Indulge 14th anniversary special: Pondy’s first microbrewery, Catamaran Brewing Company impresses with its crafted ales

Expect five beers on tap and a seamless blend of these ales into the food menu as well

Sonali Shenoy Published :  29th October 2021 07:00 AM   |   Published :   |  29th October 2021 07:00 AM

Interiors at the Catamaran Brewing Company

Pondy’s first microbrewery is a pitcher of wow from the get-go. Three years in the making (since the license was applied for) by partners Rangaraju Narayanaswamy and Durga Prasad Radhakrishnan — the Catamaran Brewing Company features five beers on tap on any given day. Their most recent addition — was the Oktoberfest-inspired Marzen (with malty notes), and we’re told there’s already a Hot Mulled Cider lined up for Christmas! As for the dining experience, the spacious 6,500 sq ft is designed to give you ‘cruise vibes’ with portholes for windows, a staircase to take you ‘upper deck’ and waiters wearing name tags like Jack Sparrow and Captain Red Beard.


From L-R: Chingari cider, Indian summer, Vox populi, 
Pondy pils and Yuri G’s drink


Beer rasam pani puri

Beer rasam
We settle in at a table just beneath what appears to be a ‘centre piece’  attraction —  a 25-foot surfboard suspended from the ceiling, just as chef Koushik S aka the ‘mad chef’ rolls out his first appetiser. As we quickly discover, beer has been creatively woven through the food as well. We sample crisp pani puris filled with tangy rasam laced with apple cider and crunchy vadams with a beer cheese dip. “Each beer takes about eight hours to brew,” Rangaraju informs us, as we take a quick break from tasting for a quick look-see of the brewing unit. “Last night, we started at 10 pm and ended at about 6 am,” he shares, while head brewer Suryakanth walks us through the prepping steps (milling, filtration, boiling). All of this, is of course, not including the 13 to 17-day fermentation cycle.


Masala ratatouille onigiri

Think local 
German brewmaster Oliver Schauf who incidentally worked on India’s first microbrewery (Doolally) in Pune over a decade ago, was roped in for the setup, which includes equipment from Italy and China weighing close to 13 tonnes and malt grain imported from Belgium. With a capacity of 500 litres, trials for new flavours are usually done with about 15  litres. And Rangaraju tells us, “We’re planning to use a lot of local ingredients.” Expect fruity flavours with jackfruit, coconut and mango as well as brewed pitchers of millets, coriander and vetiver. 


Pulled pork on pita

In-cider information
We sip on the Chingari Cider (light and sweet) and graduate to the Vox Populi (dark lager with caramel notes) as we continue with the rest of our meal which is a spread of Modern South Indian, Pan Asian and Continental. The Homemade Fries loaded with beef bolognese and melted cheese and the innovative Masala Ratatouille Onigiri (sushi-meets-ratatouille) are flavour experiments we’ll be raving about for a while.

INR 1,800 for a meal for two, including beverages.