A city brewery is serving draught beer infused with Indian herbs and flowers
Do you fancy some jasmine in your beer, or perhaps some betel leaf? Here’s where you can try it.HT48HRS_Special Updated: Apr 14, 2017 17:55 IST
A food processor is a common kitchen appliance, used for kneading dough or making juices/shakes. Now, imagine a food processor that infuses ingredients like basil and rosemary in your beer. We are talking of Randall: a filter system that allows you to run draught beer through a chamber of spices, fruits, and herbs.
Recently installed at Woodside Inn, Lower Parel, the Randall is a two-chamber appliance. One of the chambers is attached to the beer keg — the container that stores the beer under required pressure and temperature, so as to preserve its original flavour. This is the chamber where the condiments are stored. When the beer starts flowing in, the flavour of the herb, say jasmine, dissolves in the beer. As the first chamber fills up, the beer then moves into a tube that leads in to the second chamber, which is filled with crushed ice to maintain a cool temperature.
“Infused beers are popular internationally. Chocolate and coffee-flavoured beers are widely consumed in America. In India, given how new draft beer is, we wanted to experiment with quintessential Indian flavours. Additionally, there’s no limit to what flavours we can try; beer is an all-encompassing drink,” says Chinchalkar.,” says Abhishek Chinchalkar, a home brewer and resident beer expert at Woodside Inn.
While the aim is to keep rotating flavours, for this summer, the options are jasmine, basil and rosemary, and betel leaf — ingredients that are popularly associated with traditional coolers. The three are infused with different beers, too — White Zen, Gosser, and a lager, respectively. The combinations have been decided taking into consideration the strength of the ingredients and original flavour of the beer.
For instance, Gosser, a beer that is fundamentally bitter, acquires a minty aftertaste when fused with basil and rosemary, making it perfect for summer. The fact that it runs through crushed ice while being served adds to the refreshment. The lager, again a bitter beer, combined with betel leaves and nuts (a traditional mouth-freshener) makes it an ideal beer to pair with desserts. However, the White Zen-jasmine combination disappointed us a little. The citrus-y twang of the beer clashes with the sweet jasmine smell and taste, completely negating the presence of the latter.
Don’t miss: Flavoured beers are now available across all Woodside Inn outlets (Lower Parel, Kala Ghoda and Andheri); Price: Rs 250 onward for a glass