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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Longing for the European Experience of Drinking Freshly Brewed Beer Right Out of the Tap? Pune’s First Brew House is your Answer to the Indian Beer Revolution

Name : Smokies The First BrewHouse

Location: The Corinthians Boutique Hotel, Nyati County, NIBM Annexe, Pune

Phone No. : +91 9922429000020, +91 020 26952226

Opening Times:  Sunday to Thursday 06:30pm to 12:30pm
                                        Friday and Saturday 06:30pm to 01:30pm

The community of beer lovers in the city have a reason to celebrate. Put your hands together for the Beer Lovers that cared enough to brew us some fresh, handcrafted beers being served at the Corinthian Boutique Hotel. Now, we all can enjoy and drink beer the way it was meant to be drank. I love Beer and you cannot imagine my excitement when I first heard the first Micro Brewery in my city. It was Friday night and since I know a whole lot of Punekar’s love beer, I didn’t want to take any chances, so I made a reservation for 08:00pm, yet we got there at 09:20pm. Want to know why?

Balraj, my friend was visiting from Mumbai for the weekend and I am not very familiar with this neighbourhood. The cherry op top was that someone has tagged The Corinthian Hotel twice on Google maps, the right one and the wrong tag. This place is tricky to find and it took us very long to get there. Luckily they had saved us a table even an hour late. There was a cover charge against which we were given food and alcohol coupons.

The inside seating area is done up in a very ‘British Pub’ style, dimly lit with wooden furniture, well spaced out but if I hadn’t already booked a table inside, I would have preferred to be seated in the outer area. The outer area is a far better option to spend a Friday evening. Ah! The sweet smell of yeast as we entered the bar area and were seated at our table.

This is the best part, as he handed us the menu, the waiter told us that there was free beer from the tap for the next five minutes. Who wouldn’t love a glass of free beer? So, Balraj and I grabbed our glasses and head straight to the tap at the bar. They were serving a beer named ‘Bob Barley’ on the house. It was a dark beer, obviously freshly brewed, with a strong flavour, full of character. For those of you who are used to bottled beer, fresh beer is usually less fizzy than bottled beer; some prefer that because it makes the flavour of the beer more pronounced. In this case, I was thoroughly enjoying the full flavour of Bob Barley.

It is no surprise that our glasses were empty in a matter of minutes, not because we were parched and beer hungry but also because we were way more excited to taste all the beers they served in little shot glasses. There was Apple Cider, Premium 36, German Wheat and Bob Barley. Apple Cider was smooth and it tasted a little like wine. Premium 36 was very light, German Wheat beer was a little stronger than Premium 36 but the strongest beer with strongest flavour in their selection was Bob Barley. I loved Bob barley and ordered a glass at the bar, Balraj on the other hand asked for a premium 36 and a pint of Bob barley later.

If you are visiting place for beer and some tit bits, it is a good choice. If you are here for the food, I would not recommend this place. We tried two appetisers to go with the beer peri peri chicken which was little dry, spicy and tasted, well, bordering on average I would say. The rosali chicken kebabs were not good, Chicken wrapped around minced chicken, both dry and both recommended to us by the waiter, the starters did not taste good. 

Peri Peri Chicken
The main course on the other hand, we tried a Thai dish, Khaosuey, not a common listing on the menus around the food joints in the city, again the Kahoswe was only average in taste and presentation and they served it with steamed rice rather than crispy noodles which took all the fun away from this dish. Food-wise I was not satisfied.

Khao Suey

Then again, there was good beer; the Dj playing was some decent music and in the company of a good ‘Beer Lover’ friend made up for the average food and I spent a fine Friday evening at the Smokies; First Brewhouse.