Bangalore’s affinity for beer led to it being christened as the “Pub City Of India”. In 2010, this evolved further, and the first microbrewery in Bangalore started serving craft beer. Being the beer loving lot that we are, we of course took quickly to craft beer, and now there are over 40 microbreweries in Bangalore. And we know how hard it is to pick that top one, and when people ask, "Which is the best one?", most of us are stuck wondering. So naturally, we took it upon ourselves to sample beer from most of them and round up the top 10 brew pubs in town based on popularity!
Drink A Pint (Or More) At Bangalore's Most Popular Microbreweries
The Biere Club
The Biere Club was the first microbrewery in Bangalore to open its doors back in 2010. Located in the heart of the city, this brewpub has typical pub-like ambience. The Biere Club usually has five or six beers on tap at any given time. In addition to the wheat, stout, lager, and Belgian style ale, they are well known for their specials. They have experimented a lot, and a few of their stand out specials include beers brewed with strawberry & vanilla, lemon & chilli, bayleaf, and even a beer made predominantly out of raagi, which is a locally grown millet. The Biere Club has a seco,nd microbrewery in Whitefield called Biere Street.
When anyone talks of a microbrewery in Bangalore, the first name that comes to mind is almost always Toit. Located in Indiranagar, this brewpub has also been around since 2010. Arguably the most popular brewpub in the country, Toit is now more or less considered an institution as far as craft beer goes. Toit’s usual line-up includes a Hefeweizen, a Belgian Wit, a Basmati Blonde, a Dry Stout on Nitro (Nitrogen), an English style Pale Ale, and is also one of the few places to also brew an Irish Red Ale. (Which is my pick of the lot!) Toit also does brew a special beer from time to time. In recent times, Toit’s volumes have shot up due to their popularity, and they have scaled back on the number of beers they have available regularly.
Arbor Brewing Company
Arbor Brewing Company, or ABC as it’s known locally, originally founded in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1995, opened their first overseas location in Bangalore, in 2012. With a focus on American style Indian Pale Ales (IPAs), ABC probably spurred the evolution of the “Hop Head” in Bangalore. IPAs are typically more bitter than most beers, and are generally characterised by the generous use of hops to provide bitterness as well as aroma. ABC is regularly known to have at least two, and sometimes as many as four IPAs on tap. In late 2015, ABC was the first microbrewery in the country to begin ageing beers in barrels. In a nutshell, they make a beer, and once it’s ready, they age it in a barrel for an extended period of time. ABC has a few whisky barrels as well as some wine barrels. Barrel ageing typically lends layers of complexity and flavours to the beer.
The Bier Library
Located in South Bangalore’s very happening and lit, Koramangala, The Bier Library microbrewery has a beautiful open space and seating with the view of a koi pond located bang in the center. There's a cosy reading corner and a private garden too! Now to the important bit, on tap, they usually have a Red Ale, a Spicy Wheat Beer, and a Double IPA. They are also quite well known for their signatures that include Wittle Wit, Ale-O-Drama and Further Lager. At any given time they have about 7 variants on tap.
Windmills Craft Works
Started in 2012, in Whitefield, Windmills Craft Works (Or just Windmills for short) is fondly referred to as the Rolls-Royce of microbreweries in Bangalore. This upscale establishment encompasses a jazz theatre featuring both domestic and international artistes; a fine dining restaurant serving cuisine from across Karnataka, as well as their terrace, which serves North Indian fare alfresco. Consistently churning out top notch beers, Windmills offers a more “boutique” experience compared to your average brewpub. On tap, they usually have a Hefeweizen, a Golden Ale, A Stout, and 1-2 IPAs. Off late, they have been serving a relatively new style of beer known as a New England IPA. It can be summed up as a style that has all the flavour and aroma of an IPA, but with reduced bitterness.
Geist Brewing Factory
Geist (one of Bengaluru's first breweries) needs no introduction because you've probably already enjoyed their craft beers at different pubs in the city. Now at their new physical space on Old Madras Road you can double down on some lovely ambience too! The prospect of open-air dining and chugging in a 7,500 sq. ft garden-like setting under the shade of a banyan tree is all the motivation you need to head here. Oh, and the beers! All of Geist's signatures are served fresh of tap -- from Geist Kamacitra (for IPA lovers) to a Geist Weiss Guy and a German Lager -- you're in for a beer treat!
Having won an award in the first year of its opening, XOOX Brewmill in Koramangala has become a formidable spot in the area for all things artisanal beers, craft cocktails and modern Indian food. The interiors, you guessed it is uber swanky and spacious spread across three floors. Our favourite is the outdoors with the amphitheater seating and camper style benches. To glug, there's about 8 styles to choose from on tap -- we recommend the Hefeweizen (a refreshing wheat beer), the Japanese Blonde Dry Ale (a Japanese-style beer), the Citrus IPA and for a mild option, the French-inspired Apple Cider. XOOX is another brewpub that has experimented a bit. They’ve made Red Velvet Ale with red velvet cake and an Irish red ale!
A sprawling 14,000 sq. ft and an airy, al-fresco seating across two floor, BierGarten in Koramangala is major winning for its ambiance that perfectly complements the ooru's weather! To go with this perfect setting they've got 7-8 beer variants on tap with traditional German-style Hefeweizen, a dark Dunkel and Amber Larger being crowd faves. They also have an outlet in Whitefield and a menu that boasts European-style cuisine to go with those craft beers.
Making sure the mostly forgotten side of the city, Whitefield has a watering hole to call its own, Red Rhino, today has peeps travel across town to enjoy their beers! The microbrewery has an expansive al-fresco terrace bar with gorgeous lighting and seating. They're known to brew only the best in small batches and have four regulars and one seasonal beer on offer. Try the Bangalore Daze, The Coffee-laced Stout and the Soul Surfer.
The Druid Garden
Fashioned after the charms of Bengaluru -- open spaces and gardens, The Druid Garden is restaurant with a built-in microbrewery that is run by a Chez Brew Master. Naturally, the ingredients are all sourced from Czech Republic and Germany and use recipes that have been tried and tested for years. Since they've opened, they've introduced 6 beers -- Czech Pilsner, Bohemian Dunkel, Indian Pale Ale and a Basmati Lager among others.
Aurum Brew Works
Aurum Brew Works at Sarjapur is an escape away from the noisy bars and calms interiors that easily seat over 550 guests is proof of this. So are the many beers on tap of which the Belgian Witbier and Hefweizen come highly-recommended. We also suggest you try the Stout, Amber Lager and English IPA's to zero in on your favourite.
With inputs from Akash Hirebet.