A Spanish makeover: Geist’s Rajajinagar outpost fills the heart with tapas-style menu
Geist Brewing Co has launched a new globally inspired tapas-style menu to go with its well-known craft brews and in-house curated cocktails.
Sound check, sound check.
As a band prepared to perform in the courtyard of Orion Mall at Rajajinagar, Bengaluru, Geist Brewing Co was gearing up for its relaunch.
The brewery—famous for Kamacitra, James Blonde, and Witty Wit craft beers sold in Bengaluru’s wine shops—has been serving various kinds of beers and IPAs since 2020 at Old Madras Road in Garden City.
“While we were the first to introduce wheat beers in India, what I’d like is for us to be known as the best makers of craft beers, consistently and across varieties,” Narayan Manepally, Co-founder and CEO of Geist Brewing Co, tells YS Life.
The brewery’s menu has also undergone a makeover and is now set to serve globally inspired tapas-style delicacies.
“The whole rationale behind a tapas-style bar stemmed from the concept of nostalgia—a globally inspired menu but infused with familiar Indian flavours,” he adds.
Traditionally associated with Spanish cuisine, tapas consist of small, flavourful dishes served as appetisers or snacks. In recent years, Indian bars and pubs have adopted the concept and have put their own twist on it. And, so has Geist.
Helping in this endeavour is Chef Altaf Patel, Corporate Chef at Geist Brewing Co. Patel has curated the shared plates concept with a fusion of flavours set against an elevated and modern ambience.
YS Life attended the pre-launch menu-tasting event to get a glimpse of Geist’s new avatar.
Weekend started early as we began our little adventure with the Granny’s Sunday Brunch cocktail. It was rooted in the familiar mulled wine, with hints of star anise and cinnamon, topped with tonic water.
Following came the Siam Sweet Curry—a cocktail inspired from its namesake, Thai Green Curry, and vodka. The drink, coloured a hint of green, had flavours of the curry, topped with a drop or two of chilli oil. The rather spicy drink was paired with a mild-flavoured Ayam Taliwang Skewers—a chicken skewer made in the Indian tandoor but with flavours borrowed from the Indonesian kitchen.
Manepally, who started making beers from his home in the US, takes pride in what Geist does—making the best wheat beers as close to the original as possible, and paying homage to the best global techniques of brewing beers.
Speaking of the beers, Geist’s menu would have been incomplete if it didn’t incorporate its famous beer. The brewery was at its best with Beer Soy Glazed Barbeque Ribs and the Dunkeltini cocktail.
The pork ribs—brined over 12 hours, smoked and slow-cooked at its Old Madras Road facility—were glazed with an in-house sauce made of beer, pineapple, and soy, and topped with a togarashi seasoning. By far, it was the best juicy pork ribs I had tasted and one to brag about on the Gram!
The Dunkeltini, on the other hand, is a take on the classic Espresso Martini, crafted from the Geist Uncle Dunkel beer reduced to syrup and foam, filter coffee, and dark rum. It was a smokin’ affair, to say the least.
Another favourite was the Geist Patatas Bravas—a special marriage between classic old French Fries and Nachos. Crispy potatoes sat on a bed of sweet and spicy tomato sauce, sriracha mayo, tamarind kachumber, and sesame seeds, topped with a classic salsa.
The cheese course—Fried Brie with Fig Chutney—was a crispy Brie with truffle cauliflower puree and fig chutney, which paired beautifully with the mulled wine cocktail.
Geist offers Tuna Tataki, influenced by the ingredients and techniques of Vietnamese Nuoc Cham and Japanese Tataki searing. It is served with pickled grapes, jalapeno, and red pepper relish.
Chef Altaf’s Salmon and Coconut is a form of semi-cooked ceviche. The fish is torched with a sweet pickle puree on top and a citrus coconut curd on the side.
When in Karnataka, you cannot miss out on the ghee roast. Geist puts a twist with the Ghee Roast Bone Marrow. A soulful dish, the roasted bone marrow is paired with an authentic ghee roast sauce and served with coriander chutney and in-house sourdough bread.
For dessert, I ordered the Peanut Butter and Chocolate Pie. The heavenly small portion had a crumbly base of roasted peanuts, chocolate, and cornflakes, topped with peanut butter and dark chocolate ganache—placed on a bed of salted caramel.
All the ingredients are locally and ethically sourced from farmers in Karnataka. Manepally believes in not serving something to customers that he would not eat himself.
The sushi-grade seafood, however, including the tuna and salmon, are imported.
“These are not just ingredients that are of really high quality; it’s also how we source (them). For example, we want cold-temperature transport for all our meats. We also pay a much higher price for it,” he explains. “We hope Altaf’s technique of cooking and blending various flavours from various countries, including India, will resonate with our customers.”
Reinvention is the key
While the brand aims to keep reinventing and introducing new menus, it keeps some of customer favourites. “When you have a fixed menu and you have new kinds of beers coming, I don’t want to force fit something…It should really be thought through, and the beer should enhance the taste of the food, and vice versa.”
Manepally hopes to incorporate the tapas-style menu in three months at Geist’s other facilities in Bengaluru at Hennur and Old Madras Road.
“I keep telling our team that this is a platform for us to experiment at the other locations too,” he adds.
Sipping on a glass of Geist’s Witty Wit beer after a scrumptious meal, listening to a band playing a Tamil song, one couldn’t have asked for a better Friday.
Edited by Kanishk Singh