A cold dense black coffee like infusion with a fine creamy foam or head on top is what comes to your mind when you think of a stout beer. So, what is a Stout? A Stout is a top-fermented beer or an ale which is typically made using roasted unmalted barley and often with adjuncts like oatmeal etc added. The classic aromas of a stout include coffee, chocolate with hops in the background. Going against its looks, a Stout is not that bitter but is on the sweeter side relatively speaking in terms of beers. Indians have taken up to stout very well, perhaps it all started with the Irish Guinness and then the microbreweries took it even higher so much that we now have stouts in bottles made by Indian producers. Here are the Indian Stout Beers in bottle
Creamy, Espresso, Ebony, Bold are the adjectives the company uses to describe their stout. It is again light bodied relatively with 5% alcohol.
Bira Malabar Stout
The Malabar Stout beer from Bira mimics a cold brew coffee with alcohol. It has 4.5% alcohol and is much lighter than traditional stouts. They use coffee beans from the Malabar hills in India and hence the name. Sounds like a good beer to induct a coffee lover into the beer world.
Goa Brewing Cos Breakfast Cereal Stout
This one has a different take on a traditional stout with a different grainbill. This one had rice puffs, oats, corn flakes as the base of the beer and you now understand where the nomenclature comes from. They also add adjuncts like chocolate and lactose to the mix and bottle it at 4.5 percent alcohol
Briggs Brewery Stout Alchemy
A full bodies Irish stout, it exudes aromas of caramel, coffee and chocolate and will moderate bitterness from the hops. This will be released short in the market
Wheat beers are favourites in the craft beer scene in India because of their fruitiness and low IBU (International bittering units) typically. So, what is a wheat beer? Wheat beers use a higher amount of wheat than barley to produce beers and because of the higher protein content in the former the beers are hazy but give a richer and thicker mouth feels to the beers. The wheat unlike malted barley doesn’t add much flavour of its own to the final product and hence the yeast plays a very important role for flavour. In the India the two most popular style of wheat are the Hefeweizen and Belgian Wit. We will look at them both individually and list Indian brands in bottles for you apart from one American Styled Wheat.
Belgian Wit bier
Wit bier is made of minimum 50% unmalted wheat in Belgium which makes them different from the German style in addition to the flavouring of Coriander and Orange peel the Belgians add to this style. They could add more spice but the above mentioned are the basics. This style was revived globally and in India by Hoegaarden specially with their ritual of adding an orange slice into the glass.
Kingfisher: The latest entrant in the India’s bottled non-lager segment, Kingfisher the market leader in beers is all set to ride the craft wave with this wit bier.
Simba: Apart from the classic Coriander and Orange peel, the Simba roars with some added goodness of Lemongrass.
Mad King Dufa: This one was thought of in Delhi but made in Belgium. The other one from the brewery is a lager call the Kolga.
White Owl Spark: It started off as a microbrewery in Mumbai and continues to but has also added to bottled fare.
Bira White: The craft behemoth which started the wave for bottled craft beer in the country continues to grow.
White Rhino: India’s first craft brewery in the bottled business, they also flavour their wit bier with Himalayan coriander.
Mahou Maestra Wheat: Although owned the Spanish Mahou, this one’s made in Indian and used Himalayan Coriander and Seville orange peel for the brew.
Willy's Witbier: The latest entrant in the bottled witbier segment, the Will's by Briggs Brewery Bengaluru is now launched in the Bengaluru market.
This German cloudy wheat beer has aromas of banana and cloves owing to the yeast so much that it can’t be handled by many palates and hence a slice of lemon can help uplift. It can be made with made with both malted and unmalted wheat. In Germany Hefe come from yeast or beer with yeast that is typically unfiltered and that is showcased by Weihenstephan which claims to be oldest brewery in the world through their beers.
Thirsty Simona: This one’s a Indian co but they brew in Bosnia under Alex their brew master.
American Wheat Beer
This style is America’s take on the traditional Bavarian Hefeweizen but without the spice. The beers are summer beer which are thirst quenching with great balance of malts and hops. The bittering units are low and so are the hops. The style has been making waves and become mainstream over the last one decade.
Arbor Easy Rider:
An easy drinking beer for the tropical weather with good balance of hops and malt. Hence the name perhaps!
IPA or India Pale Ale was created for India, not for Indians bur for the British Colonists in India. The British got their ration of beer directly shipped from England; however, a lot of beer was spoilt during the long and arduous sea voyage. To overcome this, the brewers started to work on different ingredients and then finally decided to harness the power of two ingredients which were already a part of the beer, Hops the flavouring agents in beer and alcohol the by product of fermentation. They made a more alcoholic beer and hopped them more than usual. When the beer reached Indian, it wasn’t spoilt, it was more aromatic, and it was bitter. The soldiers loved it and Voila, the India Pale Ale was created.
IPA’s have got popular in India over the last decade majorly owing to the craft beer scene in India, and we heard recently about Kimaya brewing co based out of Pune created the ‘IPA Divas by the Pune Beer Mandal’ , translates from Marathi to ‘IPA Day by the Pune Beer Association’. It just reiterates the increasing popularity for the beer category; however, IPA is not for all; specially the Indian palate. The bitterness is the hurdle and hence most brewers keep the IBU (international bittering units) relatively low. low for the Indian palate. IPA hence has flourished in our opinion and now also coming in bottles for those who do not have access to brew pubs around them.
Here the 4 Indian IPA beer brands:
Bira IPA: The Bira version of how Indian would love an IPA. This one is brewed with pomelo and is very zest and citrusy. It used a blend of barley and wheat and is flavoured with Citra and Mosaic hops.
White Rhino: At 40 IBU the bitterness is very controlled. The brand uses Ahtahnum, Cascade, Mosaic and Styrian Goldings hops for their brew.
Arbor Beach Shack IPA: They call it a session IPA, session refers to low alcohol beers this IPA at 6 is much lower than traditional IPAs. Citra and Centennials hops give it that aromatic thrust.
Eight Finger Eddie by Goa Brewing Co: Gutsy attempt and a successful one at lauching an IPA as their maiden and flagship product. This one with 30 UBU is a very easy drinking IPA with pleasant aromas.
Hoppy Feet by Briggs Brewery: The latest entrant to the bottled craft beers segment in India , this American IPA is brewed in Bengaluru and now available in the city's retail.