God bless those who aren’t too avid a fan of bottled beer. For one amongst thousands of them ends up starting a microbrewery. With years of experience in the brewing industry while at SABMiller, TJ Venkateshwaran has setup TJ’s Brew Works at Amanora Town Centre.
The place is up and running since last Sunday, and though they’re not still not publicly open, anyone who walks in as of now is welcome. Done up almost entirely with bold but minimal woodwork, the walls have a few framed pictures of various beer culture references, flat-screens littered around the place so you don’t miss your match while having the craft beers and the likes. The inside seating is a tad loud, so if you’re at the brewery during the evening, the outside seating is comfortable as it’s getting a bit breezy these days.
Currently, four brews are being served on the tap – Regular Lager, Premium Lager, German Wheat and Roasted Barley (dark). All of them are rather light on the palate and while we were hoping that at least the Roasted Barley would have a strong bitter taste, TJ let us on why all the beers are light to start off with for now. While there are quite a few of us who’ve travelled abroad and are accustomed to the bitter beers, most Indians still prefer a light ale over a dark one. (Doolally, which has been around for over two years has now only started seeing an increase of sales in their dark ales. Their light-palated Apple Cider is very popular.)
With the consulting expertise from Cariappa, who’s a PhD in Brewing from Belgium and TJ’s ex-colleague from SABMiller, the brewery plans to start experimenting with different beers most probably after third batch of the current brews. TJ wants to give sometime to educating the patrons about their craft brews.
The beers are priced moderately – from Rs 99 + taxes for the regular lager to Rs 150 + taxes for the roasted barley.
But our favourite part – the food being served is quite good! So, for a change, we can have some good food with our fresh beers. Amen. The kitchen is being run by the guys behind Mumbai’s WTF (opening soon in Pune at Phoenix Market City) and Big Nasty. A standard all-day diner menu, it’s sporting about ten veg and non-veg starters and a short list of salads, soups and main course. None of the dishes stand-out palate wise since they wanted to let the beer be the focus. Once again, the food is comfortably priced as well with most non-veg starters being between Rs 200-250 (including the Korean beef and pork spareribs).
So while we still adulate the Doolally beers, TJ’s is slightly more accessible and having the option to have some good food with a fresh brew is always good.
Address: Level 2, East Block, Amanora Town Centre, Magarpatta
View full menu here.