What’s better than visiting a microbrewery ( for beer lovers) ?? The answer, visiting Malaka Spice at Baner, which boasts an array of best brews from the finest breweries in Pune, namely, Effingut Brewerks, TJ Brew Works and Independence Brewing Co. Welcome to the Taproom.
An event to launch the Taproom officially, is what got us all to the amazing Taproom which excels in its design, collection of beers on taps, bottles and barrels, and of course, a fabulous view from the room!
As usual, Malaka Spice had their top notch service all throughout the day, even though the event being a busy and a demanding one. By demanding I mean there were people everywhere asking for beers of different tags and the staffs were amazingly quick and efficient and none had a bad experience with the service whatsoever.
As all were, me and my blogger friends were pretty excited too, and what was more exciting was that we could get a sip of Bira, for the first time.
Bira, imported, was on the tap and was the first of the beers we chugged. Bira has got 2 variations,White Ale and Blonde Lager. The former is a wheat beer which is pretty low on bitterness and has hint of spicy citrus whereas the latter is more of a bitter beer.
What followed Bira, and the first snack of the day was……. any guesses??? Well no one can go wrong on this one… Yes, the Top Hats indeed. Amazingly prepared, as usual, and a perfect start to the afternoon. Post which we were served something of corn and looked like a kebab preparation ( forgot the name :p) which was pretty good too. Squid Rings were exquisite and was not at all chewy as it generally seems to be.
Once we were done with Bira, we decided to start of having tasters of all the beers on tap that day.
Effingut Brewerks presents 3 of its amazing craft beers in the Taproom. The all time Fav Apple Cider, The seasonal Sorachi Ace, and the classic Hefeweizen. Apple Cider is usually not considered as a beer in our beer lovers circle, yet, its so yumm that we always tend to take at least a sip out of this beauty. Sorachi Ace, one of their latest addition, has a complex nose of tropical fruits, a citrus bite over a balanced malt base and is a classic Saison with a crisp body; one of my personal favorites as well. The Hefeweizen, as usual, is a go to wheat beer for all !!
During the course of trying the Effingut tasters, Veg Murtabak, Mongolian Crispy Tofu were presented. Veg Murtabak was something new and interesting, whereas the Tofu was a bit too chewy.
TJ Brew Works
The classy TJs had 2 of their beers on tap. The ever green Zen Weiss, the wheat beer and the Devil’s Dark, the classic dark beer. Zen Weiss is a pale yellow wheat beer with a pleasant aroma of coriander, pepper and cinnamon and a smooth finish. Oh boy, what a treat it was ! The Devils Dark is a dark lager, with a rich off-white head which gives out aromas of smoked malt and leaving an amazing after taste of dark chocolate.
What followed TJs Beers were, I would say, the best dishes that were served for the day. Nan Thod Potatoes, more of a preparation that suits the Indian palate, and exceedingly delicious. Chicken/Veg Baos, a pretty good alternate to the every day wraps. The sauces, veggies were perfectly complementing each other which made the dish a hit. Pumpkin Chips, does anyone seriously like pumpkins?? I mean even now? I don’t but the Pumpkin Chips made me re-think about how good pumpkins actually are !! Mutton Chops, now we are talking about Malaka Spice right? And whats Malaka Spice if Mutton Chops are not there ? Myself being less of a mutton fan, I could keep chowing the chops forever.
Independence Brewing Co.
Although I have been chugging beers from all over Pune, never have I had the chance to visit Independence. Have always heard a lot about their beers and no wonder they were so talked about. They had 3 beers on Tap, the usual Belgian Wit, Four Grain Saison and the Robust Porter. Belgian Wit has notes of citrus and coriander with a pleasant sour finish. Easy going craft beer and was a crowd favorite. Four Grain Saison is a Belgian beer crafted using the four grains: wheat, barley, rye and oats. We could even feel the notes of pear and plum and has a sour finish. Robust Porter gives us those amazing mouth feel of coffee, toffee and dark chocolates and something which at start is sweet, and in due course becomes bitter.
Quail Samosa was pretty much of an innovative dish. Our all time favorite samosa, but filled with goodness of quail meat !! Though felt it was tad sweet at some point of time, overall it was an amazing dish. Fire Cracker Prawns, yet another highlight from the Malaka Kitchen. Amazingly wrapped steamed prawns, all ready to be set on fire. Would anyone not love this one? Baby Potato Satay was a proper Malaysian preparation, yet I felt the potatoes were a bit under cooked. The taste was fair alright, but I would go for the Nan Thod Potatoes hands down. The Salt and Pepper Prawns were one of the best starter that went really well with the beers. Being spicy, we craved a chug for a chow :p
As we see the clicks of food and beer, we ought to know that the event was a guaranteed success and so was it. The cherry on the cake was indeed the brief speeches from the Brew masters of each Breweries who came forward and shared their wisdom!
The event was a platform for making many more friends as well. The place was flooded by beer lovers from across various social media like PEO on Facebook, Zomato, Bloggers and where not. When there is a gathering of people who share similar interests, its always bound to be bewildering.
Special cheers to Mr Raushan Verma, of ‘The Raushan Verma Scheme’ for his amazing talent. He presented us a live performance and made each and every one of us fall in love with his voice as well as his expertise on the 6 strings.
Finally, a personal thank you note to Mr. Praful Chandawarkar, the gentleman behind Malaka Spice. The concept of Taproom is astounding and we all are flabbergasted by what you have come up with. A common love for beer is what unites people under this roof and its without a doubt, that the Taproom will become one of the most talked about revolution in Pune in recent times. They have beers suitable for any occasions, made from the finest ingredients, brought to us by the finest brewers in Pune, as well as abroad. All the best Malaka, All the best Taproom.
P.S: The views expressed are absolutely my own, not influenced and in no way biased to any particular individual or a restaurant. However, I have approached experts for more details on the beers.
Keep Chugging, Keep Chowing