All hail the ale: This International Beer Day relax with some chilled craft beer from Simba and their DIY cocktails
International Beer Day which falls every year on August 7th, is a day to celebrate beer, which is one of the world’s most popular and best-selling alcoholic beverages.
It is also a day to honour the brewers that make it, the global countries that inspire rich aromatic flavours, and the individuals that savour it and love it.
So, this Beer Day, take out your mugs, or drink straight from a bottle or a can and celebrate the day by trying out a new beer that you have never tasted before from anywhere in the world.
Prabhtej Singh, Founder of Simba Craft Beer.
Since we are still practising social distancing due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and can’t meet in large crowds, or at our favourite local hotspots or brew pubs, why not consider gifting a crate of your favourite craft beer to your friend in the spirit of the popular day.
Simba Craft Beers, a homegrown brand is celebrating the day with DIY cocktails inspired by their brews, and you can too!
In an exclusive interview with YS Weekender, Prabhtej Singh Bhatia, Founder of Simba Craft Beer, tells us about what goes into making their special craft beer, the unique flavours Simba has to offer, DIY cocktails to try at home, and his message to lovers of the drink on International Beer Day.
YSW: When was Simba launched and what was the inspiration/goal behind it?
PSB: Founded in 2016, Simba is the first home-grown, family-run craft beer brand in India by the company Simba Brewery, introduced by those who take their beer very seriously.
Simba was launched with an intent to offer an unparalleled experience of craft beer to the patrons of the industry.
Simba Wit has real orange peel to get that authentic flavour.
YSW: What made you get into the beverage industry? And why did you introduce craft beer to the Indian market?
PSB: I was always passionate about beers. I wanted to create a brand which would not only satiate the taste buds of the beer drinking population in the country but also create an opportunity for the beer industry at large.
YSW: Tell us about some of your best-selling beers, and a personal favourite flavour of yours?
PSB: We have four variants in market Simba Wit, Simba Stout, Strong and Lager. The bestselling ones are Wit and lager. Stout is my personal favourite.
Simba Craft Beer comes in Wit, Stout, Strong and Lager.
YSW: What makes Simba stand out from other beer brands?
PSB: We are extremely passionate about our beer which is evident in the end product. Unlike several other beer companies, we make our own beer at our flagship brewery in Durg, Chhattisgarh.
Instead of producing beer in bulk, we at Simba prefer to make beer in small batches giving enough attention and focus to the recipe of each beer.
This process also allows us to keep better control on the quality of each batch of beer without compromising on the taste.
YSW: What goes into making the perfect craft beer, and where do you source your ingredients from?
PSB: The brand is a result of rigorous research on supreme quality beer, which undergoes a difficult process of using fresh water from a nearby river instead of underground water.
We have spent months scouting for the finest malts and hops, creating experimental batches to perfect the flavour and without relying too much on conventional wisdom.
The brand also uses real orange peel from farms in Europe to get the rich flavours in SIMBA Wit.
YSW: What is your message to beer lovers on International Beer Day?
PSB: I would recommend beer lovers to experiment and try Simba’s finely crafted variants Wit, Simba Stout, Strong and Lager as is, or in the form of easy DIY beer cocktails and continue to roar from home.
Instead of creating beer in bulk Simba beer manufacturers choose to focus on smaller batches punched with flavour.
YSW: Who is your master brewer and where is your main warehouse located?
PSB: Our manufacturing facility is located in Durg, Chhattisgarh.
YSW: How do you think the nature of the industry is going to change with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic?
PSB: We have noticed a rise in, in-house drinking during the pandemic because of the lockdown. It has led to an increase in demand for packaged beer as opposed to the brewery drinking culture.
For the craft beer industry at large, the pandemic has presented it with an opportunity to build loyalists due to at-home drinking and also offered newer options to consumers to experiment.
YSW: Which countries do you believe have the best beer?
PSB: Germany and UK.
YSW: What are your future plans for Simba? Are you planning to expand, or introduce more beer varieties/flavours?
PSB: The year so far has been challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact of business across industries, including the liquor industry. Things are beginning to look up as we move towards resuming normalcy.
We are looking at foraying into a new segment with our kegs, these will be available throughout the country.
We also aim to enter Kerala in southern markets and strengthen our presence in Karnataka among other states.
YSW: What do you enjoy doing most on the weekend during your free time?
PSB: I used to love playing squash, but I am unable to go out a lot these days. Lately, I have been playing FIFA and Crash Team Racing on the PlayStation, so that’s been fun.
I also make time to read a fair bit and have recently read all books by Ruchir Sharma. He is one of my favourite authors.
Try DIY cocktails like Crimson Rampant and Grasslands on International Beer Day
YSW: (1-2) DIY Cocktails with Simba craft beer
SIMBA CRAFT BEER CRIMSON RAMPANT
A rejuvenating blend, Simba Craft Beer Crimson Rampant is the definition of a crisp brew encompassing all the right layers of sweet and sour.
Simba Lager (Top Up)
Super tarts Raspberry (25ml)
Lime Juice (10 ml)
Cranberry Juice (30 ml)
Add all ingredients and build. Serve over cubed ice. Top up with Simba Lager and garnish with mint leaves
SIMBA CRAFT BEER GRASSLANDS
If you enjoy fresh citrus notes and a splash full of flavour that will entice your taste buds, then Simba Craft Beer Grasslands will top the charts amongst your most favourite beer cocktail recipes.
Simba WIT (Top Up)
Gin (30 ml)
Elderflower syrup (15 ml)
Lime Juice (15 ml)
Yuzu Bitters (1 drop)
Add ice to a highball glass and stir to chill glass. Add gin, Elderflower syrup and lime juice. Top up with Simba Wit. Garnish with Yuzu Bitters and stir gently.
(Image Credits: Prabhtej Singh)