Wrapping up the Mumbai Beer Festivities

My beerfest schedule for the 14-16 October weekend was packed.

14th Mumbai Oktoberfest by IGCC

15th Doolally Oktoberfest Pune

16th1st International Mumbai Beer Festival at D’Monte Park

I’m glad I left the Int. Beer Festival for Sunday, because it made for a nice end to the beer-packed weekend.

Tables and chairs were laid out on the lawn of D’Monte Park enclosed by beer and food stalls.  Depending on the pass you booked, coupons were offered for either a bottle, an 80ml tasting or a keg. The beers on offer – Sangres (Portugal), Fuller’s London Pride Ale (England), Murphy’s Stout (Ireland), Tsingtao (China), Duvel (Belgium), Chimay Red Trappist (Belgium), Brooklyn East India Pale (USA), Schneider Weiss (Germany), Fuller’s Porter (England), Birra Moretti (Italy), Amstel Light (Holland) and Erdinger Weisse (Germany).

Ajit Balgi - Tulleho Beer Gurukul
Ajit Balgi - Tulleho Beer Gurukul
Navin Mittal - The Gateway Brewing Co.
Rahul Mehra - The Gateway Brewing Co.

The Gateway Brewing Co. introduced beer enthusiasts to home brewing and everything that it entails. Navin Mittal and Rahul Mehra made it look so simple and budgeted the initial investment to about Rs. 15,000.  Not so much when you consider the benefits – great tasting, self-made craft brews whenever you want them and in the long run (as The Gateway Brewing Co. says) ‘Save money! Show off!! Get Women!!!’ Navin shared the PDF here. Home Brewing Made Easy Check it out. It’s quite an education. I’m going to try and witness the whole process the next time Navin is brewing a batch, so hopefully that’ll be another post. You can follow Navin on twitter at @indianbeergeek  and Rahul at @brew

Ajit Balgi who conducted the Tulleho Beer Gurukul took the bunch through the history, making and tasting notes of the Trappist beer Chimay, Saison Dupont (Belgium), Schneider Weisse (Germany) and Brooklyn Lager (USA). I can’t speak for everyone, but when I know the stories behind a bottle of beer or a glass of wine, it almost instantly tastes that much better.

What worked

  • Sometimes its fun to be more involved with your drink than just downing it. The Tulleho Beer Gurukul and Home Brewing Made Easy session was a great step in that direction. Not too many people took the time to attend them but the beer-lovers who did weren’t disappointed.
  • There was quite a variety of international beer. Not too shabby a spread. For many it was the first taste of some of the less available brews.

What didn’t

  • This could be a completely personal opinion but no one at our table (about 12 people) enjoyed the music at all. The band could have been a lot better and a lot more engaging. Beer goes best with music.
  • Some of the food coupons were completely useless. And no matter what way you look at it a piece of tandoori chicken and a paper plate with hummus + peta bread doesn’t qualify as a Non-Veg Platter. A major upgrade is needed in this department.

After a hectic previous day at the Doolally Oktoberfest, the lazy, relaxing, Sunday-brunch feel of the 1st Int. Mumbai Beer Festival was a welcome.  It is a good concept but with a few tweaks here and there it could be a much better event. Hopefully by next year we’ll see a revision in excise duties on alcohol and then importing international beers will be a lot more affordable as well (the beer prices were close to retail prices).

Would I go for another edition? Definitely.

Will you? Leave me a comment about what you thought about the event and which beer you liked best. 🙂