Pune gets fresh, and on tap

ARUNA RATHOD | Updated on: Jul 07, 2011

lf08beer1.jpg | Photo Credit: mail pic grjgm

Micro-brewery Doolally hand crafts beer.

Passion and determination together proved to be a potent brew for the three founders of Pune's first micro-brewery, Doolally, which makes hand-crafted beer.

When Suketu Talekar, an IIM-Bangalore graduate, and Prateek Chaturvedi, an IIM-Kolkata graduate, met German Oliver Schauf over mugs of beer at a restaurant in Singapore, they ended up brewing a business idea. In fact, in the headiness of the moment, Talekar decided to throw away all his other goals in favour of beer-making.

Schauf is the chief alchemist at Doolally and comes with over 10 years' experience in professional brewing and distillation across Europe and Russia. After graduating in brewing technology from the Technical University of Berlin (VLB), Germany, he worked in various capacities in the craft brewing industry.

“Oliver has practically built our first brewery ground up, including the designs and drawing for it,” says Talekar.

And how did they decide on the name for their venture?

Doolally is derived from a place called Deolali, near Nasik in Maharashtra, which once served as a cantonment during the British rule in India. British soldiers used to be stationed here for months on end before returning to England.

Tasteful experience

Walk into the brown interiors of Doolally at the Corinthian Club in South Pune, and you have a choice of five beers at any given time. Barrels have been converted into low and high stools to lend the place a rustic feel. Five small glasses appear on your table; alternatively, you can go ahead and taste it straight from the tap. You can pick the one that appeals to you most, but you may likely be hard-pressed for choice, thanks to the freshly brewed taste.

Schauf is heartened by the response to his beer. “When people come in here, they are curious, ask questions and want to know more, and we have all the answers. That's good for us! Apple cider is quite popular, especially with women guests,” he says.

Explaining his newfound wisdom on all things beer, Talekar credits his knowledge to a fascinating book on beer that he chanced upon — Three Sheets to the Wind by Pete Brown. “Imagine writing a book on just beer! It has such wonderful anecdotes and stories of how beer was made and became popular throughout the years.”

Heady and hard work

Beer making is a biological process. The basic ingredients are malt, hops, water and yeast. “It takes eight hours to make, and then three to four weeks for the beer to get ready. Beer is like milk, the shelf-life of freshly brewed beer is short. Our beer lasts for four weeks only,” says Schauf.

“Motivation, ambition is the most important thing. It's like cooking, you have to love it to excel,” he adds. “The quality has to be consistent, and that's what brings our clients back.”

One of the popular beers at Doolally is the wheat beer, and the micro-brewery is credited with brewing 25 different styles — an achievement for sure.

The place sees a steady flow of beer enthusiasts. The Beer Olympics held here recently was a huge draw. From Beer Jenga to a Beer-Legged Race and much more, there were plenty of events in which teams or individuals could compete to win the greatest reward a beer athlete can aspire for — The Golden Pitcher!

Published on July 07, 2011
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