Best Indian beer to drink in 2021: How many of these have you tried yet?

Now beer this: It's a beverage that crosses barriers, appealing to both connoisseurs and the not-so-demanding ones equally. Let's talk about Indian beers, and make the connection deeper. This round is on us

kati patang

If you’re one of those beer nerds who missed travelling to your favourite destinations for a never ending beer crawl, hope is in sight. Travel restrictions might ease soon, even as you wait to plot your next beer conquest, you can take comfort from India’s beer boom. Our craft brews and beers on tap have got better while small batch breweries have begun to shake up the packaged beer market. There’s never been a better time to be a beer aficionado in India.

Also read: Easy cocktail recipes: Baileys drunk? What's that?

Kati Patang Amber Ale: Indian owned and bottled at the Serbhum brewery in Bhutan with Himalayan spring water, this amber coloured beer hits the right notes with its complex flavours and caramel finish.

india's best beers

Eight Finger Eddie from Goa Brewing Co: I first tried this IPA at their compact brewery in Porvorim. A tribute to Yertward Mazamanian, one of Goa’s first hippies and legends in the 1960s (he had only eight fingers and hence the name), this double dry hopped oat cream IPA is dry hopped with three new world hops that lend it a distinctive tropical note. 

White Rhino IPA: Positioned as India’s first craft brewery, White Rhino debuted in 2016. A tasteful, balanced and contemporary beer, this pale ale with a 6.3 per cent ABV has a nice citrus kick with a bitter finish. 

Simba Stout: Probably one of the best Indian interpretations of a classic Stout, this one's perfect for those willing to plunge into the dark side and take on the roasty flavours — a hint of espresso and chocolate 

Maka di Honey Ale: The pick of the five beer line-up launched by Latambarcem, a greenfield brewery in Goa, this one’s built on a foundation of malt. It’s hoppy, layered with the lingering essence of wild honey sourced from the Jim Corbett National Park.

Also read: Best cocktail recipes: Got Bourbon? Let's make you a drink

World's best beer destinations

delirium brewery brussels

BRUSSELS: Europe’s capital is home to the iconic Delirium Café, that claims to serve more varieties of beer than any other bar in the world. There are over 1500 beers in Belgium and each beer has to be served in its very own glass. Brussels is the perfect hub to explore the country’s myriad family-owned berries. My favourite beer stops in and around Brussels include the world’s oldest Lambic brewery that uses spontaneous fermentation (without yeast) to this day. 

prague beer museum

PRAGUE: The Czechs drink more beer (per capita) than any country in the world and the first brewery here dates back to 993 AD. Don’t leave Prague without sampling a pilsner. It’s here in the city of Plzen that the pilsner story began in 1842. I’d recommend a quick stop at Prague’s tiny beer museum and a quick tour of some popular micro-breweries like the Prazsky Most (Prague Bridge).

munich

MUNICH: Call me biased but I don’t think any city does beer better. Munich hosts the best known event on the world’s beer calendar – the Oktoberfest, and offers a choice of beer gardens and historic beer halls that you can visit around the year. Most breweries still follow 15th century regulations that stipulate barley, hops and water as the only ingredients that can be used to brew beer. 

guiness dublin

DUBLIN: There a few watering holes in the world that are more atmospheric than an Irish pub. With over 800 pubs you are always spoilt for choice in Dublin. Locals swear by the ‘black stuff’; Guinness is clearly the unofficial drink. St James Gate Brewery that’s also called the storehouse is Ireland’s most popular tourist attraction. Aside from Guinness, do explore Dublin’s choice of IPAs and pilsners in popular local hangouts like the Temple Bar or Mulligan’s 

portland maine usa

PORTLAND MAINE USA: There are few corners in the US that can match Maine’s photogenic appeal. While Milwaukee and Denver might claim to be the best city for beer in America, I lean towards Portland with its home-grown breweries that are complemented by its fresh catch of the day – the city’s seafood is scrumptious. Alagash is probably the most popular stop with its legendary IPA but I’d also recommend stops at Island Dog and Geary’s for their Pale Ale. 

Also read: The best list: If you take your drink seriously, you must try Japanese whisky today

India's best beer destinations

bira 91 taproom

Bira 91 Taproom, Bengaluru: Spread over 3500sqft., this one’s more a beer lab than a taproom. A spot where Bira91 unleashes a new flavour each week from one of their 20 taps. The brews that get the nod from the city’s serious beer nerds eventually make it to their innovation pipeline. Aside from the popular retail favourites like the Bira White, we’d also recommend their West Coast IPA.

drunken botanist

The Drunken Botanist, Gurgaon: Located in one of NCR’s F&B zones, DLF Cyber Hub, this high-energy nightspot brings together multiple elements. The interiors — that blend modern design with nature — stand out and then there’s the quirky mad scientist theme. Aside from some of their popular cocktails, it’s the cleverly named craft brews — we think Moves like Lager is mighty clever — that keeps bringing regulars back.

effingut pune

Effingut, Pune: It commenced operations in Pune in 2014 with a vision to create uncompromising craft beers. You always get at least 8 beers on tap here. You can start your Effingut experience with a tasting platter; there’s a good chance you might veer towards their Indian Brown Ale. 

gateway taproom

Gateway Taproom, Mumbai: You guessed it; this cult establishment takes its name from the Gateway of India. Gateway has developed a loyal legion of fans who swear by the experimental styles of beers and their range of beer cocktails. 

pumph house

The Pump House, Bengaluru: Tucked away in JP Nagar and slightly away from the city’s F&B hotspots, this massive craft brewery seeks inspiration from the city’s first domestic water pump that was set up in 1896 to quench a different type of thirst. We’re partial to their Norwegian style farmhouse ale. 

Also read: Beginner's guide to whiskey: Everything you need to know about Bourbon, casks, ingredients

Turn mixologist with three simple beer cocktail recipes

Foxy Michelada

Bloody Mary Mix 60ml

Lemon Juice 15ml

Garnish with Lemon slices and Celery Stalk

Salt rim the glass

Top up with a Lager

German Sour

Bourbon 30ml

Orange Marmalade 15gm

Lemon juice 30ml

Garnish with an orange or Lemon slice

Top up with Hefeweizen

Stormy Night 

Dark Rum 30ml

Ginger syrup 30ml

Lemon Juice 15ml

Top up with an IPA Beer

(Courtesy: Fox in the Field Microbrewery, Whitefield, Bengaluru)

Also read: Best American whiskey: It's time you looked beyond Jack Daniel's or Jim Beam

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