February was an exciting month in terms of events specifically in Maharashtra.
Early in the month I helped co-host two Craft Beer & Whiskey events in Pune with Jameson. We had two events – one at Effingut’s new taproom in Baner and the other at Independence Brewing Company. Great to see several Beer & Whiskey enthusiasts thirsty for more knowledge.
A few days after I headed back to Bangalore, I was told that a Craft Beer festival in Mumbai was taking place on February 26th – Tapped – The Second Edition.
In 2014, I missed attending Bombay’s and one of India’s first Craft Beer festivals – Tapped. For those of us who live in other states where kegging is not allowed, the prospects of Craft Beer Festivals is slim. Mumbai and Pune have their fair share of festivals now . If you’re lucky like Gurgaon was last summer, Beer Week took place which had several brewpubs taking part with crawls, workshops and Beer themed events taking place. Helping co-host Beer Week was a rewarding experience.
Festivals are a great way to generate interest in Craft Beer for those who are new to the concept and a heaven for seasoned Beer enthusiasts.
Keep in mind our annual per capita consumption of Beer in India is still under 2.0 Liters/Person. With microbreweries mushrooming across major metros and now Tier 1 cities and new Craft Beer labels emerging, we are on a upward trajectory.
Craft Beer is not a fad that’s going to die anytime soon. With festivals such as these and more brewpubs and Craft Beer brands springing up and more beers available to consumers, we are confident that our per capita consumption for Beer figure will rise and we can catch up to countries such as China where Beer reigns supreme.
Unfortunately, the city I live in, Bangalore – the Beer and pub capital of the country has yet to host a proper Craft Beer festival. So when the news about Tapped 2.0 hit my ears, it was time to make bookings and make the trip happen come hell or high water and I wasn’t going alone. It didn’t take much arm twisting to convince a friend who is a Brewer and another who loves Beer as much as I do to keep me company.
Our plan was simple – take a bus to Pune. Meet up with the team at Effingut Brewerkz and head down together to Mumbai the evening before Tapped, sample a few Beers and head straight to the festival the next day.
Participating Breweries & Beers/Craft Beverages [ 30 Craft Beers on Tap]
- Gateway Brewing Co – (7 on Tap)- Hefe, Dunkelweizen, Cider, Tea Infused Ale, Session IPA, Black IPA, Lambic
- Brewbot – (6 on Tap) – Kolsch, Hefe, Belgian Wit, Pale Ale, Festival Ale, Stout
- White Owl – (4 on Tap) – Hefe, Belgian Wit, Irish Red, Porter
- Effingut – (4 on Tap) – Hefe, Strawberry Cider, Lemon Ginger Mead, Belgian Pale Ale
- Independence Brewing Co ( 4 on Tap) – Rasberry Ale, Honely Lavender Ale, Saison, IPA
- Doolally (5 on Tap) – Hibiscus Gose, Belgian Wit, Mango Cider, Choc Coconut Coffee Milk Stout, American Porter,
- Yeast India Company – Hobgoblin, Witlinger
- Kimaya Brewing Co – Blonde Ale
There was a surprise last minute entrant – Kimaya Brewing Co. This small production brewery from Pune has been set up by close friends of mine who have been avid Beer enthusiasts for several years now.
For Coffee addicts who love cold brews on Nitrogen, new brand Svami had set up shop at Tapped. Svami has been set up by Aneesh Bhasin from Hipcask and Rahul Mehra from Gateway Brewing Co. They plan to sell kegged nitro cold brew coffee, as well as tonic water in Maharashtra.
- Woodside Inn
- 1 Tablespoon Pizza Kitchen
- The Belgian Waffle Co.
- Razzberry Rhinoceros by Ranveer Brar
- Bombar Breads
The Set Up
Razzberry Rhinoceros was a legendary performance menu that had shut down and re-opened recently. For several people attending Tapped, this venue brought back warm memories.
A spacious lawn that overlooked the beach and sea is where all the Beer & Food Tents were set up along with a section of covered seating. It was quite evident that the organizers had done a good job with getting everything ready for the festival.
It was great to meet up with Brewpub/Brewery owners, Brewers and my friends from the Brewhan Mumbai (Beer Enthusiasts). The Craft Beer community is like a small family and meetings such as these are always welcome.
At noon, the crowd was sparse owing to how hot it was under the sun but once the evening hours set in, the venue was at full capacity and some people had to be turned away from the gates. The excellent selection of beers & ciders coupled with good food choices, cold brew coffee and live music by the beach made for a great event.
The Beers – Verdict
We did a live feed on Facebook which was basically a short tour of all the participating breweries. The live feed did run off my own personal FB page and unfortunately can’t be embedded. The next time we do a live feed, we’ll run it off the T.O.F. page and save it.
In short, the microbreweries in Mumbai and Pune are doing a diverse range of Beers, Melomels, Ciders and Meads – something we don’t see too often in the other cities that do have Craft Beer. They are all doing a phenomenal job and a few of them are missing from the festival but we’d like to recognize all the hard work all of you do. Cheers to that.
At Tapped 2.0, there were a handful of brews that really stood out from the rest in terms of creativity & flavor. These are the Beers that did it for us:
Brewbot | Botwwork Orange | Belgian Wit
Excellent aroma & flavor – a very different proportion of coriander & orange peels used here.
Doolally | Hibiscus Gose | Gose – (Not pictured)
A winner in terms of creativity, flavor and mouthfeel – uniquely different.
Doolally | Choc Coffee Coconut Stout | Stout – (Not pictured)
The best flavor profiles rolled into one – a hit with the lads and lasses alike.
Effingut | Lemon Ginger Mead | Mead
On a hot afternoon, the ultimate thirst quencher with a hint of spicy ginger – brilliant.
Gateway Brewing Co | Dark Horse | Black IPA
Those who embrace hops, nitrogen and dark malts – the force is strong with this one – wonderfully balanced and a real treat for the hardcore Beer enthusiast.
Gateway Brewing Co | Darling Jee | Specialty Ale
Absolutely fabulous – the use of Earl Grey & Darjeeling tea infusions works wonderfully well to create a flavorful Beer that lets you savor every sip and makes you want to drink more.
Independence Brewing Co | Honey Lavender Ale | Specialty Ale
The use of organic honey coupled with fresh flowers works wonderfully well. Perfectly carbonated and balanced with a hint of sweetness and floral undertones this is truly uniquely different.
White Owl | Diablo | Irish Red
There’s something about Irish Reds that is attractive. Some Reds are hoppier in their finish, some can be malt forward as is this brew from White Ownl. Hints of caramel and the malt shining through with this one.
Kimaya Brewing | Blonde
Brilliant effort with this highly sessionable blonde from the new kids on the block. Looking forward to their official launch where folks in Pune will be able to try their range of brews.
Yeast India Company
Even though we didn’t have time to buy a few pints of Hobgoblin or Witlinger, we’ve already tried those Beers and they are great go to Beers when you don’t have Craft Beer at home!
Collaboration brews are always deserve a special shout out. Beer Enthusiast Dr. Ameya Kale recently brewed a Belgian Pale Ale with Effingut and this was on tap at Tapped.
Bravo Doc. We are glad that a few Brewpubs across the country do collab brews from time to time. This is a great way to embrace and build the Craft Beer community.
Festivals such as these where you have 30 Beers on tap can be a daunting task for avid Beer enthusiasts who want to try each and every Beer without falling flat on their faces. Here are a few tips:
- Opt for Samplers/ Smaller pints – This lets you try a wider variety of Beers where you’re still able to deconstruct the beers and make mental or physical notes about the Beers you’ve tried.
- Pace Yourself – Go early and take a break in between beers. Drink a few glasses of water and keep yourself hydrated. For outdoor festivals, make sure you’re carrying a hat, sunglasses and if required sunscreen.
- Eat – Don’t drink on an empty stomach. Eat in between sessions.
- Know Your Limits – It’s not fun when you’re crossed the line for you or those around you. Be respective of your surroundings and know when to stop drinking.
- Don’t Drink and Drive – Hire a driver, get a designated driver or use public transport. Never put yourself or others at risk ever!
- Talk to People – Events such as these are great to meet fellow Beer enthusiasts. You’ll never know who you meet, so be sociable and most importantly have fun responsibly.
When the next festival takes place in Pune or Mumbai, you’ll hear about it on the Tales Of Froth blog and respective Social Media channels.
We are really looking forward to the next such festival already!
Cheers & Stay Frothy
JJ The Keg
All Images Courtesy – Tales Of Froth & Respective Brands – Gateway Brewing Co & The White Owl