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Join the beer brigade!

The Indian market is lathering with every kind of tipple to suit different needs. Lager, craft, draught, pilsner, you name it, and the beer is there. Two beer-drinkers talk to Vidhi Bhargava.

india Updated: Jun 12, 2009 13:00 IST
Vidhi Bhargava

The Indian market is lathering with every kind of tipple to suit different needs. Lager, craft, draught, pilsner, you name it, and the beer is there.

Indian brands continue to be the most popular companions for beer-drinkers across seasons. And of course, there’s imported beer made with rice, wheat, hops and what have you, sourced from countries like Belgium and Japan to Australia. And now, even foreign beer brands are being brewed in India. The city’s close on the heels of a beer explosion with a zillion choices. The beer-brigade is as happy as can be.

Two seasoned beer drinkers — Adrian Mascarenhas and Girish Fernandes took a few swigs of eight new entrants in tipple market. Having guzzled up cartloads of beer the gentlemen have an opinion on each, which may or may not necessarily correspond with what experts believe. Adrian has a high threshold for drinking and Girish feels he can hold his drinks reasonably well.

Tiger
One of the most popular South-Asian beer brands, it’s now being brewed in India. The beer, Adrian believes, is the kind you can go bottoms up with.
Origin: Singapore
Alcohol content: 5 per cent
Look and feel: pale golden and not gassy.
Strength: mild
Taste: mildly bitter and very smooth.
Price: Rs 50 (pint)
To get a high, need: 12 pints (Adrian); 6 pints (Girish)
Rating: 4 out of 5

Peroni Nastro Azzuro


This full-bodied Italian lager beer is brewed with sprint barley malt and is popular the world over.


Origin

: Italy


Alcohol content

: 5.1 per cent


Look and feel

: pale yellow, with a head that disappears within minutes.


Strength

: mildly strong, it has the potential to leave you with a bad hangover.


Taste

: smooth, crisp and fresh but faintly bitter, after-taste is non-beer like.


Price

: Rs 145


To get a high need

: 7 pints (Adrian); 7-8 pints (Girish)


Rating

: 4 out of 5

Corona


One of the most popular beer brands across the world, often served with a wedge of lime or lemon inserted into the neck of the bottle.


Origin:

Mexico


Alcohol content

: 4.6 per cent


Look and feel

: amber, the head stays for a bit.


Strength

: mild


Taste

: incredible, devoid of bitterness or bad aftertaste.


Price

: Rs 125


To get a high need

: will lose count (Adrian); 10 pints (Girish)


Rating

: 5 out of 5

Tuborg
A light pilsner, it was first brewed in 1880 in a brewery north of Copenhagen at Hellerup.
Origin: Denmark
Alcohol content: 4.6 per cent
Look and feel: light yellow-gold, with large bubbles and a frothy head
Strength: not too strong
Taste: mildly bitter with a smooth grainy taste.
Price: Rs 40
To get a high need: 7-8 (Adrian); 7 pints (Girish)
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Stella Artois
This is another premium beer brand, traditionally brewed in Leuven since 1366.
Origin: Belgium
Alcohol content: 5 per cent
Look and feel: bright golden with a white head, has a full-bodied, smooth feel.
Strength: not too strong in proportion to its alcohol content.
Taste: clean and crisp taste with a light malty sweetness.
Price: Rs 150
To get a high need: 9-10 (Adrian); 7-8 pints (Girish)
Rating: 4/ 5

Hoegaarden


A critically-acclaimed original White beer made of wheat, it’s enjoyed in its unique hexagonal glass, which enhances its flavour. Currently, it’s imported for the Indian market.


Origin

: Belgium


Alcohol content

: 4.9 per cent


Look and feel

: cloudy white with a thick frothy head


Strength

: mildly strong with a smooth taste


Taste

: yeasty, spicy taste with a hint of sweetness


Price

: Rs 150


To get a high need

: 6-7 (Adrian); 7 pints (Girish)


Rating

: 3.5 out of 5

Carlsberg


This is a German style pilsner, first brewed in 1904. It pairs well with Asian cuisine.


Origin

: Denmark


Alcohol content

: 5 per cent


Look and feel

: clear golden-yellow with a great head on the top.


Strength

: quite strong, can give you a high in just about two bottles.


Taste

: grainy, vegetable taste with a harsh, bitter aftertaste.


Price

: Rs 50


To get a high need

: 4-5 (Adrian); 5 pints (Girish)


Rating

: 3/5

Little Devils Golden Ale
This new entrant is one of the rare domestically produced Indian craft beer, in a market largely dominated by larger beer.
Origin: India
Alcohol content: less than 5 per cent
Colour: light gold coloured ale, with a large head
Strength: not too strong, smooth
Taste: mildly sweet, weird taste.
Price: Rs 55
To get a high need: 2; can’t bear any more (Adrian); 7 pints (Girish)
Rating: doesn’t merit