Till now,we would only hear people boasting about cities like Bangalore having plenty of microbreweries.Back then,most of the people living in Kolkata were unaware of what a microbrewery is.But now,Kolkata has it’s very own microbrewery!However,the concept is still very new to many people out here.
“As the concept suggests,a microbrewery or craft brewery is a brewery that produces small amounts of beer, typically much smaller than large-scale corporate breweries, and is independently owned. Such breweries are generally characterized by their emphasis on quality, flavor and brewing technique.Although the term “microbrewery” was originally used in relation to the size of breweries, it gradually came to reflect an alternative attitude and approach to brewing flexibility, adaptability, experimentation and customer service. The term and trend spread to the US in the 1980s and was eventually used as a designation of breweries that produce fewer than 15,000 U.S. beer barrels.”
Located on the 2nd floor of Galleria Mall, New Town, the microbrewery has a big hoarding which is visible from a distance. The mall is pretty deserted most of the times,however Country Roads isn’t. This place is visited during weekdays by office going crowd located in Rajarhat,however the footfall during weekends increase a lot.The resto-bar has comfortable couches and chairs,just in front of the glass partition which houses the brewing tanks on the other side.A big thanks to the management of Country Roads for inviting our group,Panchphoron to try out their freshly brewed beers,cocktails and starters.The ambience is pretty comfortable, with different lighting(dim in one area and bright in other) ,so that one could sit according to whichever they like.
We tried the following :-
It is a wheat based beer,pale yellow in color with very mild bitterness and almost no froth in it. The bitterness never overpowers the fruity flavors in these crafted beers; in fact beer had never tasted so good and so yum!This is termed as ‘white’ beer which is a Bavarian beer in which a significant proportion of malted barley is replaced with malted wheat and marked for its low hop bitterness and high carbonation.
Typically easy-drinking, with a low but pleasing hop bitterness. This is a light- to medium-bodied ale, with a low malt aroma that has a spiced and sometimes fruity-ester character. Sugar is sometimes added to lighten the perceived body.It is usually brilliantly clear and sparkling golden. The overall impression is balance between light sweetness, spice and low to medium fruity ester flavors. You really can’t miss this was as well!
Scottish Ale :
As we know, the Scottish ales are also known as Wee Heavy which are pretty strong ales. Scottish Ales traditionally go through a long boil in the kettle for a caramelization of the wort. This produces a deep copper to brown in colored brew and a higher level of unfermentable sugars which create a rich mouthfeel and malty flavors and aromas. Overall hop character is low, light floral or herbal, allowing its signature malt profile to be the highlight. Smoky characters are also common.
Fried squid with Garlic Mayo:
Being a fan of squid,I really loved this dish.It was quite crispy outside and soft on the inside.The garlic mayo provided as a complimentary dip went very well with the squid.
Calamari Salt and pepper:
Any seafood prepared with salt and pepper is my favorite and this too was no exception.It was crispy and soft,yet needed a little modification.
Schezwan Fried baby Octopus:
This is the only place where I ate whole octopuses.Most of the places serve only tentacles.The dish was pretty spectacular,the octopuses being cooked perfectly,not making it too chewy.
A beer cocktail,which again is a rarity in Kolkata. Served in a traditional tall pilsner,it tasted bitter sweet.It was a bit different than the normal cocktails,but I liked it since I’m a beer fan.However,it should be avoided if bitterness in cocktails is not preferred.
Stuffed phuchka/panipuri served on top of a shot glass with vodka & tamarind water in it. Again a very unconventional drink which I liked.
Blue Berry Blush:
It stood out visually amongst all the cocktails.This one was more of a traditionally prepared mix. It was a mix of blueberry syrup and bacardi. In fact the blue color was almost synthetic. However the taste was good & had a good punch in it.
Vodka mixed with cranberry juice and capsico sauce, this one was another spicy mix. It is the first time that I’m trying a cocktail with a capsico sauce and I liked it.
For the Angles:
Much like the tamarind vodka shot with the phuchka, this too was spicy and tangy.
This was one hell of a presentation by the bartender! From the look of it, the preparation has been slightly modified, maybe to make it easier to serve. Bailey and Kahlua were served in cocktail glasses,with another cocktail glass placed on them upside down. A mix of sambuca and blue curacao poured from the top and set ablaze. The whole concoction went up in brilliant blue flames. The coffee flavoured Kahlua punched with Irish cream and anise flavoured sambuca gives this one a pretty sweet flavor.
This was my first visit to a microbrewery,so it was memorable as it is.The visit changed my definition of beer altogether.Prior to our visit,beer to us generally meant the frothy bitter stuff in bottles. The cocktails were innovative, and fortunately I liked most of their cocktails,including the beer ones. The prices are reasonable, staff were polite if not overly prompt. The location is definitely off for people living both in south and north,as it is located away from the bustling crowd.But if you want to try out crafted beers,this place is a must visit!