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A Mumbai gastropub launches refreshing craft beers

Last week, Woodside Inn introduced four different styles of in-house brews

Woodside Brews on tap.
Woodside Brews on tap.

"Mumbai has two seasons, summer and wet summer (the three-month monsoon),” aptly points out restaurateur Pankil Shah. He is the co-founder of one of the city’s oldest gastropubs, Woodside Inn. He was talking about summer in the context of craft beer. Last week, for the first time since their opening in 2008, they launched in-house craft beers, Woodside Brews. They have a menu with four options: a New England IPA, Heady Freddy; a Belgian witbier, Dua Bolic; a lager, Lite Weekend; and a full-bodied stout, Black Jagger.

The New England IPA or NEIPA has complex flavours of citrus and yeast balanced by a soft bitterness; the Belgian Witbier is perfect for afternoon drinking; the lager will probably be a crowd-favourite and could go with weekday lunch; and the stout is creamy with roasted notes of coffee. 

For Woodside Brews, the malts are procured from India, and the hops and yeasts are imported from Europe and United States. The NEIPA has citra hops from Europe known for its characteristic citrus notes. The stout is one of Shah’s favourites. The malts are roasted and it is infused with nitrogen instead of carbondioxide for the bubbly mouth-feel. “Nitrogen gives it a nice creamy texture; whereas the roasted malts lends toasty flavour notes,” he says. It is the only beer among the four that cannot be packed in a growler for home delivery. It needs special serving equipment, like a nitrogen diffuser, which makes it impossible to bottle. It gives a beer drinker another reason to visit the bar and sample various fresh draughts. Apart from their new in-house brews, they offer beers from different breweries in Maharashtra, like Great State Aleworks, Gateway Brewing Co. and Rolling Mills Brewery, among others.  

Their new draughts reflect the evolution of craft beer in the city. Shah explains, “People have become aware of different craft beer styles. Manufacturers have better equipment. Brewers have gained more knowledge and exposure. And, there is availability of superior quality raw materials, from yeast to hops and malts. All of them complete the ecosystem of making the perfect pint of beer."


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