In the world of beer, microbreweries are the equivalent of gourmet restaurants. You may end up spending a packet for your drink, but for the same reason you’d favour a fine-dining restaurant over a fast-food joint.
Oliver Schauf, the brewmaster and co-founder of Doolally Handcrafted Beers (DHB), a microbrewery located in Corinthians Club, Pune, explains, "Large breweries, like all your big beer brands, fight to save every paisa. Instead of malt (germinated grains), they use sugar. And instead of noble hops (flower clusters used as flavouring and stability agents), they use extracted hops."
According to Schauf, beer is like milk. It tastes best when fresh, unlike wine that gets better with age. "Large breweries store beer for up to a year and use pasteurisation, preservatives and all sorts of other chemicals to keep it from spoiling. In our case, all the beers we sell are fresh and come straight from the tank," he says.
Although lager beer, the most widely sold beer in the world — the fizzy yellow drink in your Kingfishers, Haywards and Carlsbergs — is widely popular in India too, Schauf recommends wheat beer for Mumbai’s tropical climate. "Lager lacks depth or taste, but works as the lowest common denominator. Wheat beer on the other hand, is very refreshing, fruity and acidic. Even in Europe, it’s the typical summer drink," he says.
Doolally will be hosting their Oktoberfest celebrations over the weekend from October 14-16. With Märzen — the traditional Oktoberfestbeer, Bavarian music and food, they hope to recreate a little piece of Munich’s Oktoberfest right in Pune. For Mumbaikars, the company along with Blue Bulb are kickstarting the Octoberfest Wagon, where, for R 200 a ride, they will get you to Pune and back.