Today, we talk about beer - a beverage universally loved by everyone from 60-year-olds to 16-year-olds (don't @ me, that's the legal age in Germany). Some truly solid and well-crafted beer has been brewed right here in India, on par with world standards. We may not have the equivalent of an Oktoberfest, but at least our options are getting more varied. Here's a few great ales, lagers, and the like for the pleasure of your palate.
1. Maka Di
Fair warning, there's going to be a lot of Goa based brews on this list - susegaad and sipping beer goes hand in hand after all. Maka Di, which means 'Give Me One' in Konkani, comes from the house of Latambarcem Brewers which is based in Goa. They've got 5 variants - Maka Di Honey Ale, American Lager, Belgian Tripel, Belgian Wheat-Blanche, and The Bavarian Keller. Aoo tsaud kooshi!
2. Kati Patang
Brewed with Himalayan spring water and chalk full of aromatic malts, this darkish ale has been making quite a name for itself in a short span of time. The distinctive name, that alludes to freedom and unfettered creativity, gels well with the taste of this craft beer, which has a medium caramel flavour with mild citrus notes.
3. Eight Finger Eddie
Named after the first hippie to grace the shores of Goa, this IPA is a tribute to the generations of people that followed in his footsteps and made Anjuna what it is today. Apart from the attractive label, the beer itself has a creamy texture and a very distinctive taste and aroma of tropical fruits - perfect for a boozy brunch or a breezy afternoon.
4. Pineapple Saison
Another solid brew by the good folks over at Goa Brewing Company, this beer marked their second release. Staying true to their tropical roots, Pineapple Saison tastes like a heady mix of pineapple, wild berries, ginger, and other local herbs. Unfortunately, it's only available seasonally, so get it while it's hot (outside).
5. Arbor Craft Beer Cans
Bangalore's Arbor holds the distinction of being India's first American craft brewery, and its delicious and varied beers have attained cult status over the years. However, they also sell cans of beer across Karnataka and Goa, currently retailing three different varieties - Easy Rider American Wheat, Bangalore Bliss Hefeweizen, and Beach Shack IPA. If you've ever been to Arbor, you know their brews are quality, and their packaged product is pretty solid too.
6. UB Export
This commercial beer is a hidden gem, even though it's in pretty heavy circulation in Karnataka. It comes from United Breweries, the same company that produces Kingfisher. Despite the association with such a well-known face, UB Export has flown under the radar. The beer itself is hops heavy, mildly sweet, and extremely easy on the pocket.
Simba has been expanding at an encouragingly consistent pace, without compromising on the essentials. They have a strict focus on quality ingredients, and you can choose between Wit, Stout, Light and Strong. Also, that lion looks cool.
8. White Rhino
This beer has a unique taste that's slowly been gaining favour with the Indian population. It comes in a wheat form and a lager form, and while it's slightly more pricey than it warrants, it's still a pretty solid tasting local brew that goes down easy.