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The black clouds in the distance were fast approaching. The looming rain was bound to break out, clouds ready to shed the load that they’ve been carrying. I looked into the distance, lost in my thoughts – in retrospect. That’s when most of the answers led to opening a can of beer. Isn’t a glass of beer answer to most questions?

A quick pop of the can of Hunter and I was back to enjoying the lovely weather. As I popped open the can of Hunter, I couldn’t but help noticing their tagline – ‘Honestly Smooth, Refreshingly Strong. How true were they to their tagline? I was just about to now find out. India is a market ruled primarily by strong beers. Some of them total swile and some of them just plain undrinkable. Hunter is the best among a lot of Strong Beers.

Hunter Beer 2

Despite being a strong beer, you can get a lager-ish taste from Hunter Beer. The moment I poured it in my glass, the clean white head formed right on top, which dissipated quite quickly. The pale, strawy color, I quite liked the beer for its smoothness coming off the unique brewing of handpicked ingredients. The first sip off my glass and I could feel the smooth and crisp taste of the lager. It does help greatly that the hops used in Hunter Beer are the ‘Hersbrucker’ variety which are directly imported in from Germany.

Hunter Beer 1

I truly enjoyed my glass of Hunter beer and would recommend this to all the strong beer lovers out there. I do occasionally pick up a bottle of strong beer and Hunter has been a good choice among the innumerable ones which have inundated the Indian market. It does help that they’ve come out as Winners in the Monde Selection Quality Award and the beer itself finds the right balance between malts and hops.

Hunter Beer 3

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For the people who’ve met me, know of my absolute love for Beer. There are wine enthusiasts, Single Malt Aficionados and then there’s me who considers himself a huge lover of Beer. From going off in talks about the intricacies of Beer to explaining to people about the different kinds. My love for Beer can be seen on my wall, where I proudly display my Beer Crown Collection on a plaque of the different kinds of Beer that I’ve had during my travels.

So you should be able to understand my elation of when the State Govt. of Telengana allowed for Microbreweries to be set up in Hyderabad. This was a first step which was going to change the Beer drinking culture in the state. Now it’s been more than 3 months with 4 breweries having already opened their doors and many more opening in the next few months. In this post we shall take a look as to how the 4 breweries have fared.

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HyLife Brewing Company – The first Microbrewery to open it’s doors was HyLife. The moment you walk in to Hylife, the space is absolutely massive and lots of room to take a seating of your choice while you gulped a cold one. The first week of it’s launch, I truly liked the Lager (Drunken Monk) and Wheat (James Blonde). It was perfectly matured and had all the makings of a great beer. But it’s been a downhill from there. At no moment of time, they have any of the beers of tap available and also the food choices on the menu are terrible.

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Prost Brew Pub – Prost had opened it’s doors first in Bangalore and finally now in Hyderabad. Located on the Jubilee Road No 45 stretch, it’s an exquisite property. From outdoor seating to lively indoors, Prost has got it all. The Brews at Prost have also been consistent. Prost is probably the only Microbrewery to have Stout available most of the time. The Wheat Beer is best among the 4 breweries as of now but the Apple Cider falls way short than intended. Prost is strongest in it’s huge choices in food that it serves. From the Bacon Wrapped Prawns, truly good pizzas and Kerala Style Beef. The food at Prost pairs great with the Beer that they serve.

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Over The Moon – To be honest, I had been a bit skeptical of how the Brew Pub at OTM (as it’s affectionately called) would turn out. But it had to chew my own words in this regard, coz this for me is probably the best Micro Brewery in Hyderabad right now. The Ales are beautifully crafted (Both the American and Amber). The German Hefeweizen is the stuff of legends. The Stout though at OTM isn’t heavy and will be liked by light beer drinkers. I much prefer my Stout with a heavy body and loads of flavor unlike the one at OTM. The White High (Belgian Wheat) too is amazing and do request a slice of orange in the Wheat to bring out all of it’s robustness.

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Zero40 Brewing – The newest entrant into the Micro-Brewery scene is Zero40 Brewing in Rd. No 10, Jubilee Hills. They are fairly new and the beers still do need a bit of time to mature. The names of the Beers are catchy and the food menu is beautifully crafted. I liked the flavors in The Ex (IPA) but it still needed a bit more of the crispness which comes with maturity. Considering that no other Brewery has brewed an IPA till now, this is a first and they’ve done a good job with it. They also serve a pretty decent Robust Porter.

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The brewery scene is still picking up in the city which sure is going to change for the better in the coming months once the new entrants come in. There’s Olive Bistro and Heart Cup too which shall be launching there’s too in the near future. Tell us in the comments of the best ones that you’ve enjoyed among the four Micro-Breweries.

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I’m a self-confessed Beer lover and don’t mind having a chilled pint to beat this summer heat. A beer in mind needs a burger on the other. And lo and behold the setting the Beer, BBQ and Burger festival was born. Sheraton Hyderabad has been constantly coming up with a variety of changes as part of it’s menu at Feast and the Burger and BBQ is yet another amazing addition.

Beer Burgers And BBQ

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The Burgers and BBQ are part of it’s regular buffet menu and one is spoiled for choice with the varied menu. Among the vegetarian Burgers are Spiced Beans Rancher, Sun-dried tomatoes & Basil white bean burger and Soya ginger infused tofu. The sun dried tomatoes and basil was the pick of the lot with the sourness of the sun dried tomatoes and freshness of the basil shining through.

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But what’s a burger without meat. I mean it’s okay to have vegetarian options when it comes to Burgers but meat is where a true Burger shines through. The Louisiana style fried chicken slammers, Chicago style pulled pork grinder, Nizami spicy Lamb and fajita chicken & lemon garlic burgers wrap up the non-vegetarian options. We were hugely partial to the Nizami style spicy lamb burger and it was smoothly washed down with a chilled beer in hand.

Burgers (1)

The Barbeque were an absolute delight with the Lamb Chops having been perfectly made. The BBQ come with a huge range of option of marinade to choose from with the chefs willing to dish your choice of meat with the particular marinades. My choices would be a combining Chicken with the Jerk seasoning, lamb chops in smoked BBQ or a beautifully done fish steak in basil pesto lime.

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The Burger, BBQ and Beer festival is the perfect menu to unwind with friends and family. The burgers are all beautifully handcrafted and the barbeque delectably done. The festival is one till the 26th of April 2016 at Feast.

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We love indulging in the finer parts of life during our travels. We are talking about the ones that have taste, aroma and a body to them. Nope!! Get your thoughts together now. We are talking about Beer here. Bangalore had been the place to be, when it came as a part of weekend getaway for some chilled non-bottled fresh brewed beer off from Hyderabad. But who knew I’d be stunned by Pune all the same. A weekend away to celebrate (a hush secret thingy) and the plans no doubt did involve a bit of a drinking nonetheless. So here we are back with the second post on this heavenly frothy drink after the Bangalore Diaries handcrafted in the best of outlets right in the Pune.

Handcrafted Dollaly Beer

Being huge beer aficionados ourselves, we couldn’t not let the ‘Tap’ be far from us. Let’s get to the small rants first. Beer tastes best fresh. Full Stop. There’s no argument to that. Go guzzle up a gallon at a brewery and sip from a bottled off your local liquor shop, and you’ll know the difference. You’ll want to go back to that tank of freshly brewed beer and think to yourself what I’ve been doing wrong my entire life. Very few beers get better with age, so the maturity with age and wisdom certainly doesn’t apply to beer.

Outdoor Seating At Corinthians

A beer revolution has been brewing in Pune for quite some time. We crib and wane at times that being in Hyderabad, all those cities with their pishposh breweries lie far away. But what we also love is they all are just an overnight journey away and this time it was headed straight for Pune.

The 1st Brew House

The Corinthians – The 1st Brewhouse : I’ll give them naming the place extra brownie points. When you are the 1st brewery to be set up, name yourselves the 1st brewhouse, so beer lovers like us know where beer history was initiated in the city of Pune. What’s with the Corinthians then? Well the hotel itself designed as Corinth, with it’s Greek architecture, distinct columns and statues, this is the perfect place to relax and sip away some of the best golden ambrosia.

At Corinthians

Set in the city outskirts, their best offering has to the Apple Cider Beer. The beer offerings here at Corinthians is Dollaly Beer. They also have Beer Cocktails on their menu which is a definite standout. We tried the Apple Gin Fizz (Apple Cider and Gin with Cinnnamon Syrup), Brewjito (IPA Beer and White Rum with lime and mint) and the Beeramisu (Kahlua, Beer and Vanilla Vodka). Considering that the Apple Cider Beer was the best of all the Dollaly Beers that we tasted here, the Apple Gin Fizz was outstanding. We were left licking the foam of our lips with each heavenly sip.

Beer Cocktails

TJ’s Brew Works : TJ’s at Amanora Mall has been attracting beer lovers by the hordes. If Corinthians set up the first brewery, then TJ’s wasn’t to be far in opening up Pune’s second microbrewery. Started by TJ Venkateshwaran who had years of experience in the brewing industry having worked with SABMiller.

TJ's BrewWorks

TJs is well spaced out, with both indoor and outdoor seating combining the mix of relaxed and casual seating. As you walk a little ahead, are the huge shining steel vats. They have four beers off the tap – Regular Lager, Premium Lager German Wheat and Roasted Barley though all of them being surprising light. We had ordered for samplers and found the Premium Lager suiting our tastes the best, but nothing like Dollaly. The beers did feel stale, with no fuzz and freshness in them.

At TJs

The food on the other hand had to be turning a disappointing experience. The Chicken Nuggets and Fries combo had more fries with 2-3 nuggets hidden in between the stash. This visit to TJs sure did turn out disappointing for us, but one friend did tell that this was just an off day. So a revisit to TJs as soon as we go back to Pune next time and hoping for the beer burrp (excuse me) to be better.

Beer Samplers At TJs

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The person who uttered the wise words “There’s always something happening over a glass of beer” was right on so many levels. The feeling of having a glass of crisp, freshly-brewed beer in your hands, smashingly delicious finger food in front of you and conversations to get you going glass after glass is a feeling like no other.

Conversations Over Beer

So what gets a Microbrewery culture going in Bangalore with many breweries being set up across the Garden City? It’s more of the experience, the combination of food with freshly crafted frothy liquid goldenness which makes it appetizing. The IT Capital is slowly turning out to be the unofficial Beer Capital of India what with thanks to various microbreweries.

Dishing Out The Cool Music

Here’s our look at the beer culture that Bangalore has revolutionized onto. Mad over beer lovers that we are, makes us want to do a trip down to this beautiful city just for the excuse of visiting the various breweries. Yes, the microbrewery uprising might have started out at The Biere Club which has very a good selection of fresh beers but we settle for two others which have become our regular favorite guzzling grounds.

Toit Interiors

Toit – The moment you enter through Toit doors the atmosphere breathes energy and the music gets to your feet at the very instant. The microbrewery in Indiranagar boasts of a regular customer with us to be counted among them with more focus on their beers like first love. Interiors done in an English pub setting with a very good selection of rock numbers playing in the background this place has the most amazing craft beers.

Chicken Lasagna At Toit

Six of the craft beers being the Dark Knight, Colonial Toit, Basmati Blonde, Toit Red, Tintin Toit and Toit Weiss being regulars on the menu they have seasonal flavors as well. We loved the Litchi and Apple Cider ones the last time we visited from their festive menu.

Beer Samplers - Toit

The best part is a visit to the Mocktails page which actually might give you a good laugh with quirky drinks like The G-String and Indian Doctor’s Prescription drinks on the menu.

Mocktails

The food is least to be disappointed about with the Baked Mac and Cheese and Prawns on Fire being the absolute standouts.

Baked Mac 'N' Cheese - Toit

Our Picks: Colonial Toit, Tintin Toit, Toit Weiss, Apple Cider and the Hefeiweizen. Dark Knight with it’s black coffee flavors isn’t for everyone. Recommended to try the beer platter before settling for the best one as per tastes.

Prawns On Fire - Toit

Toit
298, 100 Ft Road,
Indira Nagar II Stage
Contact: +91 901 971 3388, +91 901 981 3388

Website: http://toit.in/
Arbor Brewing Company – Old school wooden benches and light bulbs overhanging and the lovely sound of beer fizz as it escapes the tall glass. What more could Beer Aficionados ask for? Overlooking the Garuda Mall in bustling Brigade Road, ABC Brewpub, the Indian cousin of the famous Arbor Brewpub in Ann Arbor can be a bit hard to find if going the first time.

Arbor Beer Samplers

It’s on the 3rd floor of the complex and as soon as you enter and notice the huge vats of beer being brewed, you know you stepped into Beer Heaven. It’s India’s first American Craft brewery with the concept of pairing food and beer together.

Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich At ABC

Having up to eight regular flavors on the menu with other beautifully crafted varietals being a regular, it boasts of a beer menu like no other. The Food Menu is also vast as the beer selections. The Spicy Fried Calamari and Flaming Chicken Wings are not to be missed.

Chicken Wings -  ABC

Our Picks: Raging Elephant, Phat Abbot, Spiced Ale, Pilsner and IPA

Heavenly Drumsticks -  ABC

Arbor Brewing Company
8, 3rd Floor, Allied Grande Plaza, Opposite Home Stop,
Magrath Road, Brigade Road
Contact:
080 50 144477

Website: www.arborbrewing.com

The other notable Beer places around town are Prost Brewpub, Barleyz and Windmills Craftworks. Reservation is a must on weekends for most of the breweries.

So before we do end up with a case Cenosillicaphobia, let’s be ordering another round of drinks for our tables and there’s the “Cheers”. Drink responsibly and do give share some gyaan once a bit high with your fellow mates.

The Right Lady For You, Eh

Photos By: Abhishek Mishra and FD

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