#PunekarDrinks: Pune Beer Trail (Part I)

The best breweries in Pune!

Stubborn summers just won’t depart and a chilled one still makes us drool as we get close to sundown. So we put our palette to work to give you a virtual pub crawl of the best beer from the barrels, taps and bottles of the city’s 

The Beer Café, Phoenix Market City, Viman Nagar

BeerCafeHere’s the thing about beers in this place. They’re from all over the world (close to 50 bottled varieties) so you’ve probably only heard about them. We’d read some reviews about the most widely consumed Italian Beer, Peroni, so decided to give it a shot. It poured a clear yellow with a citrusy flavour. Not too overpowering, with a barely perceptible bitterness. Very drinkable and went perfectly with Chilli Dog, chicken dogs topped with a generous amount of sweet and spicy tomato salsa and melted cheddar. If it is beer versus food, it’s a tie.

TJ’s Brew Works, Amanora, Hadapsar

TJBrewIt is amazing that Pune has grown from just importing beers to handcrafted fresh beer. TJ’s home brews are probably the best in Pune. We started with their Premium Brew, made from imported Czech hops. It has a creamy bitterness to it and yet is refreshing. Later, we switched to The Blond Brew, with milder and crispier notes, apt for people who turn up their noses when we say ‘Beer’ or otherwise a ladies drink. And yes, great service, trendy crowd and a fun atmosphere.

The 1st Brewhouse (Doolally on Tap!), Corinthians

DoolallyLet’s start with this; a beautiful and casual outdoor setting, servers that are knowledgeable about their brews and retro music playing in the background. Not your typical pub, but that won’t matter once you have the Doolally Apple Cider beer on the tap. Light and sparkling with citrusy notes, you get the apple almost immediately. For those who prefer a stouter beer, there is German Wheat Beer just at 5%. They have fresh off the tap varieties of Wheat, Cider, Premium Lager, Dark and Rye too. The Dark gave us the feels – it has hints of chocolate and malt flavour and is slightly bitter.

The Independence Brewing Company, Mundhwa Road, Koregaon Park Annex

IndependenceBrewWe hoped to catch the happy hours at The Independence Brewing Company so went on a weekday afternoon. But what pleasantly surprised us was that they had an all day offer of “buy two and get one free”! Content in the knowledge that we were going to be there along time, we ordered a German White Zen, fruity again with a hint of cloves and a summery feel to it. Next up was the Fuller’s London Pride, a very earthy pale English Ale. We rounded off with a bottled Classic Hoegaarden. They have a total of 13 draught and bottled beers. They have been brewing their own beer for over a year now!

Hard Rock Café, Koregaon Park Annex

HardRockThe thing about any Hard Rock Café is that it’s tough to find space on a weekend. Our predicament was the same. But that wasn’t for too long. Our servers soon found us tucked away in a corner and quickly got us our poison, a chilled Heineken and a Budweiser. They did have imported beers from the world over, to keep the spirit of Oktoberfest alive. Great ambience, trendy crowd and excellent music that got us going till the last orders. And Oh! Not to forget the hand-cut potato skins and smoked chicken wings!

Apache Fluid Lounge, FC Road & Chandni Chowk

ApachePuneFor all you heavy metal fans and lovers of cheap beer by the pitcher, Apache Fluid Lounge is where you should be. Located on FC road as well as Chandni Chowk, they have some massive happy hours going on through the day. Their beer is always chilled to perfection with some average items in the food menu. But that is understandable considering the fact that it is mainly young adults who frequent this joint. For beers.

Flambo’s Brewpub, Bund Garden Road

FlambosA microbrewery right in the heart of the city, this Oktoberfest they have recreated a German menu with 5 types of fresh beers including the Irish Stout, German white and dark Bavarian. Their menu will also consist of popular German finger foods like the potato salad and sausages. And the greatest bit? They have happy hours from 12 pm to 9 pm everyday till the end of the month. So you can glug 2 mugs of craft beer off the tap just for a couple of hundred bucks!

Effingut Brewerkz, Kiva, Koregaon Park

EffingutEnjoy summer in style with fresh brews from all over the world at Effingut Brewerkz. Their specials?  The Whistling Wench – a German Wiessbier and Frejya’s Tears – a Nordic (Greenlandic) Amber Ale. They have eight types of beers now and happy hours from 1 to 4 where you can buy two and get one free. Their happier hours are from 4 to 7 where all beers are just at a hundred bucks a pint!

Kiva Brewpub, Hinjewadi

Yet another great place to KivaHinjewaditaste your fresh beer before you place an order. The brewery has four choices of tap beer; Apple Cider, Greenlandic, Dark Al and German Wheat. Needless to say, we kept our promise to go German this month and ordered for their German Wheat. It tasted marvellous, had a nice earthy aroma to it and the slightest of bitterness towards the end.