Craft Beer In Goa
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Goa? If I were to close my eyes right now, my mind would paint a picture of waves lapping at a pristine beach, the sun shining in all it’s glory and perched under a thatched roof, me sipping on a cold pint and munching on some freshly prepared peppered prawns, living the susegad lifestyle.
The Goa that I used to frequent a decade ago was similar, though less crowded but my beer options back then were limited to local lagers and perhaps a few imports. Today, you can actually find bottled Indian Craft Beer and better yet Goa’s first brewpub.
Unlike Karnataka, Goa has a kegging policy in place meaning you don’t have to go the brewpub to enjoy those pints and you’re more than likely to find them at some of the popular bars, shacks and restaurants scattered all over the State.
Goa’s First Microbrewery – Susegado Brewing Co
Susegado Brewing Co is set up inside Habanero Goa’s restaurant in Baga. The brewery was established in 2016 and got their brewing license in early May, 2017. The set up enables Susegado to supply Habanero and also keg to other bars and restaurants around Goa.
Aditya Challa ,the founder is a man with a rich history who has lived a life of adventure so far. A computer engineer with an MBA who put him through University in Scotland many years later, to learn the art of brewing and distilling. A short while later, he founded Jungle Beer in Singapore, in 2011.
Here’s a short clip about Jungle Beer:
Jungle Beer did very well however as the years flew by the cost were rising and it didn’t make sense to continue brewing in Singapore. Aditya decided to ship his equipment back to India and look at setting up a microbrewery/brewpub in Goa.
Susegado brewing has just completed its one year anniversary and is steadily expanding its reach in Goa.
Beers On Tap
Typically at Susegado, you’ll find 2 house beers on tap – a Mango Wheat & Pale Ale and 1 special. Last year that special was a lovely Vanilla Porter and if memory serves me right, they recently went through a Cryo Citra Pale Ale and a Dortmund Lager, as well as a Scotch Ale.
Trigo Mango Wheat
An easy drinking wheat beer infused with the ever so popular Mango that we Indians love. The wheat softens the mouthfeel and gives you a nice malty base to counter the tartness of the mangoes used. Overall, a sessionable wheat beer, if that’s what you prefer.
Dorado Pale Ale
The Pale Ale here is a delight – more along the English IPA style with a generous helping of crystal malt giving you that rich color and subtle spicy, earthy bitterness from the English hops used. It’s well balanced and good for those who are already accustomed to Pale Ales and newbies alike.
It’s not going to jump at you and scream hops on the nose or palate but it’s got a nice malty base with a nice delicate amount of bitterness in the finish. On warming, you’ll get some hop character on the nose, for sure.
Habanero whips up all the traditional Mexican fare but I found some great classic dishes that are perfect bar food.
Do try the fried pickles – absolutely divine and if you another good appetizer that is a cult favorite is the Choriz fry. You can devour this for breakfast and basically eat this throughout the day and those caramelized onions and spices work extremely well with the Dorado Pale Ale.
Aditya’s been doing a great job with the beers here but he’s had his fair share of issues. So if you find a beer that’s off, let Susegado know. There may be a few inconsistencies here and there but don’t let those stop you from having a great time at Habanero.
Habanero and Susegado certainly get my vote! Funnily enough, I appear to be a happy Mexican enjoying his pale ale in the photo below.
Don’t forget, you can also go to some of the other outlets that carry Habanero Beers. The closest one to my hotel (Cavala) in Baga was the Royal Enfield Cafe.
Built as a flagship experience center by Royal Enfield, the cafe features a showroom, repair shop and has a wonderful bar/cafe attached to it and yes, they have Susegado on tap.
It’s a great setting to enjoy a few Dorado Pale Ales and a hearty Beef stew, look no further! The last time we sat together, 6 of us went through 40 odd pints!
Pints are very reasonably at around Rs. 160/330 ml pint at this cafe.
To find out where else Susegado draft is available, please check their website:
Other Craft Beer Options
- You’ll be happy to know that Arbor Brewing Company India have their production brewery to go. Arbor are canning and kegging 3 beers to start of with – The Easy Rider Wheat Ale, Beach Shack IPA and the Smooth Criminal (Lavender & Honey Ale). Their head brewer for Goa, Rob is a delightful chap who has spent quite a lot of time in South East Asia and has a wealth of experience he brings to the table. Arbor’s beers are available at several liquor stores in North & South Goa. You’ll find their draft beers on tap at a few outlets in Goa and others will carry their cans.
- Please check their updated map for current locations – Map
- Arbor have just opened their new flagship taproom, in Saligao.
Arbor Brewing Company, Beer Garden & Eatery At The Archway, Saligao.
- Goa Brewing Company are bottling their line of Craft Beers in Goa now. They promise to eventually have a line up of interesting beers including a few IPAs! At present look for their Craft IPA, Eight Finger Eddie at liquor stores.
- For Craft Bottles available in the market already, you can choose from Simba, White Owl and Thirsty Beers, as well as commercial brands such as Affligem & Edelweiss, Hoegaarden, Leffe and so on.
It’s great to see Goa jumping in on the Craft Beer bandwagon and I hope to see more beer related events, festivals and so forth!
Well I hope you enjoyed the read.
Cheers & Stay Frothy!
JJ The Keg
- Susegado Brewing Company Website – Click Here
- Susegado Brewing Company Facebook – Click Here
- Habanero Goa on Facebook – Click Here
- Habanero Goa on Zomato – Click Here
Habanero Goa Address:
Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/bpyLq2skfkN2
All Images Courtesy Tales Of Froth unless otherwise stipulated.