We sip the golden liquid, let the citrusy tang linger, and sigh. Just when we had stopped associating the term ‘ microbrewery’ with The Barking Deer, the brewpub finally gets its licence and is set to offer three handcrafted beers from November 7.
On offer are Bombay Blond Ale, Barking Deer India Pale Ale and the Flying Pig Belgian Wit. Brewmaster Benjamin Johnson says, “ Bombay Blonde, Flying Pig Belgian Wit and Barking Deer Indian Pale Ale are our sessions beers, brewed with the purpose to allow the beer drinker to have multiple beers within a reasonable period of time without overwhelming the senses or reaching inappropriate levels of intoxication. These beers feature a balance of malt and hop characteristics, creating a clean finish. Bombay Blonde is our ‘ gateway’ beer and most approachable. Flying Pig is inspired by classic Belgian Wit beers, but with an Indian twist using coriander and sweet lime peel. Barking Deer IPA is our most robust offering featuring a complex hop character with notes of citrus from American Northwestern hops,” says Johnson.
The Flying Pig Belgian Pit has us at hic, er, hello. The beer, we gather, is brewed in traditional Belgian style and there’s a good amount of wheat involved. The merry golden liquid has a spicy edge, which we like best. The Bombay Blonde Ale is more bitter ( it contains hops), but isn’t a patch on the Belgian Pit. It is a strong, bitter India Pale Ale we don’t really warm up to through the evening — even the more enthusiastic beer drinker among us finds it difficult to acquire a taste for it.
Johnson says the process of brewing these beers involved a fair amount of trial and error. “ I shouldn’t admit this but I actually wanted to use orange peel in the Flying Pig Belgian Wit, but when I went to grab the dozen oranges that I had bought, they were gone.
Probably used for smoothies at the bar. Since we were in the middle of a brew, we had to run out to the market and buy the available citrus — sweet lime.
I’ve decided that this is more Indian in character so I think that this was a fortunate mistake,” he smiles.
He, however, is confident of these handcrafted beers hitting high notes in the city. “ A good number of people have told me that Indians prefer light lager beer and wouldn’t like robust or bitter beers. But in my experience, I have found just the opposite. Indians like strong flavours in their foods, so why wouldn’t they like strong tasting beer as well? At the end of the day, we’ll be brewing beer that we like to drink, because we’re pretty sure that many other beer lovers will enjoy it too,” says Johnson.