I love my beer really frosty and for a change I was at a beer bar that got it just right. Striker is said to be the fifth brewery to set up shop in Gurgaon, Haryana, and every glass of beer at this month-and-a-half-old brewery is served in a pre-chilled beer mug. At least that was the case the afternoon I was there.
The good stuff
Finally, not another sports bar disguised as a brewery. Sure, all the arrangements are there to ensure you don’t miss your “important” cricket or tennis matches, but in the evening (“unless the World Cup or Wimbledon final is on”), music rules the house.
Flavourful: Striker, the new beer brewery at Gurgaon, serves four varieties.Photographs by Pradeep Gaur/Mint
Our server, who did not know we were there for a review, insisted that we try out the four-beer sampler rather than order the 500ml mugs of each variety straight off the menu. But was he independently knowledgeable about which beer to order? When we asked him to explain the different types of beers, he hollered for help from the brewery manager.
Of the four beer varieties available, the only one that had a snappy taste was the Weiss Blues. This wheat beer stood out perhaps because it is brewed using a yeast that is different from the other three (Jazzy Light, Country Pilsner, Rock Bock. The brewery only plays four genres of music: jazz, country, rock and Blues, and the beers are named after these). Another good thing about this one was that it had just about enough flavour without being overbearing, and had a malty taste that set it apart from the others. One of them was way too bitter (Rock Bock) and the others just plain insipid and uninspired.
Striker offers packages for corporate groups (a minimum of 20 people). For Rs699 per person (taxes extra), a group can enjoy an unlimited supply of four pre-ordered snacks and beer for three hours. As of now, no advance booking is necessary.
Currently, Striker has live band performances twice a week (Monday and Friday). The food menu is not too extensive but has Indian, Chinese and Continental sections, and the non-vegetarian and vegetarian platters are value for money. We tried crispy corn with roasted garlic (Rs225), a zingy preparation of batter-fried corn kernels mixed with red bell peppers, fresh coriander and green chillies.
We were there for the beer and when only one of four beers works, a revisit is unlikely. There was hardly any difference between Jazzy Light and Country Pilsner—you are supposed to tell a beer apart from its taste, not its colour or cloudiness. In true bitter-beers-are-dark tradition, Rock Bock was a dark mustard colour but it was almost impossible to taste the smoky flavour described on the menu or whether the alcohol content was higher than the others—it’s almost a per cent higher than the other three. Perhaps having a Bangalore-based brewmaster (who, we are told, visits the brewery every week) is not such a good idea in the life of a new brewery.
The house recommendation of Beer Batter Fish (Rs395) fell flat because the batter had no flavour/taste of beer and the accompanying condiment could do with some serious rethinking.
PS: Handing grubby and stained menu cards to customers within the first couple of months reflects poorly on hygiene standards.
Each 500ml glass is priced at Rs165 and a 1,500ml pitcher is priced at Rs1,435 (taxes and service charge extra). Cocktails start at Rs295 and snacks at Rs225 (taxes extra).
At Global Foyer mall, Sector 43, Gurgaon.