The Druid Garden’s Czech Craft Beers
Wednesday May 10th, 2017 – The Druid Garden officially launches their Craft Beer on tap.
With almost 30 brewpubs in the city now, does one more make a difference you might ask yourself?
Out of those 30 odd brewpubs how many of them are actually producing consistently good Craft Beer – a handful to be honest and that is not just my opinion but one that is shared by the growing army of Craft Beer aficionados in this city. As the market matures, consumers who have been educated about Craft Beer will start to become more picky and choosy.
Back to the Druids and their magic potions – what’s different about what’s flowing out of their taps?
Before we answer that question let’s take a detailed look at The Druid Garden. This brewpub spread out over 30,000 sq ft perched on top of building in Saharkara Nagar just west of Hebbal. The interior walls and flooring have an unfinished look but the fittings, furniture and feel are modern with a mixture of wood and metal completing the look complete with foliage, as well.
If that doesn’t impress you then the retractable glass ceiling will certainly change your mind. This is the only brewpub I’ve seen in India with a retractable glass roof – truly unique! Sensors on the roof can automatically detect rainfall and cause the roof to retract before it starts to pour.
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There’s a rooftop garden space under construction that will feature planters and a meandering water body as well as seating to complete the space. Look for this to open shortly.
The seating is tiered – there are several different sections of varying heights to choose from. One dedicated area can be turned into a stage, if need be. 500 guests can be seated here and there’s standing room, as well.
Attention to detail isn’t spared when it comes to the washrooms either – clean, neat, spacious and functional.
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Druid Garden has a massive kitchen spread over 2 floors and an open section that houses a wood fired smoker and a pizza grill. 15 different types of cuisines on the food menu here prepared by highly trained gourmet chefs. Fresh ingredients both local and imported are used including imported fruits, vegetables, smoked meat & cheese.
A large well equipped bar with all the latest equipment manned by well trained and experienced mixologists ensure the best hand crafted cocktails this side of town. Druid makes their own infusions using fresh ingredients as opposed to readily available syrups and this just makes your cocktail taste a lot better! Nothing like fresh.
Whisky aficionados can expect some rare Single Malts and Whisky related events in the near future.
The brewery at Druid Garden is massive and very well appointed. A 10 HL brewhouse with several fermenters and bright beer and lagering tanks equates to up to 8 Craft Beers on tap and output well in excess of 30,000 Liters per month.
Most of the equipment here is Czech and some components like the Brewhouse were flown in rather than by sea. The brewer here is also Czech, Ladislav Klazar – a man with plenty of experience behind him. I had the pleasure of meeting Ladislav last year when they were still building Druid Garden and at that time he was busy scribbling down tasting notes at the brewpub where we met. You can be sure that he knows what Bangalore likes.
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You can tell that the brewery has been designed well from the layout and the piping – once again attention to detail.
What’s different about Druid Garden is that the raw materials for making Beer are Czech as well. Druid imports their own Malt, Hops and Liquid Yeast. They have their own off site malt storage facility. There’s a constant debate in brewing circles about liquid vs dry yeast. Liquid yeast produces better tasting beers but is a tough commodity to handle. The Druid Garden batch tested liquid vs dry yeast and found the liquid yeast superior.
Their brewing philosophy is simple – ensure each batch conditions for the right amount of time. For example, the Pilsner is lagered for at least 40 days before being put on tap. Their focus is quality and to start things off have released 3 beers on tap and will slowly scale to 8 beers on tap.
Beers On Tap
There have been a few new brewpubs that have opened recently and most of them have had teething issues resulting in beers with a lot of room for improvement.
The Druid Garden is the exception. We tried all 3 Beers and couldn’t find any major flaws. No doubt a few tweaks will take place for subsequent batches for their first set of brews, Laidslav and his team have done a phenomenal job.
The 3 beers on tap at present are a Czech style Pilsner, Bohemian Dunkel Lager & a Bavarian style Hefeweizen.
The true test of how great a Czech brewery is to see how good their Pilsner is. The Pilsner originated from the Czech town of Pilsen and Pilsner Urquell was the first blond lager produced in 1842. The definition style is supposed to be a clear, clean, crispy, malt forward brew with considerable hop character and a long, rounded finish. The bitterness is not meant to be harsh so as to enhance drink ability.
Druid’s Czech Pilsner – Pale with a nice fluffy head and hazy. The haze is the only non true to style character. Malt forward with plenty of bready notes, crispy, light bodied, well carbonated with the right Saaz hop character. You do get a nice hint of sweetness from the malt in the finish. My personal favorite and a delicious brew that goes down easily.
The Bohemian Dunkel was in existence a long time before the Pilsner was ever created and was around at the time of King Wenceslas. A typical Czech dark lager needs to have a roasty character that is malt forward and complex with a hint of bitterness from the hops.
Druid’s Bohemian Dunkel Lager – Please do not confuse this style with a a Stout but a dark lager with plenty of dark chocolate and caramel notes but is light to medium bodied and easy to drink.
Dark in appearance on account of the dark chocolate specialty malts used with an off white head. On the nose, hints of dark chocolate and caramel and if you really search for it hints of coffee. Light to medium bodied with the aroma transposing itself to the palate, rich in malt flavors with a low bitter finish and slightly creamy in texture.
Very similar to the Dunkel lager at Biergarten and District 6 even those those are German style Dunkel lagers with slightly varied malt and hop profiles.
This is an easy drinking beer despite it’s appearance.
German style Hefeweizen – If you are used to Hefeweizens, you’ll find Druid’s Hefe has a fruitier ester component not just bananas but mixed fruits and the clove /spice aroma is present in the background. Slightly heavier bodied than most Hefe’s, this has the right flavor profile and is literally a meal in itself.
I’d compare this to a Paulaner or Schneider Weiss and quite similar to Toit’s Weiss.
Next On Tap : There’s a citrus IPA and Stout coming out by the end d of the month which should be worth the wait.
It’s always good to see a Brewpub with the right selection of glassware. Glassware here is from German manufacture SAHm.
Beer Pricing is very reasonable (Before Tax) :
Rs 125 for 300 ml
Rs 200 for 500 ml
Rs 400 for 1 Litre
Please realize that lower pricing does not mean a compromise on quality in this case.
I’ve attached our bill after we had quite a few pints and ordered some food. Very reasonable.
There’s a wide variety of food to choose from European/Continental to North/South/Central American to Pan Indian to Pan Asian.
Before the Druid opened it’s doors to the public, I was invited for one of their food trials and good to sample a range of dishes. You can’t really go wrong with any of your choices. The tacos, pizza and lamb really stood out for me. For dessert try their hand made sorbets.
This Brewpub will be one of the city’s top Brewpubs if they continue to churn out consistently great Craft Beers, Craft Cocktails, Gourmet Food, and Great Service.
We had a great time at The Druid Garden. My friend Kalyan who is a staunch Whisky drinker finally tried the sampler and actually took a liking to the Dunkel.
Thank you Amit Gowda, Amit Naik, Rohan and the rest of the staff for the hospitality and we wish you all the Best and you can count on us coming back soon to check out the IPA and Stout.
JJ The Keg & Friends
40/1 Century Corbel Commercial , 3rd floor Sahakaranagar Main Road, Sahakaranagar, Park View Layout, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560092
Phone: +91 80 4677 7777
Tuesday – Thursday: 12 Noon – 11:30PM
Friday – Saturday: 12 Noon – 1:00AM
Sunday: 12 Noon – 11:30PM
Map: Click HERE
Website: Click HERE
Facebook: Click HERE
All Images Courtesy: Tales Of Froth & The Druid Garden