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German brew in Mumbai for you

art-and-culture Updated: Apr 12, 2012 15:12 IST
Nikhil Hemrajani
Nikhil Hemrajani
Hindustan Times
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Mumbaibars looking to get their regular fix of German beer haven’t been left in the lurch in the recent past with the annual Oktoberfest celebrations, a growing stock of international brands including Schneider Weiss and Erdinger at liquor stores, and fresh German brew at Pune-based microbrewery, Doolally.

And starting tomorrow, you chug some more authentic brew at the Indo-German Mela at Cross Maidan, Churchgate. Organised by a number of partners including the German Embassy, Delhi, and Max Mueller Bhavan, Mumbai, the Mela will feature a range of events including exhibitions, workshops, performances and a specially-curated Beer Garden that will focus on German beer, wine and food.

According to Constantin Wassmann, project manager, hospitality, for the Indo-German team, “We’ll offer varieties of wheat and dark wheat beer from Bavaria. Wheat beer is especially appropriate for the summer as it’s refreshing and tasty. In Bavaria, it’s referred to as ‘liquid bread’.”

But what exactly differentiates a German beer from its counterparts across Europe and the rest of the world? Oliver Schauf, the German brewmaster and co-founder at Doolally Handcrafted Beers explains, “There’s no one German beer. There are lots of regional styles of making it. Dusseldorf is known for its dark bitter beers called altbier, while the Bavarian pale lager has been around since the late medieval period. Lately, wheat beer has become very popular. It’s fresh, aromatic with flavours of banana and clove that come from the strain of yeast used. It is commonly consumed in summer.”

The Indo-German Mela is on at Cross Maidan, Churchgate from April 13-22. The German beers at the Mela are available in 330ml and 500ml pints and prices start from Rs400.

A bit more bitter According to Oliver Schauf, German beers tend to be more bitter than other beers across the world, which are far milder. “As German beers have a higher content of hops (herbs that impart flavour, aroma and stability to the beer), they are more aromatic and bitter. It’s an acquired taste. You might not like the bitterness the first time you try it,” he says.