Note :   Sorry for the lack of pictures in this post. Due to some technical issue, I have lost most of the pictures I had taken. Currently...

Beer Appreciation Workshop At The Beer Cafe

Note: Sorry for the lack of pictures in this post. Due to some technical issue, I have lost most of the pictures I had taken. Currently, I am in the process of recovering the same. I shall update the post with the pictures as soon as I recover them. Cheers.

My tryst with The Beer Cafe dates back to the time I stumbled upon their outlet at Mumbai Airport. I remember being thoroughly confused regarding my order. Fast forward to a chilly evening last month and I exited the brand new outlet of The Beer Cafe at High Street Phoenix, Mumbai armed with extensive knowledge on beer, courtesy the Beer Appreciating Workshop hosted by Mr. John Eapen of Tales Of Froth

The evening commenced with an introductory session quickly followed by an informative talk on beers and lagers and stouts and ales. We were taken through the beer making process and at the same time educated how a single difference in ratios or the source of any of the primary ingredients can drastically change the taste profile and the appearance of the beer (for the uninitiated, beer is basically made of malt, hops, yeast and water). We had the opportunity to sample four different kinds of barley roasts and understand their impact on the taste profiles of the resultant beers. That's not all, Mr John Eapen left no stone unturned to explain us the art of appreciating beer; we learnt how to correctly pour beer into a glass and how that contributes to the overall experience of drinking beer, we also discovered how to rule out the malt used in the beer, the prominent aromas in a beer, and correctly appreciate the complex taste profiles. 

The amazing folks at The Beer Cafe were kind enough to create a customised Beer & Food pairing menu for us so that we get a well-rounded experience. First in line was Praga Pilsner paired with beer-battered Onion Rings. Praga Pilsner is a Czech beer with a deep golden colour and a very smooth but thin mouthfeel. The sweet aftertaste was rightly accentuated by the sweetness of the beer-battered Onion Rings. Next, we sampled White Zen, a popular brew by Gateway Brewing Co., with a thin-crust Italian Pizza. This wheat-malt based hazy beer has an aftertaste which is a reminder of bananas! We were told that White Zen goes beautifully with cheesy and seafood-based dishes, hence, the pizza was an obvious choice.

My face finally lit up when the famed Belgium beer Hoegaarden when brought to the table. Honestly, apart from Murphy's Irish Stout, Hoegaarden happened to be the only beer I knew of in the workshop! This crowd favourite was paired with another crowd favourite: Falafel. The citrusy and coriander aftertaste of the beer went beautifully with the earthy and coriander-laden bites of the falafel. In the midst of washing down the falafels with Hoegaarden, another beer was brought in whose name is still out of my grasp, but which surely knocked my socks off. Google tells me that the beer in question is called Shepherd Neame Spitfire Kentish Ale (phew!). Now this beer is one of those bitter ones- something which everyone might not have a palate for. The bitter taste with a peppery aftertaste was beautifully brought out through its pairing with the BBQ Paneer (Vegetarians, ahoy!). The final beer before we explored my favourite stout was the Indian Pale Ale. And no, it isn't brewed in India. In fact, India Pale Ale are basically ales that are, in comparison, maltier, has a higher alcohol content. It was developed during the British Raj to quench the thirst of the officers posted in the Indian-subcontinent! Now this beer is has a lingering bitter taste, which when paired with spicy foods amps up the spice quotient. We tried the Indian Pale Ale with Chili Paneer and it was delightfully spicy. 

When Murphy's Irish Stout was brought to the table along with its food pairing, aka chocolate brownie with vanilla ice-cream, I squealed with joy. Why wouldn't I? Two of my favourite things together calls for it, right? Now, Murphy's Irish Stout is a full-bodied smooth beer which by looks can be passed off as a chocolate drink! The aroma is beautiful and reminiscent of caramel-coffee, owing to the roast used. The creamy beer went delightfully with the chocolate brownie and the vanilla ice-cream and made me want to reach for more and more! 

Throughout the pairing session, we punctuated the gaps with the beer gadgets available exclusively at The Beer Cafe. We saw the Sonic Beer Foamer and the SpinChill in action. Sonic Beer Foamer and SpinChill is what you need if you are a beer aficionado, hands down. The former is go-to if you want the foam back in your beer. And the latter is God-sent when you need chilled beer in a few minutes.

Overall, it was a deeply informative session which opened my eyes to the world of beer. Gone are the days of chugging. Beer is the new wine, folks.

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