Reasons why Bengaluru is the beer capital of India

September 17, 2019

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The seed of microbreweries sown

Until recent times, the commercial lager was the only beer Indians were exposed to. It is a fairly competent product till it leaves the brewery and hits the supply chain. By the time the bottled beer finally reaches the consumer, it could be as old as five months and may have faced fluctuating temperatures, poor storage and transportation. It is only in India that bottled beer is chilled just before consumption.

Some beers lovers’ desire to skip this tedious supply chain to get beer in its fresh state gave rise to the new business model of independent breweries in India. Named microbreweries, these produce limited quantities of beer each day for local consumption. They are sold in in-house outlets otherwise known as prewpubs. These are basically resto-bars where consumers drink freshly brewed beer off the tap. The produce at the microbreweries is not bottled nor any preservatives added in the process. The brewing equipment is often displayed as part of the décor. Since 2008, after the first few microbreweries started making fresh and delicious ‘craft’ beer, there has been no looking back.

A Peep at the process

There are four primary factors to judge the profile of a beer: appearance (colour, foam stabilization, and clarity), aroma, taste, and finish. One that is perfectly balanced and has all these characteristics is the most enjoyable beer. The process in which it is made is fairly similar in both commercial and microbreweries. Where they primarily differ is in flavouring. Commercial breweries have standard, tightly controlled flavours infused where as the latter have more freedom to experiment.

Most brewers have two pursuits in terms of flavouring: infusing local flavours, such as mango wheat beer or jaggery ale and introducing iconic international brews to local clientele, such as Irish stout or the Belgian witbier.

Milling: Whole malted grain is milled to allow it to absorb water. This helps in extracting sugar from malts too.

Brew water preparation: Treated hot and cold water are stored in copper tanks to use at a later stage.

Mashing: the milled grain is added to the hot water tank and it is mashed and stepped to extract the soluble goodness from the grain and create the character of the beer.

Wort Boiling: The mashed liquid is then transferred to the second copper tank where the spent grain is filtered from the still hot liquid to obtain the wort. Then, hops are added to the wort and it is boiled further.

Cooling: The wort, once brewed, is cooled rapidly to the ideal fermentation temperature (16–22°C) the cold water prepared and storedearlier is used as a coolant in this process.

Fermentation: The cooled wort is transferred into a sterile fermenter filled with fresh yeast. The yeast cells quickly metabolize the sugars into alcohol, natural CO2 and flavour esters transforming the wort into beer.

Conditioning: The beer is filtered from the yeast and transferred to the serving tanks where it is conditioned for a couple of days for flavour improvisation and the optimum level of carbonation.

Finished Beer: About 60 days after the start of the conditioning process, the beer is ready to be served. Ideally, it should be drunk at 7°C.

Known for its incredible cuisineand culture, Bangalore is also home to some of the best microbreweries in the whole of India. From the traditional, light India Pale Ales (IPA) to chocolatey stouts and everything in between, the beers brewed in this city are exceptional. Explore the best microbreweries beer lovers must visit via GotTable to enjoy top-notch microbreweries and restaurants like La Casa Brewery, Big Pitcher, and Barleyz that provide a selection of unique beers, from pale ales to stouts and seasonal beers, guaranteed to suit all tastes.

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