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published time By Sonali Velinker Kamat published time 26 May, 2018 Share image 0 Shares

If you believe that the only decision you need to make on Friday is bottle or glass, we’re guessing you need to read on. Bangalore has long been called the country’s nightlife capital and you can argue the point all you want (if you live in Mumbai, Delhi or Goa), but you can’t come to a fair conclusion without visiting Bangalore’s best bars and breweries, can you?

For the night owl who knows how to party, here are 5 city hotspots that are sure to please — especially now that they all serve our favourite whisky-based cocktail, Johnnie Ginger. Bar hop or stay put on one perch, but make it a night to remember with our top picks!



Arbor Brewing Company in Ashok Nagar,Bangalore

Founded in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1995, the Arbor Brewing Company set up shop in Bangalore in 2012, with Bangalore-native and Michigan-alum Gaurav Sikka essaying the role of local partner. Their acronym — ABC — is mildly ironic, considering they are widely regarded as the first American-style brewpub in India. Expect cutting-edge handcrafted beer (8 original craft beers are available daily), Western-style service and creative pub food with an Indian twist, but don’t stop there. The bartenders here mix a mean cocktail too and they’ve mastered our favourite Johnnie Ginger! Order a portion of their Spinach and Artichoke Dip (served with tortilla chips and homemade cheese straws) to enjoy alongside your JG, and tuck in to a sumptuous offering of lamb chops later. We’re always telling you to drink responsibly, but show no restraint when it comes to the Drunken Chicken on ABC’s Small Plates menu — the Bourbon barbeque sauce on this crispy chicken dish is a fast-track pass to food heaven!



Big Brewsky, Sarjapur Road,Bangalore

While Big Brewsky’s exposed brick and concrete structure offers up no clue as to what lies beyond its facade, the name itself is quite telling. Here ‘big’ is a buzzword — from the building that houses this super-cool restobar, to its extensive menu that offers up everything from biryani to sushi. Brews are a big thing here as well (again, as the name suggests), with restaurateur Ajay Gowda and his team having acquired a fair few awards to show for their efforts. A multi-storey brewpub with a phenomenal view of their central pond, this is the perfect place to head to when an al fresco outing is on your mind. Forget about the amazing ambience and brilliant brews for a moment and make a beeline for the bar, where a tall glass of Johnnie Ginger is made all the better with some great music to accompany it. Events are a standard feature on Wednesday night, so a glance in advance at their Facebook page is probably a good idea. Nonetheless, on any night of the week (and in the afternoon too), Big Brewsky delivers on brews, bites, breath-taking vistas and a wonderful selection of whisky-based cocktails.



If you love their Lavelle Road outpost (which opened in 2013), Bootlegger put its best foot forward once more in 2017, with a larger space at Indiranagar. Perfect for pub grub (oooh, those bacon-wrapped sausages and heavenly chicken wings!), the Bootlegger crew knows how to ensure your outing is memorable no matter when you visit. There’s warm wood wherever you look, with welcome pops of green (from palms and a living wall installation) and barrel-like tables with bar stools galore if you want to stick to appetisers and a tipple or two only. But, with Johnnie Ginger currently on their cocktail menu and finger-licking comfort food to go with it, why not take a seat by the window and savour your tavern experience to the max.



With three venues already attracting crowds, the good folks at Gilly’s must be doing something right! Put it down to their Golden Garlic Crispy Prawns, BBQ Chilly Mustard Spare Ribs or Andhra Roast Pork, but the food is certainly a compelling reason to visit. Of course, with Johnnie Ginger making its mark at the bar at this very moment, does one really need a list of reasons to go down to Gilly’s at sundown? Between Ladies Night, Karaoke Night and DJ Nights aplenty, the action here is always up-tempo and fuss free. Great value and good times guaranteed!



This is one ‘hangover’ you won’t want a cure for. From its patterned flooring to its quirky, industrial decor and pleasing colour palette, this Indiranagar icon is a sight for sore eyes — right down to its vintage Volkswagen bus bar! The ambience sets a high bar (pun entirely intended), but the kitchen and cocktail bar do well to keep up. Try the Sugarcane Chicken and the Spicy Asparagus Sushi (we love our sushi and know where to get it, even in Mumbai), before you ask the bartender to shake things up with a glass or two of Johnnie Ginger for you and your buddies.

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