Pensioner’s Paradise, Garden City, Silicon Valley of India, Space City- the bustling metropolis of Bengaluru has its fair share of sobriquets. The latest addition to this string of names for namma ooru is Pub City. Owing to the number of entrepreneurial ventures into this niche segment, it isn’t surprising. Lately, it is an even more niche segment called microbrewing that has captivated the spirits of party hoppers and beer aficionados across town.
Microbrewing or craft brewing movement is an improvisation of sorts, carrying over from the traditions of centuries old brewing techniques. Beer brewing is believed to be as old as civilization itself. The earliest known chemical evidence of barley beer dates to circa 3500–3100 BC from the site of Godin Tepe in the Zagros Mountains of western Iran. Microbrewing is loosely defined by the quantity of beer produced in gallons or barrels as opposed to the mass production by mainstream commercial industries.
The city boasts of a vibrant pub culture and now beer guzzling has gone down the indie route with the choice of localised flavour, technique and quality. Beer consumption in India has spiked in recent times and this also in part, explains the successes of these independently owned and operated brewpubs and microbreweries. The consumer base is keen on experimenting with the free-flowing taps of sparkling home-grown recipes when since decades freshly brewed beer was a myth.
Trade analyst company TechNavio forecasts the beer market in India will grow at a CAGR of 16.94 percent and 14.57 percent on the basis of revenue and volume, respectively, over the period 2013-2018. And though microbreweries constitute a minuscule fraction of the pie, they are growing aggressively with the rise of disposable incomes and international exposure of India’s surging young population.
The prevailing trade practice of selling standard bottled beer is by chilling just before consumption; during transportation and distribution, the beverage is not stored under prescribed cold conditions for retaining the taste and strength. Whereas, one can sip on delectable batches of freshly brewed beer, straight from the tap! No preservatives are added and the quality doesn’t suffer for lack of processing.
These brewpubs retain their sense of style in not just varieties of beer but also ambience. There are a good many theme based ones, with architecture and aesthetics in tandem with the philosophy of the brewmaster.
Bengaluru’s leading brewpubs include The Biere Club, Toit, Arbor Brewing Company, Prost, Barleyz and there are many more such ventures are in the offing. The environment of these places are very warm and inviting as spaces to chill with buddies after work, long due reunions, casual dates and also as unconventional utility like co-working spaces which operate their business from these places. These symbiotic business models benefit both companies and the trend is catching on like wildfire.
The counter culture movement is contributing to the cosmopolitan nature of the city and Bangaloreans have good reason to cheer for the times to come!