Away from the usual bottled stuff, it has been seen that there is a steep increase in Craft Beer lovers over the past couple of years. Same is the case here as well. Ardent beer lovers, enthusiasts rather, have one thing in common – The thirst to keep chugging more beers. So when the brewster of the place, Ms. Ashwini gave a call explaining the event, I was more than thrilled.
Belgian Brew Fest is one of the four Fests that TJs celebrates in a year. Irish, American and the Oktoberfest being the others.
As usual, chugnchow was much early at the venue, clicking pics, feeling the essence of the new fest. Though the customers were not much on a weekday evening, the staffs were all busy, setting up for the fest. Head Brewer, Ms Ashwini, was the most busiest of them, running all over the place, bringing everything and everyone together.
Finally, it was time for some Belgian Brews. There were 3 Belgian beers planned for the fest: Saison, Lambic Ale and Dubbel.
Saison- Saison means ‘seasons’ and they are generally Pale Ales and one of the favorites among Belgians, especially during the harvesting season. The Saison of TJs are brewed with cornflakes, oats, barley, wheat, cloves, pepper and cinnamon. Being a mildest of the three, the Saison is smooth drink, and it would do no harm in trying out Saison first before going to the Lambic Ale, which has higher abv than the former.
Lambic Ale- Lambic Ales are one of the popular beers that the Belgians used to brew in their backyards. The require spontaneous fermentation. However, the fermentation of Lambic Ales in TJs did require slight alteration. Much stronger compared to the Saison, Lambic Ale has around 5% abv. Demerara sugar and Honey, gives the beer a tinge of sweetness all throughout, however, the bitter aftertaste is something to enjoy all the way.
Dubbel- Dubbel is the strongest of the Belgian Brews for the fest. Around 7.5% abv, this one was mostly everyone’s ‘go to beer’ for the night. They are usually Amber to Brown in color and opaque due to its high malt content. Technically speaking, the Dubbel contains roasted and toasted malt, roasted wheat, and further observation can be used to feel the undertone of strong coffee and of course, bitterness. The head usually persist throughout and boy wasn’t it a treat to watch.
Dubbel and Lambic Ale were definitely favorites, but Saison never went out of the frame as it gave a pleasant feel. I would personally suggest the hardcore beer drinkers to go for the Dubbel and the Lambic, whereas, the beginners could definitely try out the Saison (wouldn’t me much easier as compared to a cider or a mead either :p)
Chugging is never complete without some chowing right ? What we had in store to pair up with the Belgian beers..? Belgian Cheese Croquettes, was a delightful combination of mash, herbs and cheese. Belgian Spinach and Cheese served on a toast were also pretty yummy!! Even though Shrimp Croquettes with Citrus Salad was good, the veg version absolutely pinned this one down. Mini Sweet and Spicy Chicken Satay, as the name suggest, was amazingly made Chicken Satay, sweet and spicy !
Not to forget the amazing tour we had in the brewery. TJs backyard was crowded by a bunch of bloggers, with eyes gleaming with excitement and thirst for knowledge (beers actually). Meeting the man behind TJs, Mr. TJ Venkateshwaran, was icing on the cake. A huge thanks to Mr. TJ and Ms. Ashwini for having hosted us.
TJs have never ever disappointed with their Ambiance. I would always prefer the outdoor for the amazing view, and the positive vibes all around. The staff were humble and quick with their service.
To be very precise on the experience : Amazing. Definitely recommended for beer lovers to chug down these brews, which of course tastes much different from other regular brews. The Belgian Brew Fest at TJs starts on the First day of February and would be on tap all throughout the month. You all know where TJs is!! Yea thats right, East Block at Amanora.