IPA Day / Birthdays / Just another Thirstday

On the first of August this year fell a host of events. It was International IPA Day, while a trio of friends celebrated their birthdays. All in all, it seemed like just another “Throwback Thirstday” at the Bottle Shop, filled with 80’s music and dancing to the tunes of by co-celebrant Sanju. The exception? A veritable feast of awesome food.

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There was Cebu Lechon from Alex, which was stripped to a carcass fairly quickly; Stevie’s Hainanese Chicken (with chicken rice and olive rice) from Sanju; Pepita’s truffled rice-stuff lechon de leche, and San Marcos’ amazing creme brulee cake from Cyrene. Other goodies included pasta, corndogs, a cake from Park Avenue desserts, although my belly was focused on the four above-pictured items. Needless to say, I was stuffed.

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To celebrate IPA Day, I started the evening with Anderson Valley Hop Ottin’ IPA. It was the first time I had this in a long time, when it used to be a go-to drink for me. I found it a bit metallic and one-dimensional, but I guess I’ve been conditioned by Stone and Ballast Point, and even the superior Heelch O’Hops, also from Anderson Valley.

Later on that night, Doc Terrence also shared an aged Stone 15th Anniversary Black IPA. Awesome stuff, and much more mellow than when I first tried it two years ago. Then, it was too viscous and thick – more imperial stout than dark IPA. It didn’t help that it was served at a relatively higher temperature than it should have been. Two years later, it’s aged well, and the hops have mellowed, making it even more of a Russian Imperial Stout style beer, albeit much more balanced and enjoyable.

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The rest of the night was spent enjoying some of the fine craft cocktails made by beertender cum mixologist Jim. Moscow Mule has always been a favorite since I was younger. And it’s made better now by the tasty Hitachino Nest Ginger Ale. (The above photos were taken during the first Wednesday cocktail night. I arrived as the shop was closing, hence the Mule was served in a lowball glass instead of the usual metal mug.)

Other favorites include one of eight different varieties of “Jim and Tonics”, gin and tonics with creative twists such as pineapple, labuyo chili, lemongrass and rosemary.

No photos of the fun and dancing, unfortunately, to protect those involved. :p

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