(SPOT.ph) They call him by many names. The Guru. The Pioneer.
But what Jim Araneta really wants to be known as is the legitimate, exclusive distributor of most of the foreign craft beers we can now enjoy in the Philippines. It was a tumultuous road having to get all the paperwork done, but finally, Global Beer Exchange has its house in order.
Walk into The Bottle Shop in Bonifacio Global City—the second branch of his beer den—and you'll be mesmerized by the fully stocked shelves with beers from all over the world, including a growing selection from our local brewers. If freshness is the priority, then you can choose from his beers on tap. Thanks to Jim, hopheads now have a steady supply of their favorites and are not dependent on what's currently flooding the gray market.
What's good to know is that The Bottle Shop continues to expand their selection, and two new imports have just been given shelf space—Rogue and Stone, arguably the two most famous American craft brewers.
Nothing rogue about Rogue
The Rogue Cold Brew IPA (P700) is a collaboration between brewers and third-wave coffee mavericks Stumptown Coffee Roasters. Mixing gallons of their cold-brew coffee with Rogue's IPA makes for a perfect marriage; the bitterness of the hops complements the earthy flavors and fragrance of the coffee. In comparison, the Rogue Fresh Roast (P700) is timid and subdued, hinting demurely of coffee. The brown ale is fantastic, though, paired with the generous heap of nachos (P295).
Hopheads can definitely geek out on Rogue's 6 Hop, 7 Hop, or 8 Hop IPAs (P700) with its varying IBUs and layers of flavors and aromas.
Luckily, Jim also likes to munch while he drinks so The Bottle Shop doesn't slack off when it comes to bar chow. He has Spam Fries (P295) and Lechon Belly (P295), which are both less sinful than the usual since they're air-fried. The lechon is a clear winner, especially when dipped in some vinegar or liver sauce, and perfect with the brown ales. Pro tip: The gambas and salpicao are flavorful bites that stand up wonderfully to the complexity of the brews.
For those who look for balance over hoppiness, Stone's Imperial Mutt Brown Ale (P900), Matt's Burning Rosids (P900), and the 2016 release of the Imperial Russian Stout (P900) offer connoisseurs seasonal varieties and—with their higher alcohol content—can be stored to mature until 2043.
At the moment, these bottles are only available at Jim's stores—the original Magallanes branch, the one in Bonifacio Global City, and the newly opened outlet in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. So, if you see these bottles elsewhere, you know they're not supposed to be there.
The Undercover Eater works with food on a daily basis and hunts for hidden gems in his spare time. For this voracious and, dare we say, professional foodie, eating is more than a necessity—it's a vocation. Contact him at email@example.com.