What's On Tap In Doolally, India

By Brent Moore (ArtSci ‘ 14)
Contributor

With the stress of upcoming exams and end-of-semester papers (school here starts one month early), it’s nice to find a relaxing place to escape to, if only for a few hours. Here in Pune, that place is Doolally. Housed on the property of the Corinthians Boutique Hotel, Pune’s first microbrewery is a great place to hang out with friends and enjoy a cold beer.
This past weekend I made the trip across town for the third time in many months, with a plan to take some pictures and chat with the brew manager. We set out mid-afternoon and were quickly engulfed by the city’s weekend traffic.
Horns sounded and chaos ensued as we navigated amongst bicycles, motorcycles, farm vehicles and a sea of other cars. The traffic was so condensed that we were forced to stop at one point to avoid colliding with a small group of cows that were meandering through our lane. Before entering the hotel grounds, each vehicle was searched by two guards: one checking the trunk while the second used a mirror attached to a long pole to scan the underbelly of the vehicle. After clearing the security check, our group headed up a set of stairs with the promise of cold beer and greasy food awaiting us at the top.


Once seated, we waited in anticipation for our orders; Doolally has four beers on tap, including Bavarian wheat beer (my personal favourite), a dark lager (aptly named Dr. No), a cider and an English pale ale. We agreed to try a pitcher of each over the course of the afternoon.

According to the Indian brew manager, each one is brewed on site with ingredients imported from Germany. This particular microbrewery opened in 2009, and the management hopes that they’ll soon be able to expand to open shop in Mumbai and Delhi. The aim of Doolally, I was told, is to educate Indian beer drinkers. Many people are able to identify their preferred brand or spokesperson, but few are knowledgeable about the process and ingredients that go into making their favourite beverage.

Doolally attracts an interesting crowd. The tables were filled with diverse groups, including young Indian metal heads in Slayer t-shirts and well-dressed business people in their mid-forties, with the common love of a good beer. Traditional Hindu and Muslim practices don’t permit alcohol consumption, which makes quality drinking establishments difficult to find.
By the time our second round of drinks arrived (as well as food off the interestingly phrased special menu) the patio began to fill up with animated conversation. The only thing that can ruin such a pleasant afternoon is the unavoidable fact that my exams start in two days and I am woefully unprepared.

Brent will be blogging again for QJBlogs on Nov. 15.

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