Kimaya Brewing Company, Pune's First Nanobrewery
A few weeks ago, I had travelled to Pune on work and to spend some time with family. As luck would have it, my timing couldn’t have been better. John Eapen (Tales of Froth) introduced me over Facebook to the good folks from Kimaya Brewing Company, who happened to be having a one day pop-up near where I was. For the uninitiated, Kimaya Brewing Company is Pune’s very first nanobrewery.
If this is a new term for you, a nanobrewery is a scaled-down microbrewery that produces beer in significantly smaller batches. I have come to understand that, a nanobrewery is one that produces less than 2000 barrels of beer a year. Based on my approximation, Kimaya is doing about 350 barrels. ( PS - Pardon the math here if it’s incorrect; it was never my strong point )
The team from Kimaya had a one-day pop-up set up at the Origin Bistro in Pune with five beers on tap. I started off with the Kimaya Witbier, a delightful wheat beer with the wheat flavour being quite prominent. This is their signature beer, and is brewed using locally sourced wheat and coriander seeds. I must confess that I didn’t pick up much of the coriander flavour, but that didn’t make this beer any less enjoyable. The Kimaya Red Ale put me off a tad bit owing to a bit of funk I was picking up at the end of each sip, almost like that one off-note you hear because one string on the guitar is just slightly out of tune from the rest. I understand that they switched the malt from an older recipe; hence the flavour wasn’t quite there. Some of the folks present, who had tasted the older recipe, had similar feedback. (Phew, I was beginning to doubt myself there)
The highpoint for the afternoon was the Kimaya Hoppy Wheat. While the beer offered delightful citrus and wheat flavours, the bitterness of the hops added quite a punch to the overall flavour. While wheat beers tend to stay on the milder end of the beer spectrum, the addition of quality hops pushes this closer to the bitter IPA styles that I’ve grown fond of. Two thumbs up for this one.
The evening closed with the Kimaya Red IPA; a crisp, sufficiently hoppy, wonderfully balanced beer. I did rush through this one, so I’d like to go back and savour the same the next time I am in the city. I got to spend a wonderful afternoon discussing beer with co-founder Saurabh Patwardhan and some of the other beer enthusiasts in Pune. I’m sincerely waiting for Karnataka to fix their kegging laws so that the guys from Kimaya Brewing Company can set up something here. Or else, I’m hoping they bottle that hoppy wheat beer. Kudos to the team for keeping the revolution alive!