For The Love Of Beer: 5 Homegrown Breweries That You Should Know About

Divya posted on 03 August

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It's International Beer Day and as always, Pune’s micro-brewery scene is thriving. While breweries like Doolally and Independence Brewing Co. are {pretty much} household names to anyone who loves their beer, here are a handful of newer brewers in Pune, that you should check out.

Moonshine Meadery

Founded by Rohan Rehani and his business partner Nitin; the idea for starting a meadery came about on a trip abroad, through an in-flight magazine article on home-brewed meads in the UK. Having tried their hands at home-brewing on a trip to the United States; they eventually settled on brewing mead, since it wasn’t available anywhere in India. Mead is an alcoholic drink made by fermenting honey – it’s deliciously smooth, and power-packed. Rohan says that the history of mead even pre-dates that of beer and wine, but it isn’t as well-documented.

Their brewery – Moonshine Meadery – isn’t as illicit as the name suggests, and is probably one of the first and only meaderies in India {and possibly Asia} to brew mead, since the past 1,700 years. In collaboration with a couple of other local breweries, Moonshine Meadery has come up with a smokey-tasting Coffee Mead, an experimental Earl Grey and Orange Mead, and even a Chocolate-Orange Mead – which they showcased at Tapped Beer Festival last July.

They also collaborated with Independence Brewing Company to create an Oaked Apple Mead, which is currently available on-tap at their Mundhwa brewery. Moonshine Meadery will start retailing at select bars, restaurants, and supermarkets by mid-end October. Keep an eye on their social media channels for timely updates!

Kimaya Brewing Company

Just about 6 months old, Kimaya Brewing Company was started by brothers Saurabh and Sameer Patwardhan, and Sapan Maniyar. Hailing from a restaurant background, they’d tried their hand at home-brewing in the US, before coming back to India to start their own initiative. Saurabh says their motto is ‘brew local, drink local’, and so they operate with a focus on community.

All their machinery, material, and ingredients, are sourced locally {their buckwheat even comes from a nearby tribal village, courtesy Happy Roots}. ‘Kimaya’ means divine magic, and so their beers veer away from traditional tastes, to something more ethereal. Their brews include a Buckwheat Blonde, Ragi Bitters {which will be available in December}, a Vanilla Porter {which will be on tap at select outlets this week}, as well as favourites like their Irish Red, English Amber Ale, and Belgian Wit.

Kimaya describes themselves as a boutique brewery, currently distributing their brews to 10 restaurants across town {Hinjewadi, Baner, Kothrud, Prabhat Road, Camp, Koregaon Park, Kalyani Nagar, and Undri}. Come October, and they will be partnering with Farzi Cafe for an exclusive selection of six beers – so watch out for updates on their social media pages.

#LBBTip: They also have a blog packed with recipes, and information related to craft brewing in India.

Breweries

Gate 131, Plot 3, Opp. Hotel Shripad, Pirangut, Maharashtra

    Great State Aleworks

    While studying in Brooklyn {a hub for craft beer}, Nakul Bhosle found himself drawn to a home-brewing store he used to pass by every day. He decided to try his hand at it – and was instantly hooked. Living in Brooklyn meant is was easy and economical to get started, and he had constant support from others in the trade. Nakul moved back to India two years later, and decided to start his own venture – Great State Aleworks {GSA} – once the State Govt. passed a law making is legal for microbreweries to distribute their beer. Having been exposed to the American craft beer scene on such an intimate level, Nakul’s inspiration stems from that; GSA’s flavours are bold and experimental, without compromising on quality and flavour.

    Joined by Rohan Hastak, and two more professional brewers, this microbrewery is growing quickly – and is definitely one to watch! Currently, their signature brews include: an ‘Off Duty Pale Ale’ – a complex, aromatic beer with mild bitterness that’s perfect for easy drinking; and the ‘Brightside’ – a Belgian Wit beer infused with orange peel and toasted coriander seeds, giving it a subtle, zesty undertone. GSA’s third beer will be a rotational one, depending on the season and availability of ingredients {since they source everything regionally}, more along the lines of a stout or a porter – and in limited quantities.

    They’re working on a Tamarind Saison at the moment, and will also be introducing a special Naga-Lime zest infused Belgian Wit that will be exclusively available at Indigo Deli in Koregaon Park. By October, GSA’s brews will be available at The Sassy Spoon, Indigo Deli, and Sheesha Cafe in Koregaon Park, as well as Elephant and Co. in Kalyani Nagar, and Poona Republic in Baner.

    #LBBTip: They also host secret pop-ups, and tours of their brewery at least once a month – which they announce beforehand on their Facebook and Instagram.

    Effingut Brewerkz

    Effingut Brewerkz was started in Koregaon Park in 2014, out of a passion for great beer and a drive to create something legendary. A full-fledged brewery and eatery, they soon expanded to Baner, and more recently – Kharadi. Effingut’s ethos is, “to create food and beer that venture away from the routine and conventional” and so you can expect the unexpected as far as their menu is concerned! They take pride in the fact that all their brews are made fresh, hand-crafted, and contain absolutely no preservatives, chemicals or artificial additives. Each outlet has about 8-10 of their signature beers on tap, some tailored to the Indian palate, using local ingredients.

    Regular staples across all their outlets include an unfiltered Hefeweizen, an Apple Cider, Mango Chilli Cider, Peach Ginger Melomel, Choco Coffee Stout, Best Bitter Ale, and a Kölsch. Due to the unfortunate cancellation of their liquor license in Baner, Effingut is hosting a ‘pay as you please’ offer {more on that here} until further notice.

    Bars

    Deron Heights, 4, Next To Ranka Jewellers, Baner, Pune

    4.4
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    TJ's Brew Works

    TJ’s Brew Works just celebrated their fifth anniversary recently, with two new brews and a new grain-free food menu that our LBB Team tried out {more on that here}. Started by businessman T. J. Venkateshwaran, the eponymous brewery has plans to expand to other parts of the country, soon. Hand-crafted on-site, their signature brews are the Devil’s Dark, Zen Weiss, Premium Brew (made with Czech Saaz hops), Blonde (a pale yellow lager), and Mystery Brew (made with green apple and a hint of mint).

    The two most recent additions to this list are the TJ’s Quin B – made from quinoa; and TJ’s Buck B – made from and buckwheat – under the supervision of head brewer Ashwini Rajagopal. If you’re hesitant to pick a beer without knowing what you like, TJ’s offers a taster platter of their beer for just INR 100.

    Breweries

    Amanora Town Centre, East Block, Hadapsar Kharadi Bypass, Hadapsar, Pune

    3.8
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