On 25th April, 2013, I was invited to the Indus Pride Strangebrew Experience which happened at Tantra, Kolkata. I decided to join in and see for myself the launch of a brand new range of beers, and a night filled with food and entertainment. The event was specifically to launch the beers, and I got to taste two flavors.

Citrusy Coriander and Citrusy Cardamom were the beers launched for the event.

The band playing was Lagori, one of my favorites from Coke Studio, and I was quite happy to join in as the beers premiered one after the other in the night. Although I could not stay back till the end, I was happy enough to stay for most of the time, and met up with a number of friends.

This post is going to be photo-heavy. Just so you know.

The event was hosted by Indus Pride Strangebrew Beer, and the first one to be launched was the Citrusy Coriander flavor, and it was a mild, slightly piquant beer with no true aftertaste, and a light note of coriander in it. I found the beer strangely lacking the body I would have preferred, but at the same time, it was tolerable. For those who are not too adventurous in flavored beers, this might be a good one to begin with.

There were several vegetarian and non-vegetarian food paired with this particular beer.

Broccoli tarts

I liked the creamy broccoli tarts which I could just pick up and eat as a single mouthful. Not overfilled and with a perfectly flaky crust, they were quite good.

Char Mirch wali Chicken

The chicken was the pick of the lot, a sweet and hot concoction which was flavored with fresh scallions and pepper, and went well with the light beer.

Spicy Potatoes

The potatoes were neither good nor bad. Entirely forgettable.

Mutton tikkis cooked in a spicy gravy

 The mutton was all right, I detected a slight note of pungency in the gravy that I did not particularly find attractive. However, others were not that concerned about it.

As the Emcee would up his act, Lagori came up on stage, and soon after, the second beer was launched at the bar. In the midst of very good music and a funny bartender, I met up with a few people and talked to them about their experience and how they liked the beer. Most of the people I talked to were finding the beer quite good, although there were purists who disagreed.

Meanwhile, I tasted the second beer flavor, Citrusy Cardamom.

Personally speaking, I preferred this flavor over the other one, and liked the way the flavor was more rounded off and in-your-face. The scent of cardamom hits you with the very first sip, and I must say I liked the intensity of it that went perfectly with the beer which was on the heavier side of the spectrum.

Chand Taare: Corn and Paneer tarts (Paired with Citrusy Cardamom)

I do not know why, but maybe there were some malfunction at the kitchen, as I realized that the food that was circulating, was abruptly halted for a span of nearly 30 minutes. Afterwards, only one waiter was seen serving food paired with the second brew, although the bartender more than made up for it by being super fast. I found the Chand Taare (Corn and Paneer tarts), paired with the Citrusy Cardamom beer, to be slightly cold, and not much to my liking thanks to the flavors which seemed slightly overwhelming for my palette. I did not find any other food circulating.

The Talented and beautiful Bassist of Lagori

At this point, I asked about the pricing about the beer, and the beers retail for a very reasonable INR 75/- per pint. I find that fair enough for the brew, and would have loved to also sample the chilli flavor, which is the third one from this range. Unfortunately, that flavor was not available and I was due back home, so I headed back.

My Compatriots for the night

Overall, the event was the mark of a new trend in beer-drinking, the flavored beer. Although there are a number of micro-breweries across India, I think this is the first time a brand has officially launched a number of flavored beers across the country and has taken up the challenge in a mass-scale. I am quite happy to see the new flock of Indians experiment with their drinks and be slightly more imaginative than the usual.

Photo Courtesy: Indus Pride Event 

I leave you with a picture of two of my favorite people who I met after a long time.

Disclaimer: Poorna Banerjee attended the event “Indus Pride Strangebrew Experience in Kolkata” at the request of the people who arranged the event. She was not monetarily compensated for attending, and all the opinions and impressions are honest and entirely her own, and not solicited or biased. 

Written by Poorna Banerjee

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