This is where I include reviews about brewpubs, breweries and noteworthy pubs in other cities and countries. Some reviews are contributions from friends around the world – our roving reporters!
Details about cool cafes, restaurants in the area and accommodation options are new additions that will be included shortly.
India’s craft brewpub movement has seen brewpubs spring up primarily around the metros – Bangalore, Gurgaon/Delhi, Mumbai, Pune & Chandigarh.
Gateway Brewing Company – Mumbai, Maharashtra
In 2003, Navin Mittal, one of the three original founders was just getting started with home brewing and launched a home brewing blog called IndianBeerGeek.com. The blog attracted a good following and in 2010, he met Krishan Naik and Rahul Mehra and they teamed up to start home brewing.
In 2011, they launched the Gateway Brewing Company. Initially, they had considered launching a brewpub but later changed their minds and started a microbrewery instead. These early pioneers in the craft beer movement fought state laws and paved the way for the craft beer movement in Mumbai. They decided that distributing kegs to various restaurants and pubs in Mumbai would be a better way to share their craft brews with people – kudos to them! The reason they are able to do this is because state laws in Maharastra permit microbreweries to distribute brews. Here in Karnataka, brewpubs are forbidden to transport beer off-premises.
Today Gateway Brewing supplies their brews to over 30 bars and restaurants including the Four Seasons Hotel and the JW Marriott Hotel.
They currently have 4 brews available out of their stable of 7 brews:
- White Zen – Hefeweizen – Wheat Ale.
- Doppelganger – Dunkel Weiss – Dark Wheat Ale
- A1 IPA
Tales Of Froth roving reporter Aditya Thomas was in Mumbai in February 2015 and visited one of the pubs that Gateway supplies.
WoodSide Inn, Colaba – Mumbai (click the hyperlink to be redirected to their Zomato listing)
Woodside Inn has a lovely, warm ambience and is a pub known for it’s Italian and Continental fare as well as a good selection of draught beer according to Aditya. The best time to go to the pub is for their happy hours from 4pm to 8pm.
Two brews were sampled and here are his tasting notes.
The White Zen – Hefeweizen, Wheat Ale
Appearance: Orange, Cloudy, Creamy head that has good retention, decent lacing.
Aroma: Citrusy with hints of cloves and banana.
Taste: Classic hefeweizen flavors of cloves and banana with a clean finish and a very mild hop profile.
Mouthfeel: Medium body with the right amount of carbonation.
Overall: A very good hefeweizen on par with the best available in Bangalore.
Alcohol Level: 5% ABV, Hops used: Hallertauer (Germany)
Doppelganger – Dunkel Weiss – Dark Wheat Ale
Appearance: Dark, cloudy, Creamy head with good retention.
Aroma: Mildly fruity – hard to discern.
Taste: The dark malt flavour profile dominates with very mild hoppy notes.
Mouthfeel: Heavier bodied with a creamy, smooth mouthfeel.
Overall: A fairly decent Dunkel but not on the same level as the Dunkels available in Banglore such as the KingSlayer from Big Pitcher.
Alcohol Level: 5% ABV. Hops Used: Hallertauer (Germany)
Thank you Aditya for your review! He says he would definitely go back to Woodside, if he was in the area and try some of Gateway’s other brews. I will be heading up to Mumbai mid April and am hoping to sample the Explorer Ale in particular, as it is a limited release beer and unique as several six popular types of hops have been used to create this pale ale. I’m a big fan of IPA’s and Pale Ales and this flavour profile sounds highly intriguing.
Update – Unfortunately during my Mumbai trip in April – the restaurants serving Gateway in the Bandra area could not get their taps working. Next time Gateway – Next Time!
Doolally Tap Room, Bandra – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Originally a Pune brewpub and one of the first to open in Maharashtra (2009), it’s great to see the newly opened Doolally Taproom in Mumbai. Hence their tagline – Giving Great Head Since 2009.
Located In a great little side street in Bandra – it is not hard to find. Located right next to Ibar. The brews here are shipped by road from the main microbrewery in Pune. This location is small but quaint and brightly done up in green and white.
Now for the part we are all waiting for – the beers. Beer Flight/Sampler included the following (note this changes depending on availability from Pune and stocks in hand)
Cider, Hefeweizen, Belgian Wit, RauchBier and Porter
Two brews stood out for me – again this is my opinion – your taste palette may differ.
RauchBier – Smoked Ale was perfect – Dark brown, slightly hoppy, the smoky malt aroma can be easily detected and it definitely leaves a nice after taste, rich mouthfeel, medium bodied.
Cider – Definitely one of the best, most authentic Indian made ciders I’ve seen so far. Clear, Crisp and Dry with plenty of carbonation with balanced sweetness.
The Hefewizen and Belgian Wit were decent too (staple brews at most brewpubs these days) and great for the summer. The porter wasn’t fully matured yet but I could detect the chocolate and vanilla overtones.
Brews are available in either 330 ml for Rs. 250. Pitchers for Rs. 1,000
For Food – you’ve got to rely on the Zomato foodies out there, I just cover the beers!
Atmosphere – Very friendly and full of people enjoying brews after work or on the weekend. Book a table in advance as it does get very busy in the evenings.
Would I go there again? Yes, I ended up going twice in a row and bumped into some familiar faces. If they can get their logistics perfected, they won’t’ run short of brews – that’s the only negative.
The brewery does a Beer Olympics every year at their Pune HQ – check out http://beerolympics.in/
Doolally Tap Room – Zomato Page
The Pint Room, Bandra – Mumbai, Maharashtra (*CLOSED)
Update – Sadly, the Pint Room has closed.
One thing Bangalore lacks is a proper pub that has a vast variety of Imported Craft Beer in Bottles or on Tap. On my recent trip to Bombay/Mumbai, I had the pleasure of visiting The Pint Room, in Bandra. This location opened 2 years ago.
The Pint Room has a few locations in Delhi, Gurgaon, Pune, as well and one that will be re-opened in Bangalore. Bar manager Jigna Shah is friendly and will show you the impressive collection of imported Lagers, Weiss, Ales and Stout in their very visible beer fridges behind the bar. Some of these include:Lagers – Sagres, Estrella, Oranjeboom, Peroni, Amstel Light, Bira Morreti, Viru and the usual international and domestic offerings.
Ales: – A nice collection of IPA’s and Ales from Shepherd Neame (UK) , Old Speckled Hen, Fuller’s.Stouts – Murphy’s, Shepherd Neame and Fuller’sWeiss – Erdinger, Paulaner, Schedier Weiss. They do cider available – Magner’s.Beers on Tap – Hooegarden, Stella, Erdinger Weiss and the Erdigner Dunkel and well as the normal domestic offerings. Currently, there is a shortage of InBev products. (April 2015)
This is a small quaint, little Beer Cafe with a casual feel to it – the whole focus is an environment where the patrons can talk to each other without being interrupted by loud music or large crowds. Warm, piped music fills the air and they do have live music on occasion. They also do small beer tasting sessions for groups of up to 30, Beer Pong, Poetry reading and so forth – never a dull moment at The Pint Room.
I got to try the Viru Lager from Estonia, Sagres from Portugal, Magner’s Cider, Erdinger on Tap, Peroni and a new brand they are pushing, a Korean Rice Beer/Wine called Kook Soon Dang – it’s white, sweet/sour and can be perfectly paired with a dessert or used in cooking. I think it lies somewhere between a toddy and a fenni. Give it a go, if you want to try something different. Always nice to see a bar with the right glassware!
The staff are friendly, attentive and have been trained well – they know their brews and can pour a perfect pint – impressive. If you get stuck on choices, ask for their Beer Drinker’s Guide and get a suggestion from the bar staff.
Pricing is fair and since you are dealing with imports, it is a premium however you are paying for the experience and I think for Mumbai, it is highly affordable.
The Pint Room Bandra – Zomato Page
Website: – http://www.thepintroomworld.com/
Steam Whistle Brewery – Toronto, Ontario
If you are in the downtown Toronto area and have visited the CN Tower and Ripley’s Aquarium, then you definitely need to walk across to the roundhouse, to the Steam Whistle Brewery.
Steam Whistle is Canada’s premium Pilsner – they do one thing and they do it really well. Their brewmaster is from the Czech town of Pilsen and it’s as authentic as you get. The brewery was a former Locomotive shed and there is a lot of history behind this. They do daily tours every hour that cost $10. You can get a guided tour of their brewing process and get to drink beer along the way. You also get a keepsake souvenir after the tour. The tour takes under an hour and is a lot of fun. Not only do you get a history lesson but an education into brewing and why it’s a science.
Steam Whistle also has a bar up front and a souvenir shop too. They have a fleet of funky vehicles outside – so take a walk around the building. Also do check out the Locomotives from the Railway museum right on the property.
The brewery does events quite regularly – so do check out their website for more details.
Great for couples and anyone who loves quality beer. You can also buy 6 and 12 packs direct from the brewery itself – it doesn’t get any fresher especially when you fill up their growlers.
See how they fill up their growlers here
Their Motto – Do One Thing Really, Really Well – Video
Six Pints Specialty Beer Co – Beer Academy – Toronto, Ontario
Bier Markt – The Esplanade -Toronto, Ontario
The Crown And Anchor Pub – Main Street North -Brampton Ontario
My local watering hole for almost 3 years for a very simple reason – Great Staff & Great Ambiance. The people who frequent the Crown come from all demographics you can think off and in no time, you’ll get to know everyone and I mean everyone. Plenty of bottle brews on tap – including a few decent Canadian Craft Beer – Rickard’s and Alexander Keith’s. You’ve also got Strongbow Cider on tap and plenty of bottled and canned brews to choose from. Typical pub fare and you’re never stuck for entertainment. From Jam nights to pool and dart tournaments to Halloween, Christmas and Easter parties and neighborhood gossip you will never find a dull moment at this pub.
I will never forget the Crown – the first pub I’ve ever played guitar in – I ended up playing a few tracks on and off for about a year and a half for their Sunday Night Jams.
Find their Facebook Page here:- Crown And Anchor
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