The brewery landscape has gotten an overhaul since a couple of years with the fads of Microbreweries across the metropolitan cities. So new entrepreneurs took it to their hands to develop their own variations of stouts, ciders, ales and roots et al. The city of Pune was suddenly envied due to the existence of their 'The 1st Brewhouse' inside 'The Corinthians Boutique Hotel'. Here, the brand 'Doolally' served (and still serve) some exquisite handcrafted brews. My trips to Pune are generally sparse and shortly timed. On a recent trip which was much more oriented for meeting a few clients resulted in finding time to visit this brewhouse. The place is plain picturesque and echoes 'Timber' & 'Turf' at every corner. With an option to choose from -Apple Ciders, Pumpkin Ales, German Wheat,  Irish Stout and few more, Apple Cider hands down is a drink for the masses. Sweet notes of the Himachal Apples with hint of Cinnamon renders a very nectar-ish taste that is easy on anyone's palate. Appearance-wise too it can deceive anyone for a sparkling apple nectar. The cider leaves such a lingering effect to one's palate that it makes it painfully difficult for anyone to order any other flavour.

*Looking for some handy finger food with your beer then do try their Beer battered fish, Lollipops or Gilafi Kebabs.

Another of my pick for the Cider brew from the city of Pune is 'Flambos Brewpub'. This microbrewery is located adjacent to INOX in Bund Garden. In fact, Flambos happened to be my first experience of a microbrewery. Right away at its entrance you can see the pressurized kegs and then the restaurant space that opens to a much tex-mex styled predominantly woody diner with hits from the 80s and 90s played from the audio console. The Cider beer here is different - features a turbid appearance and carries infusion of strawberries. The beer here seems generally less filtered and more frothy which adds a different dimension. The Bavarian wheat beer is fairly okay here. Irish Stout is a next best if you're not in the mood for the nectar like taste of the Cider.

*You can order a portion of Chicken Wings or Nachos with Salsa or Assorted Platter to go well with your beer.

Doolally will be soon throwing the gates open to Mumbai with its Taproom space on Bandra Reclaimation. Sorry ! No Microbrewery here, but only fresh import of their kegs from Pune.

Woodside's Beer & Burger fest was organized from 15th July until the 3rd of August. With options from the trendy Ramen Burger of Japan to Mexican Chipotle and from Frisco's Burger in a bowl to Gourmet Gujju's Eggplant and Mushroom Burger, it featured a host of patties and buns stacked in various styles from across the globe. Beer's from local micro breweries like Gateway Brewing Co. and pints from the likes of Asahis and Estrellas were all part of the seventh iteration of this festival.

After a good half an hour of waiting, we got a table upstairs which was minus the bar chaos and dim pubbish ambience. Wasting no time, we ordered the Crusty Noodle based Ramen burger and a Chicken Schnitzel Burger. I would have loved to sample the shrimp cake one and the Spiced Chickpea Pattice, if only there were more of us in number. 

First to sample was my obvious choice of the evening - 'Ramen'. Keizo Shimamoto has been known to pioneer this unique collaboration of 2 cultures. Fried Ramen Noodle-Buns on either side and a grounded beef patty in between. Woodside's Ramen too packs a punch of flavours and oozing juices. It's a messy affair and hence we stuck to knife and fork, stacking ramen crust over beef patty. Next was the German Schnitzel. Deep fried bread crumbed and well seasoned Chicken Filllet would be anybody's comfort snack. So it's obvious that tucking it in between a burger bun will just make it even scrumptious. It was an ideal and less messy burger. Spreading some Wasabi Mustard on each bite while alternating between fragrant potato skins and coleslaw is just additional comfort.

While an array of well known brands of world beer are stocked, people nowadays seem to be picking up local brews over their pricier counterparts. Domination of White Zen and Doppleganger Dunkel at the fest just proves a point that Micro Breweries are here to stay.

If the pictures made your stomach grumble, then you can still head to Woodside to enjoy their regular options of burger. Woodside has 2 outlets in #Mumbai, Colaba & Andheri.

AuthorAssad Dadan