I was invited by Food Prowl for a ‘beer and food’ tasting at Effingut Brewerkz in Baner. I would like to thank both Food Prowl as well as Effingut Brewerkz for the awesome afernoon!
Effingut Brewerkz is a microbrewery in Pune based in Koregaon Park. They make specialized craft beers as well as serve some smashing food. They have just launched a new branch in Baner, which is where we had gone.
It’s not everyday you turn up somewhere and a simple food tasting turns into a mindblowing experience. We were welcomed by our host, Mr. Manu Gulati, owner and brewer extraordinaire at Effingut Brewerkz. With introductions done, a few laughs shared and a mandatory drink in everyone’s hand, Manu kicked off the beer tasting. He began with the history of beer, it’s various types, the concept behind each drink as well as his philosophy of beer brewing. One could see his passion oozing through as he told us about his travels to a myriad of countries just to learn about beer and the art of brewing.
Not being much of a drinker myself, this was sort of a ‘Beer for Dummies’ course for me. Thoroughly enjoyable and very educating. I was always fascinated by craft beers though, and I could feel these stories pulling me deeper into their world. Or it could have been just the delicious beer doing it’s thing!
We were seated in the upstairs section of the huge beautiful space that Effingut is. The room was a masterpiece of woodwork, with natural as well as warm incandescent lighting. The walls were covered in old superhero posters and old Hollywood memorabilia. On one side, a wall was lined with a huge collection of classic comic books and in another corner, board games and stuff I have only heard of or seen in the Big Bang Theory.
The main seating downstairs is a very modern pub with an amazing decor. The walls are strewn with incredible things, like an actual Rajdoot Bobby mini bike hung 10 feet in the air along with old bike and racing posters. There also are many classic rock and roll memorabilia. There are many a large screen TVs playing sports, making this a perfect sports bar to have a drink with your mates and watch your favourite team play. The one thing this place definitely doesn’t lack, is character.
Coming to the good stuff –
Apple Cider – Fresh, fizzy, mildly sweet and loaded with a slightly acidic apple flavour. This is not a beer, by the way, and a great drink for non beer drinkers. It’s refreshing and has great taste.
Strawberry Cider – A variation of the apple cider with addition of sweet and tart strawberries. Beautiful red colour, lots of berry flavour and refreshing taste. Again, an excellent drink for first-timers or non beer drinkers.
Peach Ginger Melomel – This is a honey mead with a tinge of ginger and peach flavour. The honey is sourced specially from a farm in Uttarakhand for this mead. A lovely light drink.
Berliner Weisse – Literally meaning ‘Berlin White’, this is a mild beer (just about 3% alcohol) which is cloudy and light. It is fermented with lactobacilli (same bacteria which makes yogurt) and it gives it a unique sour flavour.
Hefeweizen – We are in proper beer territory now, with a lovely bright golden colour, a nice head of foam and the typical bitter and sharp beer flavour. The Hefeweizen has a hint of clove and banana taste. Good stuff.
Marzen Lager – “March Beer” literally translated, is a lovely amber coloured beer from Bavaria which was typically brewed only in March. This one has a more malty flavour.
Extra Special Bitter – This is an amber coloured ale. Great taste and depth of flavour. I liked this one a lot.
Citrus Burst IPA – Another great ale with a deep amber colour. The full form of IPA is – India Pale Ale. This beer was produced specially for the British soldiers in India during the Raj, with addition of lot of hops to prevent spoiling during transport. The hops impart a bright citrus flavour.
First Dose at Effingut – A beer cocktail with whiskey, beer, rum, tequila, vodka, triple sec and cranberry juice. It had a sweet, tangy and fizzy flavour. I wasn’t very sure about beer cocktails initially, but it was quite nice. Great for non beer drinkers.
Safe Sex on the Beer – Another beer cocktail with apple cider, lager, white rum, litchi juice and coconut syrup. Refreshing and flavourful with a tinge of beer flavour.
Green Monster – A bright green drink with cider, lager, melon liqueur, vodka and blue curacao syrup. This one has a stronger vodka taste. Great if you don’t like beer flavoured cocktails.
Bacon Wrapped Prawn and Sausages – This was a heavenly dish. Succulent prawns and cheese wrapped in crispy bacon with a piece of sausage, all on a skewer. Perfect beer food? I definitely think so. The sausage and bacon were extremely flavourful and a perfect combination with the prawns and cheese. The bacon was slightly chewy, though. The mustard dip was sensational.
Chicken Nachos – More classic beer food. Crispy nacho chips topped generously with Monterey jack cheese sauce, capsicum and chunks of chicken. It was seasoned with pepper and served with a fresh tomato salsa. It was amazing and impossible to stop eating, especially with the delicious beers.
Smoked Red Chilly Chicken – A spicy Asian dish with chicken stir fried with lots of garlic, onion, spring onion and burnt red chillies. The chicken was slightly crispy on the outside, juicy inside, with crunch from all the vegetables, spice of the chillies and pungency of garlic.
Murg Thecha Kebab – This is an interesting twist on chicken kebab. The herby tandoor grilled chicken was topped with an extremely flavourful, fresh and spicy Maharashtrian thecha. The thecha was not overly spicy and was a treat to the senses.
Kung Hom Pa – A delicious Thai deep fried prawn dish. The crispy prawn rolls were scrumptious and were served on a bed of fried noodles with a side of spicy and tangy Thai dip.
BBQ Chicken Strips and Wings – These were ordered separately. The chicken strips were amazing with the smoky, spicy, sweet and sticky BBQ sauce over perfectly grilled chicken. The wings too were delicious.
Italian Cottage Cheese Kabab – Luscious paneer kebabs with a herby green marinate, grilled in a tandoor with onions and capsicums. The paneer was spongier and more succulent than usual. The green chutney accompanying it was really fresh and minty.
Gun Powder Onion Rings – Extremely crispy onion rings topped with zesty gun powder! This is an amazing twist on onion rings and it really works. The creamy dipping sauce was great too. A more generous hand with the gun powder would have been awesome though! Another good friend of Mr. Beer.
Smoked Red Chilli Paneer – Chunky paneer stir fried with lots of garlic, onion, spring onion and burnt red chillies. This was similar to the spicy and flavourful chicken dish. The paneer rounded off a bit of the spiciness, though.
3 Cheese Quesadillas – Tortillas topped with vegetables and a trio of cheeses – Monterey jack, cheddar and mozzarella. A very nice dish served with nacho chips and salsa.
Effzza – Effingut’s spin on the pizza. This is a big old hoop of crispy stuffed pizza with various toppings inside.
Pork Effzza – A sinister combination of various pork goodies – high quality sausage, Belgian ham and bacon – stuffed inside a thin crust of dough along with a generous amount of mozzarella cheese. This is unbelievable stuff. Get ready for a porkgasm!
Chicken Effzza – Grilled chicken, capsicum, onion and cheese stuffed inside the effzza. This is a delicious alternative to people who don’t eat pork.
Paneer Effzza – Amazing grilled paneer and cheese stuffing. People who don’t eat pork or chicken, for you buggers!
Murg Dhania – A herby corriander based curry with juicy chicken. Mildly spiced and very flavourful.
Mutton Biryani – This was a surprise treat! Served in a clay pot still wrapped up in the dough covering. The moment the dough cover was removed, the beautiful aroma filled the room and we rushed to get some on our plate. The rice was extremely flavourful without being very heavy on masala and one bite of the mutton just made my jaw drop! It was so perfectly cooked, soft and juicy. One could see the mutton was really high quality and it was so delicious! This is probably the best biryani I’ve ever tasted.
Seafood Pasta in Saffron sauce – Another masterpiece. Fish, prawns and calamari in a creamy saffron sauce with penne, served with garlic bread. The bright and fresh flavour bestowed by the saffron to the sauce was unbelievable and it paired brilliantly with the seafood. Dare I say, the dish tasted like a wonderful, seafoody and savoury version of ‘ras malai’. And that’s a good thing!
Cheese Makhani – Literally, chunks of cheese in a creamy and buttery tomato based gravy topped with even more cream and cheese. The combination of the soft cheese with the mild gravy was awesome. Move over paneer butter masala!
Thai Chilli Rice – A very fragrant Thai styled rice fried with lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and red chillies. Lovely!
Beeramisu – Another winner from the Effingut clan. If you’ve ever wondered, ‘What would happen if you replaced coffee with beer in a Tiramisu?’ This is what happens – Awesomeness! The Beeramisu is an amazing dessert. Layers of beer infused chocolate sponge, mascarpone cheese topped with loads of dark chocolate. It’s sweet, it’s creamy, it’s chocolatey and it’s finished off with the lovely bitterness and freshness from the beer. Beerissimo!!
Sizzling Brownie with Ice Cream – As you can probably guess, this Effingut version is no ordinary one. It was theatrical and impressive with flames and melting goodness unlike the lukewarm brownie with some chocolate sauce served by most places. The brownie and ice cream was brought over on a hot pan. Some booze was poured over it which, with some help from a lighter, burst into flames! Then the flames were doused by gooey hot chocolate sauce which was poured all over the melting brownie and vanilla ice cream. One bite and I was floored! It was so luscious, chocolatey and gooey! The cold melting ice cream stops you from burning your tongue so that you can relish this beautiful hot mess of indulgence for longer.
Are you having a bad day? Is your boss a right old back-side? Need a little pick me up? Stop what you’re doing and come down to Effingut. Have a craft beer, have some nibbles and stuff your face with some drunken sizzling brownie. I’ll see you on the other side!
Post Script :
I would again like to thank Mr. Manu for hosting us at Effingut Brewerks. It was really like hanging out at his home with great beer, amazing food and great conversation. The place is brilliant, music is rocking and it almost guarantees a great time for everybody.
Some Additional Photos –