Collab brews for hopheads: Toasting the Grapefruit IPA beer
Gaining the badge of a certified Brew Master doesn't come easy, however tempting the prospect might sound, of dedicating one's skills, time and senses to the explicit purpose of sampling and appreciating beer.
As a part of my course at the Brewlab institute, on the banks of the River Wear in Sunderland, I had to get my fingers deep into the process of brewing, and was required to submit one of my original creations in a competition.
The beer that I finally put my name to is one of my all-time favourites, which I'd like to call, the Grapefruit IPA. To give you some insight, I brewed this with loads of grapefruit, some lovely citrus, tropical fruit hops, and malts that contributed a biscuity flavour to the beer.
Not surprisingly (at least to me!), the beer won top honours, and has now been selected to be officially produced at the Castle Eden brewery, to be served at all Head of Steam pubs across England.
Cool bragging rights back in India (or anywhere else), I'd wager, but for that you'd have to catch me up over a tall glass back home in Bengaluru. Until then, I've been zipping in and out of Pune, offering my humble services at the Effingut Brewerkz, in Koregaon Park.
The popular microbrewery (re-read the name if you need to) also houses a taproom in the suburb of Baner, with another one coming up at the World Trade Centre, in Kharadi.
Manu Gulati, the owner of Effingut, is a fellow alumni of Brewlab, equally passionate about bringing the diversity and creativity of craft beer to India. Effingut has an innovative permanent “collaboration tap”, which they call the Effin Brew Crew - where beer enthusiasts are invited to go crazy making the beer they want!
In a way, this is Effingut’s own, intimate pop-up, encouraging brewing experiments for all. Some examples of the madness that has come of this include a Dark Jaggery Ale, A Rose Hips Saison by Michaela from London, a sour Berliner Weisse by Thean (South Africa/ Delhi), Ameya Kale’s Belgian Pale Ale (Pune), and now, my Grapefruit IPA.
When I popped in at Pune earlier in June to roll out my recipe, we used close to 50 kilos of grapefruit, and 4 kilos of hops in the beer! Needless to say, I am a total hophead.
We ended up with a double batch brewday, filling up a 1,000 litre fermenter, and after 12 patient days of brewing, it was eventually time to unveil the drink to unsuspecting Pune-ites.
The next time you’re in Pune, do visit, try the beers, and have a chat with the team – you will not be disappointed. While I go about encouraging local brewers to bring collaboration beers to our city, to give pubgoers a taste of some mad, wicked beers. And also, to get them to appreciate beer responsibly.
George Jacob is the Founder and Partner of The Beer Chronicles.