Last July 4 was a special day for me. I was invited to check out the facility of Great Islands Craft Brewery and join in for the first brewing session at the new facility. The brewery is the brain child of one, if not the best, brewer in the country, Philippine Brewing God a.k.a. Baldis. For those now in the know, Baldis was the brewer who helped and taught the aspiring brewers several years ago who are now the people behind Katipunan Craft Ales and Craftpoint Brewing Co. With hearing the news of Baldis finally being able to set up the brewery of his dreams, I was ecstatic to see the place and see the man himself play with his new shiny toys.
The watering hole that started the Craft Beer movement opened its latest branch at the rapidly developing area that is known to my generation as the Fort (I grew up calling it The Fort or Fort and I refuse to call it by three boring letters). Technically, The Bottle Shop is the second branch from Global Beer Exchange, the company that imports American Craft Beers such as Stone, Anderson Valley Brewing Company plus the popular and deservedly appreciated Hitachino’s Nest by Kiuchi Brewery from Japan. The latest branch is the third watering hole by the company and the Beertender/Guru, Jim Araneta. The first one, the now closed The Tasting Room, was an amazing place near Greenbelt 5 where most of the original Beer Club of Manila. The latest Bottle Shop location continues the tradition of being the bastion for Craft Beer, both foreign and local. Last July 21, 2015 was the soft opening of The Bottle Shop to the general public. The Beertender himself invited several of the patrons of the original branch of The Bottle Shop at Paseo de Magallanes.
I attended the trade event for Beerfest Asia 2015. All in all it was a good opportunity to meet fellow local brewers, local distributors and share a couple of beers. Here are some thoughts I had on the event:
- Archipelago was holding a beer-and-food-pairing workshop in partnership with the employment and employability institute. I thought that was a good start to push for more craft awareness in the f&b industry.
- There wasn’t much ‘trade’ activity going on – distributors were busy making sure their booths were ready for the public session, neither was there much networking to be done. A good number of ‘trade visitors’ were from the media(myself included).
- The trade session quickly escalated into people getting started on drinking early.
Some thoughts on the rest of Beerfest Asia:
- Food options were limited and disappointing(akin to previous years). Pre-prepared bar snacks and fried offerings by Harry’s Bar led to…
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