Attaining Beervana in Mumbai
A look into Mumbai?s Brewpub scene of freshly crafted beer
Bottled beer was the only kind of beer available to Mumbai?s partiers and social drinkers. The arrival of the microbrewery in India?s bars has changed all that. Starting off in cities like Gurgaon and Bangalore, the brewpub trend is now establishing itself in the City of Dreams. The Barking Deer on Lower Parel became the very first brewpub in Mumbai after they got their brewing license in October 2013. Founder and Managing Director Greg Kroitzsh saw this as an opportunity to finally treat the city to freshly crafted beer. ?Draft beer is a pretty rare thing in Mumbai,? he said.?Before we started, I counted just a handful of places serving Kingfisher on tap, such as Mondegars and Leopolds. Most bars and restaurants lack the bar space and expertise to set up a draft system, so they just don?t bother. But when our customers taste our craft beer, there is nothing like it.? Kroitzsh further explained,?Craft beer has a greater flavour than bottle beers, which lose their flavour due to pasteurisation, preservatives and shipping time. Craft beer is all-natural, with no preservatives.? Even though craft beer is so appealing, The Barking Deer had to wait two years before they got their brewing license to make it. Why do Mumbai?s pubs face so many difficulties in trying to get brewing licenses? ?Every state has its own policies relating to alcohol,? said Kroitzsh.?Maharashtra?s are based on the same prohibitive laws found in Gujarat, since both of them were once one state. So, our state?s present policies allow drinking and production on a restricted basis.? There seem to be good changes in this area, though. The Gateway Brewing Co., whose brewery is based in Dombivli, supplies freshly crafted beer to bars like Blue Frog and Bonobo. The White Owl Brewery & Bistro has also come up in Lower Parel, but has yet to get its brewing license. In the meantime, diners can enjoy a view of their microbrewery behind the bar while they eat. In the end, Kroitzsh believes that the brewpub trend will catch on in Mumbai.?I do believe things are changing in the city,? he said.?We make sure that our brewpub is a relaxed, casual place for families and businesspersons. Once more casual places like ours open up in Mumbai and social drinking becomes more a part of our culture, I think our government policies will become more accepting.?