Betel mania continues in Bengaluru! Raising a toast to Arbor's Beteljuice
A couple of weeks ago, I had written about a collaboration beer brewed at Arbor, called the Beteljuice. Earlier last week, a number of us were invited for the launch of the drink. It was a well-attended affair with a few brewers heading down from Goa for the event.
The launch was hosted by Brewnation, one of the top raw material suppliers in the brewing industry, along with Arbor and CBAI. As it turns out, there’s a whole lot of interesting stuff brewing at Brewnation, which has also begun hosting a series of events called Brewtalks, where they sponsor the production of a unique beer, and invite industry experts to speak about their craft. Invitees include brewers, brewery owners, enthusiasts and consumers.
For a learned piece of info that you may wield with élan, CBAI, or the Craft Brewers Association of India, was set up a few years ago. The members work together to maintain standards of craft beer for consumers, while coordinating with the government to ensure that a proper framework of regulations is in place.
At last week’s event, the speakers included the owner of Arbor India, Gaurav Sikka, who started his craft beer journey at Ann Arbor, Michigan, many summers ago. The story of how Arbor Brewing Company came to be in the US, led by the owners Matt and Rene Greff, gave us a few rounds of cheer.
Also of Arbor, Robert Beck spoke about managing their production brewery based out of Goa. It might take a while, but I’ll keep you posted on when to keep an eye out for Arbor’s packaged beers in retail stores.
Ankit Sethi, an engineer, maltster, distiller and brewer, spoke about trends in the hop industry, and what new varieties of hoppy goodness we can expect over the next few months. Ankit owns and runs Brewnation, and is the only supplier in the country whom we can reach out to when we need to source experimental, new world, or brash character hops.
That might seem like a whole lot of character definition for hops! But hey, that’s what we do for a living, and distinguishing flavours is what it’s all about. To wrap things up at the event, Hollis and Karthik, the brewers at Arbor and Brewsky, spoke about how the recipe for the Beteljuice came about, and how they got together and brewed this special batch for us.
By now, a wee bit weary of all the business-speak, I sneaked out to the bar to grab a pint of the Beteljuice. Finally, it was time to drink! The Beteljuice is a very refreshing citrusy beer with the lemongrass quite prominent on the nose, followed by a spicy note from the betel leaves. The beer finishes with a reasonably bitter hoppy finish. Get yours while you can, I don’t expect this beer to last very long!
For afters, a bunch of us popped across to the Permit Room - for, guess what? You bet! The Geist NEIPA. All said, without a doubt, this beer is one of my stand-out favourites in the country at the moment.
Cheers and happy drinking folks!
George Jacob is the Founder of The Beer Chronicles.