17 March,2023 10:25 AM IST | Mumbai | Shriram Iyengar
The dry heat that*s weighing the city down can leave most of us thirsting for a tall, cool drink. While beer remains a popular choice for patrons across city pubs, the cider is slowly catching up. Keeping with that trend, the In-Cider Club fest that begins today at Bandra*s Hapi Beer Co. seeks to spur a new love for the taste of fresh ciders. The three day festival showcasing brews flavoured with indigenous fruits, from strawberries and mangoes to kokum, is as much educational as experiential, says Dhaval Nagda, head brewer for Hapi Beer Co.
Ciders are fermented brews with a fruit base. Representation pic
The idea emerged from growing iterations of Oktoberfest and collaboration fests for beer. But most of them revolve around beer. Nagda remarks, "This festival is to create awareness about cider. Patrons often drink cider, but do not differentiate them from beer. We seek to educate them about the nature and nuances." Ciders have been consumed globally since 12th century. "In the past, breweries focussed on apple cider, but now they are open to experimenting," Nagda explains. The brewer points out that their speciality of hibiscus cider is an example of their focus on local flavours.
This element of local flavouring will be a key facet of the fest, Nagda explains. Co-curated by him and brewer Pradip Raskar, the event will witness six breweries from across the state - Wildcraft, Effingut, Doolally, Igloo, Drifters among them - present 10 ciders crafted from indigenous fruits. Mangoes, strawberries, kokum and other ciders will all be presented alongside unique food pairings, curated specifically to match each flavour profile. Nagda notes, "As part of the experience, the menu will complement the ciders on display. Brewers at the fest will also explain their process - from ideation to execution - and why they chose a certain flavour or what went into creating it. This will be followed by a tasting session to understand the nuances of the drinks."
The fest is not all about the brews though. Nagda remarks that any cider fest would be incomplete without a holistic experience. "When you think of ciders, you associate it with freshness. In a concrete jungle, this can best be brought about with a garden. To this end, we will be hosting a cider garden where people can experience fresh ciders in a whole new environment." Accompanied by live music and pop-up art ventures, he hopes patrons will come for the ciders, but stay for the activities.
While the brewers are confident of their creations, it is also down to changing tastes. Nagda elaborates, "In the past, people would often choose only lagers or ales. But there is a new openness among patrons to try ciders and other flavours," he notes. This taste is not restricted by gender either. "It is a popular misnomer that men do not like cider. Many men do, and this festival is an effort to push the experience to a larger number," the brewer says.
Till: March 19; 12 pm to 1 am
At: Hapi Beer Co., Geliki Building, near Bandra Reclamation, Bandra West
Log on to: insider.in
Entry: Rs 199