When I moved back to Bangalore from Canada early last year, I was surprised by how much the city had changed with respect to Craft Beer. Having spent a considerable time sampling brews from various countries and Canadian brews, as well as serving as a panelist for Molson Coors (Canada’s Second Largest Brewery), I had been spoilt when it came to Craft beer choices. I had heard news that brewpubs had started to open in Bangalore, well before I left Toronto and was well pleased.
Craft Beer are hand crafted beers made fresh without additives, in small batches. They are a great way to sample various styles of beers and Bangalore now has 19 brewpubs serving everything from lagers to stouts and every thing in between.
It took me almost a year to visit all of them but I finally did, taking sampling notes along the way, speaking to owners, brew masters and patrons to understand Bangalore’s brewpub culture better. My journey also inspired me to launch a beer/craft beer blog aimed at spreading awareness about beer and I am now on a mission to evangelise Bangalore and the rest of the country about all things beer!
Tip: When heading to a brewpub for the first time, always ask for a sampler and read the menu for tasting notes and call me over to help you.
These are my top two favourite centrally located brewpubs in the city with my food and drink suggestions:
Toit is one of my favourite brewpubs for several reasons. Centrally located in Indirangar, spread out over three floors, this brewpub has a warm, cosy feel to it with lots of interesting and quirky pieces of artwork on the walls, consistently great brews and good pub grub. Always busy which only means one thing – they are doing something right. If you love European style beers, then this is the brewpub for you.
Lighter beers – Tintin Toit,light bodied with citrus and coriander notes. Toit Weiss – sweet, medium bodies with plenty of banana and clove notes.
Hoppy (Bitter) Beers – The Colonial IPA (India Pale Ale), Medium bodied with the bitterness/flavour of hops dominating the finish and my personal Favourite The Toit Red – Caramel notes balanced with a hoppy finish.
Dark/Full Bodied Beers – The Dark Knight, full bodied with the flavour from the dark roasted malts shining through – subtle hints of chocolate and coffee with a nice creamy mouthfeel with a dry finish.
Specials – These vary from time to time so keep an eye out for these. My Favourites include the Wheat IPA and Chocolate Porter.
Toit has an Irish Brewmaster.
The Toit Weiss is brewed using an open fermenter like they do in Bavaria.
The Dark Knight has a rich creamy head thanks to Nitrogen – something Guinness does with their Beers!
For appetisers, do try their Potato Skins, Baked Nachos, the Chicken Piccata, Sunuvachik and their Beef skewers. Mains - You cannot go wrong with their wood fired pizzas and my recommendations for mains include the Bacon Wrapped Chicken and the Toit Steak.
Toit has an wonderful loyalty program that is app based.
Toit Brewpub, 298, 100 Feet Road, Near KFC Restaurant, Indira Nagar II Stage, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560038
Phone: 090197 13388
Arbor Brewing Company India
If you find yourself in the MG Road area, then this is one brewpub you will not want to miss. Located on the third floor, this brewpub direct from Michigan has a really long bar counter, several seating options scattered around the massive expanse, including an outdoor terrace.
If you love American styled craft beers, Arbor is the place to be.
Lighter Beers – No Parking Pilsner, a light bodied German style lager with plenty of carbonation and a mild earthy hop finish. The Smooth Criminal, Honey Lavender ale is one of my favourites, made with honey and fresh flowers makes it easy drinking ale.
Hoppy (Bitter) Beers – The Raging Elephant, the best American style IPA (India Pale Ale) in town. Heavily loaded with flowery/citrusy hops, this will tickle your palate and leave a lasting bitter finish. This is my favourite IPA in Bangalore.
Dark/Full Bodied Beers – The Phat Abbot Tripel, Belgian styled ale with plenty of slighty sweet, spicy, fruity notes that dominate this full bodied strong ale. Michael Faricy’s Irish Stout is full bodied with a rich creamy nitrogen head and loads of flavour – chocolate and coffee notes from the roasted malt.
Specials: Arbor rotates specials on a frequent basis and sometimes has more than one. My Favourites are the Double IPA, Baltic Porter and Cold War Coffee Stout.
Arbor has a Brewmaster from Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Their Stout also uses Nitrogen for a nice creamy head.
Arbor is Bengaluru FC’s home pub.
For appetisers – The Sweet Potato Fries, Champignon Al Ajillo, Bacon Chilli Cheese Fries (with Beef), German Sausage Platter, Brandied Beef Steak and the Flaming Chicken. Mains would be the Arborger and The Steak Tenderloin as well as their Pizzas.
Arbor also has a paid loyalty program called The Mug Club and they also have t-shirts on sale. Ask your server for more details.
Arbor Brewing Company 8, 3rd Floor, Allied Grande Plaza, Magrath Road, Ashok Nagar, Allied Grand Plaza, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560025
John Eapen runs the Tales Of Froth craft beer blog. He blogs about all things Beer, runs Beer workshops and brewpub crawls. He is a qualified private pilot with a degree in remote sensing and several years of experience in the IT sector as a territory manager. John’s hobbies include travel, playing the guitar and socializing.