The lager picture
As lovers of lager gear to celebrate International Beer Day tomorrow, Surekha S plays beer browser to give MiD DAY readers a handy guidebook to the best places around town for every budget, vibe and brew. Hic, hic, hurray!
WTF is one of the best places to hang out in 7 Bungalows. As you enter, you'll witness two sections — an al fresco one and the other an indoor one where the DJ spins popular music from his console. While the open-air section is quite spread out with comfortable seating and a bar space, the indoor area houses just five, bright red tables. As far as the food is concerned, the joint offers only appetisers, but the menu offers generous options for both vegetarian and non-vegetarian eats. Tipplers can indulge in different kinds of alcohol from beer to vodka, all available at affordable prices.
At Jewel Shopping Center, 7 Bungalows, Versova, Andheri (W). Call 26365750
It’s older patrons will raise a toast to the fact that there’s a slice of old Mumbai inside. Woodside Inn isn’t your average, swish lounge bar. On the contrary, it’s tiny, noisy and well, tiny. But there’s an unmistakeable, almost infectious buzz. From 20-somethings, to hassled bankers, and chatty fashionistas, there’s room for all. Excellent service, eclectic music and an engaging beer and food menu ensure you stay planted to your seats for hours. If you are looking for Indian alcohol, this isn’t the place as they serve only Kingfisher Ultra. But their international beer list includes Asahi, Murphy, Schwarzbier, London’s Pride, Duvel, Stella, Birra Moretti and Viru, nearly 15 types. Tempted?
At Indian Mercantile Mansion, Wodehouse Road, opposite Regal Cinema. Call 22875752
The Big Nasty
Don’t go in expecting a classy-looking, straightjacketed lounge. As the name suggests, the place reeks of an edgy vibe with a sense of offbeat, earthy coolness. We loved their animal themed interiors (complete with a six-foot suspended shark, ceramic ducks and clay monkeys). Better still was the factory-like ambience where nobody cared if you wore spandex or sported an Afro wig. The bartenders knew their stuff, were on the ball and oozed a confident calm despite the rush. An expansive food menu (subs, burgers; beef and pork lovers will rejoice) to boot and we were alternating between pitchers of Corona, Hoegaarden and Peroni. It’s best to ignore the play list that yo-yoed from Country to Disco and Hip-Hop.
At Shatranj Napoli, Union Park, Bandra (W). Call 65346263
Cerveza, Kala Ghoda
This new pub in town has up to 35 types of beer. They have lager beer, beet beer, Schwarzbier or black beer, ale beer, farmhouse beer and dry beer. The watering hole opened just eight months back and it prides itself in being one of the few places in Mumbai offering such a large variety of beer. In lager, they have seven types in Indian and six types in imported. Ask the bar manager for their specialties and he says, Murphy’s Irish Stout, Asahi, Duvel from Belgium and Chimay, which is an ale beer from Belgium are some of the rare beers that these folks can offer you.
At First floor, Silk Route, near Rhythm House, Kala Ghoda. Call 22818572
The Pint Room, Bandra
This outlet, which opened barely a month ago in Bandra, has stationed themselves as a beer café, and rightly so, as they serve 28 domestic and international beers. Apart from the usual Indian brands, they have on offer 20 international brands. They serve Shime, Duvel, Hoegaarden, Asahi, Murphy’s, Stella and many more. The also claim to be the only pub in India to serve beer from frosted taps. The taps are maintained at -5 to -7 C. The beer that comes out from these frosted taps or iced taps is chilled to the last drop.
At The Great Punjab, next to Shoppers Stop, Linking Road, Bandra (W). Call 65250009
Irish House, Lower Parel
The Irish House is a chilled out space that has become extremely popular in mid-town Mumbai. The interiors and great music give it a relaxed yet zesty ambience that attracts crowds. Their beers will appeal to the aficionado, for sure. Apart from 10 kinds of Indian and 14 types of imported beer, they serve three kinds of beer — Hoegaarden, Stella and Kingfisher, from the tap. Among their imported beers, they boast of having Murphy’s Irish Stout, London’s Pride, Leffe, Tsingtao, Asahi and many more. The alcohol might begin to burn a hole in your pocket but the ambience and range make it worth your while. The Continental and Tex Mex cuisine gives them brownie points.
At Second floor, next to California Pizza Kitchen, High Street Phoenix, Lower Parel.
Call 43471111 / 43471112
Value for money
Café Universal, Fort
A popular bar in Ballard Estate, Café Universal is a frequent haunt for those on the lookout for an inexpensive outing with friends and alcohol. They serve whiskey, rum, beer and vodka. Under beer, they serve the usual suspects — Heinekkin, Corono, Kingfisher, Budweiser, Carlsberg and Tuborg. Compared to a few other joints that offer cheap alcohol, their food menu is impressive, ranging from sizzlers, Chinese, Tandoori, sandwiches, starters and Parsi fare. The Chicken Chilli, Beef Chilli, Veg Manchurian and Veg Baby corn get a hurrah from the beer guzzling junta.
A pint costs Rs 125. At 299, Shahid Bhagat Singh Road, Fort. Call 22613985 / 22694893
Janta bar, Bandra
This is a popular joint in Bandra for cheap booze. So, if you want to head out with friends for a few drinks with chakna (nibbles for alcohol), head here. Don’t expect a high-end vibe or fine-dining appeal. It’s business-like, a true-blue local bar that serves beer, rum and whiskey. In beer, they offer the regular brands including Kingfisher, Carlsberg, Tuborg, Ultra and a few others. They serve Indian, Chinese and Tandoori dishes. The Chicken Crispy and Chicken Chilli are popular among the non-vegetarian starters and the Paneer Garlic and Veg Chilli are popular among the vegetarian beer folk.
A pint costs: R105. At 78 A, Dr Ambedkar Road, Pali Naka, Bandra (W). Call 26005180
Ambience, Lower Parel
This may not be as inexpensive as Janta, but it’s a non-fussy chilled out hangout in Lower Parel. Because of its location, it is a popular hangout with many office-goers who head out post work with collegeues for a casual drink. Their menu also includes the regular alcohol list that one finds in a bar. In beers, they have Kingfisher, Ultra, Budweiser, Corono and Tuborg. Among the starters the popular ones here include Tandooi Platter — the large platter has 24 pieces. The Chicken Mongolia, Chicken Salt and Pepper and the Hara Bhara Kebab are also very popular here.
A pint costs R150. At 162/D Jagdamba Bldg, Senapati Bapat Road, Lower Parel. Call 24941465 / 24985654
By Public Demand
> Gokul in Colaba > Madira in Parel
Food & drink
It is believed that in the 13th century, children were baptised with beer
A labeorphilist is a collector of beer bottles
A beer lover or enthusiast is called a cerevisaphile
Beer wasn’t sold in bottles until 1850. Beer lovers would visit their local tavern with a special bucket, have it filled and store it at home
The oldest proven records of brewing are about 6,000 years old
Germany serves beer ice cream in popsicle form. Its alcoholic content is less than that found in classic beer
Vikings believed that a giant goat whose udders provided an endless supply of beer was waiting for them in Valhalla, or Viking Kingdom
Cenosilli-caphobia is the fear associated with an empty glass
The ancient Babylonians were the first to brew