Pune and Mumbai
It was the first and remains one of the most consistent microbreweries in India. Doolally’s success has been built around their experienced German head brewer, Oliver Schauf. The one complaint people have about Doolally is that it is a trek to their brewpub, situated on the outskirts of Pune. Now, they are opening an outlet in Bandra, in Mumbai, to which they will transport beers from Pune in kegs and serve them on tap.
Windmills Craftworks has struck the right balance between being a brewpub and a live-entertainment venue. At some brewpubs in India, the focus is on the decor, music and ambience and the microbrewery is just a gimmick, while, at others, the live entertainment seems like a desperate attempt to attract more patrons. At Windmills, it feels natural to be sipping on a wheat beer while listening to a great pianist in the brewpub’s jazz theatre. Among the interesting seasonal beers they have made are a dunkelweizen (dark German wheat beer), an American amber ale and a Bohemian pale ale.
When we first went to Toit, three years ago, we had a long list of complaints. The stout lacked body and the ale wasn’t bitter enough. Over time, though, Toit has improved its beers, and its ambience and sheer size — the brewpub is spread over three large floors — making it the place to go to in Bangalore. The TintinToit, a Belgian-style fruity ale, is their standout beer. They have also experimented quite a bit, making everything from a pumpkin ale to a Vienna-style lager. We particularly liked the Indian pale ale they had on tap earlier this year.
7 Degrees Brauhaus
Every other pub in Gurgaon says it has a microbrewery, but most leave you longing for a bottled lager. 7 Degrees Brauhaus is one of the few exceptions. Its owner, Sanjay Mathur, has tied up with German brewing company Caspary GmbH to try to make his establishment as close to a Bavarian brewpub as possible. Even the wood for the furniture is imported from Germany. 7 Degrees follows the Bavarian Purity Law of 1519, which demands they use only the finest quality malts, hops, yeast and water, and it shows in their beers.
Arbor Brewing Company
Founded by Matt and Rene Gruff in 1995, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the Arbor Brewing Company has produced more than 50 different beers in the USA. When they announced an Indian brewpub, expectations were high, and they have not disappointed. Among the most interesting beers they have made are a smoked porter, a golden abbey-style ale, a West Coast IPA and an American wheat ale with kiwi fruit and hops from New Zealand.
Independence Brewing Company
All right, we are cheating a little by putting this brewpub on our list. It only starts serving its craft beers on October 4. But, it has as an advisor, Greg Koch, co-founder of the California-based Stone Brewing Co, one of America’s best-known craft breweries. From their Facebook posts, it appears Independence Brewing Company’s first lot of beers will include a Belgian pale ale and a four-grain saison brewed with pilsner, rye, wheat and oats.