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Something’s Brewing!

Friday, July 10, 2015

The craft beer trend has been growing in India, and there are now several places (and even a few microbreweries) around the city where you can sip on some refreshing options. The 48hrs Team tells you about the beer and where you can get it in Mumbai

It’s been raining beer in Mumbai; and how! The latest trend doing the rounds is craft beer! Playing catch-up with celebrated beer hubs such as Bangalore, New Delhi and Pune, the city may be the last metropolis in India to enter the craft brewing sphere, but no one’s worried about that. The trend of ordering a craft beer at a local pub is on the rise, and here to stay! Pankil Shah, owner of Woodside Inn and Woodside All Day Bar & Eatery, tells us, “Despite being the last metropolitan city to introduce locally brewed craft beer, people seem to have taken to guzzling them down. They appreciate the variety in the style of beer that craft breweries offer them, especially considering most of the mainstream breweries only brew one type of beer — lager. However, people seem to be taking to newer beer styles such as wheat beer, stout, porter and even IPA (India Pale Ale), which, ironically, was actually made for India by the British.”

What is craft beer?
The term craft beer is generally reserved for beer that has been brewed by a small brewery (a microbrewery, if you will) in a non-mechanised process and one that’s served locally, although that definition has been stretched quite a bit since craft beer has evolved. And, while every beer is distinctive — with its own flavour and body — what makes craft beer different is that it is excitingly fresh. It is often said that craft beer is born out of pure passion as it uses only grain, hops, yeast and water and is free from additives and artificial products. Also, craft beer is generally characterised by experimentation, with flavours and smells that you won’t normally get from a conventional bottled variety.

How it’s made
If local breweries can make it, brewing craft beer must be simple, right? Wrong! The process is actually pretty complex. Shailendra Bist, co-owner at Independence Brewing Company, explains the method.

  • Grain Milling: Malt is milled to expose the sugary liquid (wort) for extraction. This milled malt is called grist.
  • Mashing and lautering: The grist is then mixed with warm water so that the enzymes present in it are converted into starch sugars. For this, the temperature schedule has to be carefully controlled because it is a delicate process. In lautering, sweet wort is then extracted from the mash.
  • Boiling: Wort is boiled and hops (rare and expensive flowers) are added into it during this process. The bitterness and flavour obtained from the hops is determined by the quantity of hops and the duration for which it is left in the boiling beer. Boiling sterilizes the beer while controlling its flavour and maintaining clarity.
  • Filtering/cooling: The remains of hops and coagulated protein material are removed from the boiled wort. It is then cooled to a temperature suitable for yeast growth.
  • Fermentation: Yeast is added to the wort along with flavour compounds to ferment its sugars into alcohol. The taste of the final concoction is based on the strain of yeast, temperature and on the brewing time.
  • Conditioning and serving: The fermented beer is then filtered to remove excess yeast and left to be conditioned. It is at this time that the flavour in the beer increases as it matures. After this, it is then carbonated with CO2 and finally, the craft beer is ready to be served.

While The Irish House, San-Qi, British Brewing Company, blueFROG and Copa are some of the pubs that offer craft beers, the list goes on and on! We’re telling you where to get craft beer in the city and giving you a glance at what each place has to offer.

The Barking Deer, Lower Parel
Flying Pig Belgian Wit A light, tangy beer with fresh orange peel, coriander and cumin seeds.
Bombay Blonde Ale A crisp beer with German and Czech noble hops that balance the bitterness.
Barking Deer India Pale Ale This ale packs a bitter punch and has a pleasant, citrusy aroma.
Prices Rs 275 onwards

The White Owl, Lower Parel
Ace A mild apple and champagne apple cider.
Torpedo An American pale ale, this has strong citrus flavours with a hint of bitterness.
Paulina A Kölsh beer with mild apple and pear flavours.
Shadow An English Porter, with strong roast and mild, chocolate flavour.
Prices Rs 285 onwards

Flamboyante, Cuffe Parade
White Zen A German-style wheat beer with hints of banana and clove.
Doppelganger A German-style dark wheat beer that is similar to the White Zen except for its dark appearance and malty character.
Prices Rs 220 (glass) Rs 625 (pitcher)

Woodside, Colaba and Andheri
Belgian Witbier Beer made from pilsner, wheat malts and oats.
Four Grain Saison Made using four different grains.
Rye Pale Ale This has a generous dose of rye malt and is exclusively available at Woodside in Andheri and Colaba.
Prices Rs 265 onwards

IBAR, Bandra
White Zen A refreshing German-style wheat beer.
Lost Monday A crisp Belgian-style Golden Ale.
Doppelganger Inspired from the classic Dunkelweizen, a dark wheat beer.
Prices Rs 250 onwards

Olive Bar & Kitchen, Bandra
White Zen A refreshing German-style wheat beer.
Summersault IPA An India Pale Ale made with caramel malt and all-American hop, plus quintessential Indian spices for a distinct pine and citrus aroma.
Doppelg 'a' nger Dark beer with a luscious mouth-feel.
Prices Rs 370 each

Brewbot, Andheri
Skywalker A light Kölsch beer with subtle flavours.
Floating Head A full-bodied and malty beer.
Mojo Rising A pale ale with a caramel malt flavour.
Black Mamba A Chocolate Oat Cream Stout that’s full-bodied, smooth and creamy on the palate.
Prices Rs 200 (330ml), Rs 300 (500ml)

Boveda, Lokhandwala
Diablo An Irish red ale with a mild roast aroma.
Halycon A German Hefeweizen (hay-fuh-vevt-sssenn) with a banana and clove flavour and a fruity aroma.
Shadow A moderate-bodied English Porter, with a strong roast aroma and mild chocolate flavour
Prices Rs 235 (330ml), Rs 355 (500ml)

Doolally, Bandra
Apple Cider A sparkling combination of French Champagne yeast cavorts with Himachal belle apples.
Rauchbier Inspired by single-malt whiskey, this is made from smoked malt.
Altbier A German-style top-fermented ale.
Prices Rs 250 for a glass

The Good Wife, BKC
Diablo An Irish red ale with a mild, caramel flavour.
Halcyon A German Hefeweizen, this beer has a good balance of bitter and sweet.
Torpedo An American pale ale, this one is for those who love a strong citrus flavour.
Prices Rs 281 onwards

Café Nemo, Worli
Jamjar Diner, Versova
Bonobo, Bandra

Doppelganger A German-style dark wheat beer.
Summersault An India Pale Ale with a combination of American hops and Indian spices.
White Zen A refreshing German-style wheat beer.
Prices Rs 248 (excluding taxes)

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