Wednesday, December 29, 2010

"Beer Contains Vitamin Pee.." - NYE Party Idea Number Fail

Since my blog is about beers, pubs and awesomeness, I have decided to make my maiden entry about the awesomeness bit of it. So I'm going to gift you guys an idea for a party, as I suppose a whole bunch of you would be sniffing around right about now for a cool house party to crash this NYE. This is a very American frat-house kind of a scene, and let me forewarn you this can get disastrously messy. So try doing it in your best friends house and not yours.

Alright, so getting down to business, this party concept is the most fun when all the invitees are beer drinkers, so step 1 round up all the beer drinking lads and lassies you know. Step 2 once there are about 25-30 people confirmed send out a mass message that they have been cordially invited to a NYE party where they can have free beer all night long subject to a very simple rule. At this point people are going mental - free beer, NYE, villa, strippers... you know how us men usually over-estimate these things. So the simple rule that you cannot flout to get the free beer all night is .... you can't use the restroom... for anything.

So place a couple of bouncers on the door of the loo, each time a bloke has to go empty his feelings in to a pot he has to shell out 500 bucks. And once he has been to the toilet then he has to buy his own drink (at MRP if you like him at Whatever-the-fuck if you don't).

Now us Indians are cheap, so you gotta be on the lookout for people relieving themselves in glasses, flower pots, your friends' ears, your grandma's denture case... if you live in bombay, then you probably don't have to worry about people peeing in your lawn, cuz well, you dont have one. By the end of the night you would have recovered all the money for the booze and then some. With the extra money, hire a cleaner for the people who last till the end and eventually had pee coming out of their ears as the lay motionless on your mum's Pursian rug. Well this can be a fun NY if you include funnels and pipes and beer pong and kegs and shit.

Ah well, Happy New Years.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

When In Doubt, Porterhouse...

The Porterhouse in London is like a Lion's Den and you drinkers are timid sheep. You see footprints going in to the Porterhouse but never coming out of it. If there are any marks of exit at all then they are usually drag marks as your mate sweeps you across the floor in to a waiting Black Cab. The Porterhouse is designed to get you knackered.

Cozily tucked in to one of the lanes at Covent Garden, this Irish brew pub is the melting pot of tourists, locals and weird people of all legal drinking ages. The interiors of this pub are made of soft wood, and the basic design of this place is made such that you lose your head trying to figure the way back to your stool after a fag outside. At last count this pub had 4 levels (or not) all sprawling and dark. The darkness of this place is actually a good thing, it kinda makes you feel warm and when you're making stupid faces and/or drooling over your glass and/or orgasming as you're taking a leak where you're standing because the queue to the loo is too long; nobody can see you.

The pub boasts of a stock of about 300 beers from around the world, they have a 'Little Black Book' of Beer which lists out all the beers available at the pub along with their ABV and the major ingredients and what country they belong to. Under India they have Cobra, which is actually British, but is heavily promoted as a beer that goes well with Indian food. It's partially true because of the taste and crispiness but partially because most lagers go well with Indian food (just like Luckies claim 'It's Toasted!', so is every other ciggarette). There's also an urban legend that The Porterhouse will give you a free pint if they don't have the beer of your choice. But they've always had the beer of my choice so couldn't ever test the claim.

What's sad, though, is that all the foreign beers here are in the placid penis bottles (small bottles or pints as they are called in India) so if you're drinking a South African Castle, you'll get that taste of glycerin and the harshness on the throat that goes with it. But you don't go to the Porterhouse to drink bottled beers, oh no sir, you go there for their tap, and the tap is gooood.

These guys have about 9 of their signature beers on tap, I'll list out the ones I have tried first and then the rest :

Brainblasta (7%) - Copper-colored hoppy ale, very strongly fermented and primary reason for having wild sex with the floor.

Chiller (4.2%) - My MOST favourite Lager in the world. No kidding. American-styled awesomeness.

Oyster (4.8%) - Competitor to the Guinness stout, very nice indeed, almost identical.

Porterhouse Red (4.4%) - Irish styled traditional Red Ale. Acquired Taste. I didn't like it too much.

Temple Brau (4.3%) - More hoppy than the Chiller Lager. German and Dutch styled pilsner. I prefer the Chiller to this one for sure.

The other beers on tap produced by the Porterhouse Brewing Co are Plain (Light Stout), Hersbrucker (Pilsner), TSB (Pale Ale) and Wrasslers (Heavy Stout).

The Porterhouse is a treat to all your senses; visual, olfactory and the innate sense to get supremely wasted. There are empty beer bottles displayed on all windows so each time you get the urge to interact with the outside world all you see is the emptiness of the beer bottle and you suddenly find yourself at the bar spluttering incomprehensible words to the bartender, in the end all you can do is point at a beer and smile.

The good lads at the Porterhouse also make a mean fare, so if you ever go, don't forget to indulge in their finger food. The original Porterhouse branch is called the Temple Bar, located in Dublin (the place with the best Guinness, better than the brewery!), the food there was by far the best, because my Beef Stew was accompanied by Guinness Bread :D I'll probably write a post on that as soon as I can remember that day....or night. (Fuck Dublin!)

More than the beers, its the amazing times I've had at the Porterhouse, London that makes it such a dear place to me; be it St. Patricks Day, end of exams or simply whenever we've been in doubt about choosing a place for drinks. The fact that Covent Garden is my most favorite place in London just adds to the experience.

Rating : 8/10
Address : 21-22 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2 E7NA

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Yabba Dabba Doooolally - The Microbrewery Experience at Pune

The Kingdom of Hindustan was being ruled by the evil Lord Mallaya and his allies the Danish Carlsberg, the American Bud and the most evil of them all... the urinary Australian. These were dark times and the people were subject to unspeakable torment. Peasants and Artisans and Traders worked day in and day out to come back home to the monstrosities of stale, ugly beer. Their prayers went mostly unheard. Any attempt to start a revolution was cruelly quashed by the evil lords like in the case of the Lodnon Pilsner. There was no light in sight.

A group of dog-tired slaves met up one day conspicuously in the dead of night to discuss the rumours they had heard that a revolution had started in the far away land of Pune. Rumour had it that they brewed fresh beer, served it in pints using real raw materials and fresh water. It sounded too good to be true. To find out they had to take a perilious journey to the heart of Pune, but the peril was worth dying for.

So it was decided then, at the break of dawn they would set out on their mission to make contact with the Pune revolutionaries. They embarked on their horses and galloped away. Destination Corinthian Boutique Hotel.

The property is a palace in its own right, set atop a tiny hill enabling a beautiful view of the city. The pub where the microbrewery is located - Smokies - has an atrocious looking blow-up bear at its entrance, giving a very Texan feel to the place (not one of the strongest points). The pub is divided into an inside and an outside area. Pune air is usually chilled so sitting outside would've been a good idea if you went there in a small group. We were 8 however, so we decided to sit inside.

Right behind the main door of the Pub is the production area of the microbrewery where massive aluminium machines stand intimidatingly behind glass walls. The Pub does tours on only two days in the week at specific times, so check in advance before you head out.

Getting down to business we hit the bar as soon as we were alloted a table. A customary tasting of beers on offer followed. The first beer I tried was the Dunkelweizen (Bavaria), a German dark wheat beer (Dunkel = dark weizen = wheat). Very impressive, nice undertones, very complex and it was fresh :). I liked what I saw but I wanted more so next in line was the Cider. Now, I like Cider sometimes, usually when I'm outdoors on a summer day sitting on grass, otherwise its just not my drink. The Cider at Doolally was average, I particularly did not like the aftertaste but the Cider drinker in my group gobbled 5 pints so I guess it wasnt that bad afterall.

Ze Menu

Then I had my favourite beer of the night, the Wheat Beer. I fell in love at the sight of the slightly opaque golden texture of the beer. The nose was mild, not too much of a head the fizz was consistent and the aftertaste was what did it for me. It left a lingering bitter note on the palette without causing the itchiness as in the Cider. Absolutely awesome, especially with good Pub Grub (more on that later). This was followed by the Kolsch (Cologne), the most noticeable thing about the Kolsch is it's prominent bitterness lent by the hops. It's a very personal choice between the Kolsch and the Wheat, and I was leaning more towards the Wheat. Lastly we tried their Lager. Ho-hum is all I can say about that.

At the table, I called for a pint of every beer except the Cider and the Lager. And then ended the night with a last pint of Wheat. The food at Smokies was outstanding, we started off with Chicken Wings and an Oriental Platter of Starters with House Fries. The most epic dish was the Mutton Raan, which complimented my Wheat beer like Cinderella's frickin Slippers. There's just something about combining good beer with Indian Food.

Boring Interiors

Now for the negatives, as I mentioned earlier, the decor of the place is definitely a downer. It looks like any other branch of TGIF/Ruby Tuesday/HRC going for the whole American pub schbang. I find it highly unoriginal and downright contemptuous to decorate your walls with dead rock star memorabilia and posters. The waiters, though friendly, could be better trained. The music was stolen from the worst HRC DJ and put on loop on a 30 minute frequency and when we politely requested the manager to reduce the atrociously loud volume he retorted in a heavy south indian accent "This (volume) dont go down saar (sir) this only go up." Ahh Cheers Dude.

But all this did not take away from the fact that these guys know their stuff and they are doing a fabulous job of providing us with fresh, gelatin-free, tasty beer. Long Live Revolution Down With The Other Shit.

Ratings :-
Wheat Beer : 7.5/10
Kolsch : 6.5/10
Dunkelweizen : 7/10
Food : 7/10
Decor & Ambeince : 3/10
All in all : A very prominent brick in the beer wall
Link :
Address : The Corinthians Boutique Hotel,Nyati County, NIBM Annexe, South Pune, Maharashtra, India.