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.

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