influenced flavors at Craft 1945. An article says that when food takes a while to prepare, it is made fresh. One must enjoy the ale or lager that you’re drinking, chew the pandesal well, enjoy the woodwork, notice the lights, and talk before the paella negra is served.
The service is attentive and courteous. There is ample parking, if one has a car. A five – minute walk to the curb after the meal to catch a cab is fair enough for carless customers. The wait shouldn’t be too long because cabs converge here from three directions. There is enough traffic to make the walk safe. Enjoy Craft 1945! (photos by Michael Blancas)