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TJ’s Brew Works: Pune’s New Micro-Brewery

Food • 11th May, 2012 • 20 CommentsTweet

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.

  • Mr. Shri

    I think this is awesome… Pune needed a second Microbrewery!

    • Sahil Khan

      Absolutely right. Now, just hoping the future brews improve a notch.

      • saurabhshah

        This is going to be amazing ! We need Microbrewery in each area so we dont need to go long wayyyy to drink cool beers ! ;)

    • dimple

      new microbrewery shortly opening at phoenix mall,viman nagar

  • Rohan Lilani

    Brilliant!! Pune 2 : Mumbai 0

    • Sahil Khan

      Had asked the same question to Doolally and TJ’s. Everyone’s waiting for someone else to open in Mumbai since there’s licensing issues. They’d rather open in Gurgaon/Bangalore where licensing has already been sorted out by existing players.

  • Vijayendra

    From being the ‘Oxford of East’ to being a ‘Culture City’, Pune is now finding its feet as the ‘Micro-Brewery City’. I am sure this will encourage more breweries to try their magic here.

    Mumbai Guy: Mere pass ‘Gateway of India’ hai, ‘Taj Palace’ hai, ‘Queen’s Necklace hai’…Tumhare pass kya hai?

    Pune Guy: Mere pass do micro-breweries hai!

    Feel good.

  • Saurabh Sengupta

    Took the team out for a Saturday night unwinding session – pleasantly surprised by the place. Most importantly, this place has decent pass-around snacks, personalized service and some good music (+ acoustics) – things which are missing at the Brewhouse.

    • dimple

      new microbrewery shortly opening at phoenix mall,viman nagar

  • The Red Barron

    stumbled in for a midweek lunch … nice beers ( need to be served much much colder ) and good layout, food was good just spicy enough to keep me drinking .. BUT like most things indian these days it just wasnt finished . dead plants in the outside area and plants which hang over the seats and dirty paintwork ?? , no wine for ladies ? tv’s had the stockmarket on O_o these small points detract from an otherwise great experiance. hope to get back on a friday ot sat nite and see how it really rocks !! and drink norman? off #1

    • Sahil Khan

      Weekends has a lot of loud music and stuff. Guess being a weekday, maybe some people just want to sit back for a beer and watch the day’s news. :P

  • mr mehra

    i just want to share our experiences which we had ,we four of us went on sunday afternoon after hearing so much about this brewery but when we came out of this place only one word disgusting and very lousy service with loud music where yu have to wait for yur food an hour to come and servers are clueless why its taking so long, if they want to retain their guests with such lovely product they have to do something with their service!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    • Sahil Khan

      Hearing this complain for the first time about the service. But yes, weekends do get a bit loud.

  • Kumar

    the pace is decent, beer good (but doolally better as I recall in my last visit, anyway that’s not a big differentiation)

    food menu not tuned to Indian palate, so food is food for thought for the owner

    overall place is nice, it works for me as this is the only option this side of the town

    but surely we will have many other options in the next few years, and then will know what is the differntiator


    • Dimple

      new microbrewery shortly opening at phoenix mall,viman nagar

  • manisha

    I visited TJ on 03/09/12 with my friends for the first time. The place has a good ambience, the high roof, wooden look, big windows, the greenery & the shinning beer barrels was charismatic. It looked sexier at around 6 to 7 when it was drizzling outside & u could feel the cool breeze splashing on your face. Loved the mushroom fries & the mystery beer. The service was good, I dint have to wait and my next drink was with me. Overall a lovely place. Guys keep up with the same, wish u all the luck.
    One request: Please open up a chain in hyderabad, people here are fond of such places
    Manisha Singh

  • Nitesh Agrawal

    Pune is getting fresh, and on tap. TJ’s is nice but Doolally is the best. Apple cider taste awesome..

    Nitesh agrawal pune

    • Anirudh

      @Nitesh: Last time I had been to Doolally, they stopped serving Apple cider. When did you last have it there? Do you know if they are serving it now?

      • Sahil Khan

        The apple cider is very much on tap at Doolally. That and the German wheat are staple availabilities.

  • ashish

    I had a good time at TJ’s wen I had been there with my friends the last time.. But today was pathetic!! Lousy ambience..non-indulgent buffet…. Poor customer satisfaction , infact the staff was quite curt!! Well, all I can say is that tJ’s lost out on a handful of its customers today!! Dr. Ashish