Bangalore's craft beer trail: Where to find the best brews
From the artistry of brewing to unique flavours that tantalise the palate, our latest guide takes you to the heart of the city's best breweries.
Plato once said, "He was a wise man who invented beer." Who are we to dispute one of history's greatest philosophers? Beer has been a favourite for centuries. While the brewing process may have evolved since the days of Ancient Egypt, our craze for it remains the same.
What distinguishes craft beer from its mass-produced counterparts is the artistry and meticulousness poured into every pint. From crisp, hop-infused IPAs to velvety stouts, craft breweries offer a tapestry of flavours to delight even the most discerning beer aficionados. Driven by shifting cultural attitudes among young and affluent populations, the rise in demand for premium craft beer has greatly contributed to the growth outlook for the beer market in India.
Bengaluru, often dubbed the "Silicon Valley of India," has earned itself the titles of "The Pub Capital of India" and the "Party Hub of India." This thriving city, recognised as a "tech hub with a taste for fun," has wholeheartedly embraced the craft beer renaissance, a phenomenon originating from the West.
As per a 2019 study from KenResearch, the “young urban-dwellers who are gaining an appetite for beer compared to liquor are keen to bring “The Beer on Tap” concept back to serve their customer's different styles of international quality delicious craft brews”.
Here's a rundown of some of the city's unique breweries known for their finest brews and great ambience.
Byg Brewski: Where cosiness meets craft beer
Renowned as the largest microbrewery in all of Asia, Byg Brewski Brewing Company offers an enchanting setting—a picturesque lake adorned with ducks, an outdoor dining area, and lush greenery, making it the perfect spot to unwind with friends.
Delight your taste buds with an array of delectable bar snacks, such as the Calcutta Club Chicken Cutlet and the scrumptious Arabic Fatayer. And, of course, the stars of the show are their craft beers, which include Byg Hefeweizen, Byg Wit, Byg Ella Pale Ale, Byg Triple, and Byg Rauch.
Crafted in the Bavarian style, the Byg Hefeweizen which stands out as a cult favourite, is brought to life by a unique yeast strain. With delightful notes of banana and clove, the combination of wheat and clove infuses this beer with a unique tart flavour.
Another classic drink worth mentioning is the 'Weizenbock' at Big Brewsky, a creation that even the most critical connoisseurs would applaud. The term 'bock' signifies a potent velvety texture brew with increased alcohol content. Crafted from a blend of wheat and barley malts, with a touch of highly kilned caramel and roasted malts, this brew delivers a truly unique experience. With an alcohol content of 6%, it's advisable to approach cautiously, unless you're in the mood for a bold adventure!
Consistently rated as one of the top microbreweries in Bangalore, Byg Brewski offers an ambience that harks back to the architectural splendour of medieval Europe.
Where to find: Southern Asia Bible College, Byrathi Village, 22, Hennur Bagalur Main Rd, Karnataka 560077
Arbor Brewing Company: Where quirk meets craft beer
If you're in search of a charming microbrewery to unwind after a long week at MG Road, Arbor Brewing Company on Brigade Road is the place for you. The warm, inviting ambience, bathed in soft yellow lighting and wooden seating, welcomes you as you enter.
For an exceptional experience, we highly recommend trying their signature honey-lavender-infused Smooth Criminal Brew and the Indian Pale Ale Beach Shack, each offering a unique and interesting flavour. Pair it with their delectable Bangalore nachos and creamy Baked Mac and Cheese for a gastronomic delight.
Renowned for pushing the boundaries of beer and being the first American Brewery in Bangalore, the roots of Arbor Brewing Company trace back to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where a friend of the owner, Michael Faricy, concocted his own version of Irish Stout as a homebrew back in 1993. This creation gained such acclaim that it clinched the top spot at the 'World Beer Championships' in 1998 (yes, such championships do exist!). What sets this stout apart is –the inclusion of Turkish coffee beans.
Where to find: 8, 3rd Floor, Allied Grande Plaza, Diagonally, Opposite Garuda Mall, Magrath Road, Brigade Road, Bangalore
ShakesBierre: Where Shakespearean drama meets craft beer
If you have an affinity for the poetic drama of Shakespeare and have a few lines from Romeo and Juliet up your sleeve, then ShakesBierre is your go-to brewery.
Stepping into this establishment, you'll be taken back to ye olde English ambience of the Bard. You won't want to miss their orange-infused "Romeo Swagger" or the robust and dark-roasted "Brisky Brutus," both setting the stage for a perfect evening with friends.
To complement these brews, savour their delectable Tawa Lamb Chops and the hot and spicy Mushroom Pepper Fry. As a delightful bonus, the names of their signature cocktails, including "Come What May," "Foregone Conclusion," and "Merry Wives Of Windsor," add a touch of whimsy to your visit.
What sets ShakesBierre apart, aside from its quirky name, is its unique theme. Don't forget to try all eight of their in-house beers; they're nothing short of exceptional.
Where to find: Eva Mall, Level 5, Brigade Rd, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560001
Toit: Where craft beer excellence reigns
Toit's craft beer selection is a veritable ode to local ingredients, expertly weaving exotic flavours of indigenous fruits, spices, wheat, and rice into their unique and refreshing brews. The entire experience is elevated by a welcoming ambience and a soundtrack of good music, making it the ultimate setting for a memorable afternoon or evening.
A worthy contender against the Hefeweizen at W&C, this brew is a cloudy, delectable light wheat beer with hints of banana and cloves and an alcohol percentage of 4.9%.
Toit isn't just any brewery; it's a Bangalore icon, pioneering the craft beer movement in the city. Their unwavering commitment to drawing inspiration from local ingredients is a testament to their dedication to excellence. The brewery's simplicity offers the perfect backdrop for a leisurely brunch or an unforgettable night out.
Toit's "New England IPA" stands out with its tropical flavours that leave your taste buds dancing with delight. While enjoying the beer, be sure to taste the delectable match of Chicken Wings and Okra Podi Chips.
Cheers to Toit, where craft beer excellence reigns supreme!
Where to find: 298, 100 Feet Road, Namma Metro Pillar 62, Indiranagar, Bangalore
Brooks and Bonds Brewery: Crafting seasonal beer excellence
Known for its exceptional seasonal offerings like the refreshing Mango Beer and the rich Oatmeal Stout, Brooks and Bonds Brewery is a distinguished name in the world of craft beer. The brewery's ambience exudes rustic charm, featuring a design inspired by factories and a delightful al fresco dining area.
In addition to its outstanding beer selection, Brooks and Bonds Brewery also boasts a mouthwatering culinary menu that includes their signature crunchy California Fried Chicken and an exotic, cheesy thin-crust Italiano pizza.
The Imperial Porter, with its alluring dark fruit and malt notes, is a delight for the senses. The Belgian Wit offers a delicate balance of coriander and orange flavours, lending a unique character to this wheat beer.
The Rauchweizen, with its minty banana infusion, boasts a spicy and fruity profile that's sure to leave a lasting impression. The Weizenbock, with its warm alcoholic undertones, offers a captivating blend of spiciness and fruitiness.
But it's not just about the drinks and food; the generous portions, friendly staff, and picturesque setting collectively contribute to making Brooks and Bonds Brewery an exceptional destination for craft beer enthusiasts in Bangalore.
Where to find: 4, 100 Feet Rd, KHB Block Koramangala, 5th Block, Koramangala, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560047
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