Three school friends, Sibi Venkataraju, Arun George and Mukesh Tolani, believed Bangalore deserved a brewery. They quit their day jobs and got together with Glen Williams, who runs The Sweet Chariot chain of bakeries in Bangalore, to start Toit, the brew pub on 100 Feet Road in Indiranagar. The pub and restaurant opened in March, but it took them eight months to finally get the brew plant going. Toit served its first brew over the Christmas weekend. We went along with Mohit Nischol, manager at Tulleeho, the beverage training company, for a tasting.
Four out of the seven listed on the menu were available, and we tried all four. Tintin Toit, a Belgian beer brewed with coriander and orange peel, is a crisp beer—a perfect afternoon drink. Nischol thought the flavour of coriander was stronger than the orange, and another rush of orange would have perfected it. Toit has paired all their beers with food on the menu, and suggest batter-fried prawns, the seafood pizza or the blue cheese fettuccine to go with the Tintin Toit. “It’s a light beer that will pair well with heavy or fried food,” says Nischol, giving the pairing a thumbs-up.
“We don’t want to be beer snobs by providing food pairings, but are merely making suggestions,” says Venkataraju, stressing on the pub being a casual space, not fine dining. This is well reflected in their tag line, Sending it since 2010.
The Toit Red is an amber ale brewed with fruits such as pine, grape, raisins and grapefruit. Nischol found the fruity aroma was not so significant but the beer has a smooth bitterness that stays in the mouth. “Ales should ideally be bitter, but since Indians are not used to the bitter taste, this will serve well for those who are feeling a bit adventurous,” he says.
But the beer that reflects Toit’s high standards of brewing is the Colonial Toit, English pale ale with caramel-infused malt. Bitter, the way an ale is meant to be, it makes for the perfect winter beer—dark with an aroma of roasted grains.
The pub also has a number of cocktails, wine, bottled beers and hard liquor. They even serve Long Island Iced Tea and Cosmopolitans by the pitcher. Also, they have a wood-fired oven and live counter for pizzas, proving they’re serious about their food.
The most disappointing beer of the four is the Toit Weiss. Nischol found it a bit watered-down and lacking in body. Meant to be akin to German wheat beer with undertones of spices and fruits, the beer tastes and smells more significantly of the wheat than anything else. Despite the long brew menu, not all the brews are available. The management promises that all options will flow in soon enough. The staff is not yet trained to understand the brews, a limitation the owners admit to. “It’s a matter of time before they understand the brews,” says Venkataraju. If you are curious about how the brew was made, it’s between you and the menu, or you can ask to meet the brew master, Phillip Keln.
500ml of brewed beer is priced at Rs 200, which is reasonable, compared to other brew clubs in the city, and cheaper by at least Rs 100 than any imported bottled ales. They offer tasters of all four brews and Rs 150 will bring you four 90ml tasters. Basic finger food like a plate of nachos topped with cheese is priced at Rs 125, while a pizza is priced at Rs 290 for a 12-inch margherita, and goes up to Rs 500 for a seafood pizza.
For reservations, call 080-25201460.