Pune’s First Nanobrewery
In our last post we covered Mumbai’s second production Craft Brewery Ninkasi Brewworks and talked about the advantage Maharashtra has over other states in terms of kegging.
There’s another production brewery that is operational but it’s very different from the likes of Gateway Brewing or Ninkasi Brewworks. Located in the outskirts of Pune, in Pirangut, just off one of the main highways and the famous Mulshi locality, you will find a small industrial area with a white building spread over 17,000 sq ft. that houses a small factory and Pune’s first and one of India’s first nanobreweries. Before we discuss what this is, it’s important to note that Supreme Court’s 500m rule does not apply as this is a manufacturing unit.
Let’s take a look at Kimaya Brewing Company
Kimaya Brewing Company
What is a nanobrewery? Well, it’s a scaled down version of a microbrewery, typically run by a sole entrepreneur that produces small batch Craft Beer. To put things into perspective, a nanobrewery like this can produce roughly 1/5th (3,000 L/month) of what a normal brewpub or production brewery’s maximum out put is in Pune/Mumbai (15,000 L/month).
What also makes Kimaya interesting is the people who started it and their passion for Beer.
Fellow Beer enthusiast and Beer Historian Ashish Jasuja and I visited Kimaya’s nanobrewery and had a word with co-founder Saurabh Patwardhan and took a tour of the brewery and filmed our visit.
Links to the video can be found further along this post. This is what Saurabh had to say:
JJ: What does the word Kimaya mean?
Saurabh: So, Kimaya means Divine Magic in Marathi and that’s what we intend to brew.
JJ: Tell us about the Kimaya Legacy.
Saurabh: In the mid 1950’s ,my grandmother, Pune’s first lady doctor started her clinic in most distant part of Pune, Kothrud. She treated patients successful without any modern day hospital equipment and probably without even electricity. People started calling her clinic “Kimaya” which means divine magic. Of course it was no magic but sheer hard work, dedication and commitment.
Inspired by her work we continued our journey starting Kimaya Veg Restaurant, Kimaya Real Estate and Kimaya Aquapure. This year we launched Kimaya Brewing Company. We are a 100 percent family owned business and operate in various sectors ranging from hospitality to F & B to real Estate. . We make all our products with the latest technology and highest quality production products. Be it a bottle of water or a plate of Pavbhaji or a pint of KImaya Pale Ale, we make sure you experience magic in it.
JJ: How did you get interested in Craft Beer and Brewing?
Saurabh: Getting back to the brewing part, I discovered the world of Craft Beer during my MBA days in the USA. Breweries like Berghoff and Rock Bottom really got me hooked on to good beers. Returning back, there was only one brewery, probably India’s first “Doolally”. After a few years after coming back, I started home brewing and that’s when i got in touch with Sapan.
Sapan already had his blog and that’s how I got in touch with him. We brewed a collaboration batch together at Independence Brewing Co and that’s when we decided to start our own production brewery.
Meanwhile Sameer, my brother was already Homebrewing in the States. He came back about the right time when we were in the process of procuring license. Sameer and Sapan got on to designing the system. Being homebrewers and having brewed over 100 batches collectively we were pretty sure about the process and hence decided to fabricate our own brewery. I personally wanted it to make a 100 percent #makeinmaharashtra project.
JJ: Tell us about your Brewhouse.
Saurabh: We eventually managed to pull a descent brewery but it was not as easy we thought. Working with fabricators who had never made a brewery before made turned out to be a little challenging. It took lot of time to explain the process to them and making the brewery work was a back and forth effort. Sapan and Sameer both engineers by profession worked day & night on the design and made sure the brewery finally came to life.
Ours is a 2 HL system and we do double batching which is not very common here but a common practice in America. We have 4 fermenters and 3 hot side vessels, all locally fabricated. The system being locally designed and fabricated is a totally new concept for all of us. There are problems sometimes but we know the answers as we have designed it and we exactly know how to operate the entire system. This is better a problem to have than to be dependent on someone else’s system.
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(Saurabh also showed us the cold room and BBT’s and their kegs. You will see Saurabh explain in the video is that the brewhouse is direct gas fired – something you don’t commonly see in India. Most brewpubs have a electric or steam heated system. The entire production area (hot and cold side) take up 2,700 sq ft.)
JJ: Tell us about your staff? We all know that you, Sammer & Sapan and are all experienced brewers.
Saurabh: We have employed VSI interns and graduates. At Kimaya, not only the brewery but as an organization, we believe in employing local youth.
(Jagannath Gayake is Kimaya’s brewer who recently graduated from VSI in Pune and it’s great to see him on the team. He’s inspired, energetic and enthusiastic and a friendly chap. Keep up the good work Jag!)
JJ: What Beer styles does Kimaya do and what about your price points?
Saurabh: We dont plan to fit our beers in the BJCP guidelines. I personally believe that India is different country with different palate and need not necessarily follow the American guidelines. We are a immature beer market and we have a long way to go before we start classifying beers according to styles.
We will have 2 staples and a lot of boutique beers. We will brew with indigenous grains like Ragi, Buckwheat, Local wheat, Local rice verities as well as local fruits like Kokam, Mango, Watermelons, Musk Melons. We will also be doing ciders and if capacity permits will experiment with meads.
I can’t comment about the pricing policy because with so many breweries popping up, the price per liter is changing virtually every day. However Kimaya will always ensure best quality product at a pocket friendly price.
We spoke to Saurabh at the Kimaya brewery a day before their official launch and he showed us around the brewery and shared some interesting insights with us.
(Best watched on mobile in full screen mode)
Kimaya currently uses imported Belgian malt from DVKSP but is soon looking to switch to local 6 row barley malt sourced from farms working on a special project with another brewpub in Pune. Hops and yeast used here are imported from Europe & the US. The water source is of course RO which Kimaya have perfected but it’s nice to know that the local water in and around the area – Pirangut/Mulshi happens to be excellent and Mulshi water is bottled as spring water. You can be assured that Kimaya’s beers will taste great!
For a more detailed overview about Ingredients & the Brewing Process, please read our post – https://talesoffroth.com/brewingprocess/
Kimaya is part of the MCBA (Maharashtra Craft Brewers Association) and have been active in joining forces with other Craft Breweries in Pune and Mumbai to help enhance Excise laws to promote better Craft Beer growth.
Kimaya Boutique Beers
On our visit and at the preview of the launch at Vandaag at the Taj Gateway, we got to try 2 of Kimaya’s Beers – The Cilantro and the Vandaag Ale at the brewery itself and then tried the Cilantro on tap at Vandaag.
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What’s unique about the Cilantro Ale is that unlike a Belgian Wit this light bodied wheat ale has no orange peels in it and just the coriander. That actually works even though your BJCP trained mind keep searching for that citrus punch that never appears.
The Vandaag had the right hop aroma on the nose but wasn’t overwhelmingly bitter on the palate and sessionable. That’s the right approach for a Pale Ale here in India where people prefer fruitier, sweeter beers.
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Since we last met the Kimaya team, they’ve come out with a few more specialty brews.
Kimaya’s third and recently released ale is the Cardinal – their take on a classic malt forward Red ale and from the description sounds like an Irish Red. There’s only one way to find out – get out there and get a pint!
Their fourth and fifth beers are also now on top – The Deccan Draught – an easy going sessionable brew and the Hoppinator – Pale ale made with a huge dose of Hops. Hoppinator is a very hop Forward beer brewed using 4 varieties of American hops. Citra, Amarillo, Columbus and one experimental hop has been used. Extremely aromatic, with muskmelon, raw mango and citrus on nose.
Where to Find Kimaya’s Beers
Currently, you can find Kimaya’s brews at 2 outlets. Eventually they will be available at 5 outlets in Pune. Please check their Facebook page for frequent updates. Links at the bottom of the post.
Vandaag – Taj Gateway, Hinjewadi – Click HERE
Malaka Spice – Baner – Click HERE
Curry On The Roof – Prabhat Road – Click HERE
It’s always encouraging to see Beer enthusiasts take the plunge and enter the professional world of brewing with a new, radical approach. Kimaya’s nanobrewery is an inspiration for brewers across India and no doubt that will be open to several collaboration brews in the months to come and will continue to help grow the Craft Beer community in Pune and across India.
Saurabh, Sameer, Sapan and Jag – we wish you the best of luck!
JJ The Keg
Kimaya Brewing Co On Facebook – Click HERE
Kimaya Brewing Co on Instagram – Click HERE
All Images Courtesy: Kimaya Brewing Co & Tales Of Froth